Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hike 2012.023 -- Bailey Canyon Falls and Rubio Canyon to Sam Merrill Trail

Two short and separate hikes today (Saturday, April 14), accumulating to what I figure to be a bit over 3 miles, so I'm counting them as Hike 23 for the year.

No pictures, so I'll keep the post brief and link to other hikes for trailhead information. I was sure I saw my camera in my trunk before I left this morning, but it was not there when I got to the trailhead.

Bailey Canyon Falls is almost always dry, but I figured with the two significant rains in three days, there was a chance water would be flowing over the falls.

Here's a link to my post when the falls were really running. Today, it was just a trickle. My garden host could generate more water than that. ;D Nonetheless, it *was* running.

After this short hike, I headed down to Santa Anita racetrack, paid my $2.75, picked up my "free" beer stein, cashed my $10.60 winning ticket from the Santa Anita Derby (hit a $1 exacta), then headed over to Rubio Canyon.

A picture of the switchbacks that mark the start of the trail out of Rubio Canyon is included as the third picture on this post.

The trailhead I used today is at the junction of Rubio Ridge and Rubio Vista Drive. There are metal containers with photocopied trail maps at the trail head and about 100 yards in from the trailhead.

After hiking maybe 1/10th of a mile, you reach the switchbacks mentioned above. They'll be on your left. I climbed the switchbacks, which were steep, but also among the most well-defined section of the trail today. After the switchbacks, you trail becomes narrow and even steeper, without nearly as much engineering as the lowest stretches. It's easy enough to follow, but it's definitely steep and it'll wear you out pretty quick.

I followed the trail as it began heading up along and towards a ridge. After what was probably less than 1/2 mile (but seemed longer), I heard voices and saw hikers on an obvious trail well above me. Turned out they were on the Sam Merrill.

Just before this ridge trail reaches Sma Merrill, several dead branches were tossed to obscure the trail some what. Stepping over, around, and through the downed branches, I popped out on the trail, about 100 yards before the electrical transmission towers that I consider to be the halfway point between Lake Avenue and Echo Mountain.

I walked under the towers, then turned around and returned the way I came.

On the return, I saw another set of switchbacks that seemed to be heading out of someone's backyard and also headed towards Sam Merrill. Don't know how far that one goes.

Meanwhile, back on the Rubio Canyon side of things, from the perspective of this ridge trail, the SCE right of way trail (an overgrown dirt road) was obvious, sweeping on up the mountain on the other side. The Camp Huntington trails that head up either towards the SCE road or further to the north were also obvious.

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