Friday, January 2, 2015

Hike 2014.065 -- Bonita Falls, San Bernardino National Forest

Well, 2015 begins with my having still not blogged many of my 2014 hikes. This one was taken on Saturday, December 20, 2014.

Been a while since I've hiked here. This one is a short one, just added in because I was already in the area--probably less than two miles roundtrip, so not technically qualifying as a hike. But I was already out here, having celebrated my birthday with a visit to the local Indian casino. Atypically, I came out $65 ahead, and also went home with $10 worth of Thai food and a celebratory ball cap.
To get to the trailhead, exit I-15 at the Sierra Avenue exit, which is just a few miles south of the junction with I-215) (Sierra also hits the 210 freeway, just east of the junction with I-15--Riverside Avenue also hits the 210, a few miles east of Sierra--If you're coming from the east, it's possible your navigation devices will have you exit at Riverside) and head north. If you exited at Riverside, you'll merge with Sierra just before reaching I-15; continue north (right). There are fast food outlets and gas stations on the left side of the street, just north/east of I-15.

Sierra turns into Lytle Creek Road. Eight miles from I-15, you'll pass the Lytle Creek Ranger Station, on your right. If you don't have an Adventure Pass or Interagency Pass, you can usually buy one here, unless the station is closed.

Just about 1/2 mile past the ranger station, you'll pass another U.S. Fee Area sign. When you see Green Mountain Ranch, on your left, find a place to park, on your left (on the south side of the road). A sign near here notes that, if restrooms (portapotties) are present, a parking pass (Adventure Pass or Interagency pass) is required. I'm not sure if this sign was here the last time I visited Bonita Falls. Then again, I already had my Interagency Pass, so I would not have been concerned by the sign. However, my old pass expired at the end of September, and I was going to try to make it into the new year before buying a replacement.
However, after driving around a bit and finding no acceptable fee-free area to park, I drove back to the ranger station and bought a new Interagency Pass (what used to be called, "America the Beautiful" pass, but which is now officially known as by the boring title of "Interagency Annual Pass," and can be used for the basic entrance fee to federal fee areas administered by any of the major federal land management agencies. The Interagency pass costs $80, so my casino winnings covered most of that. Yay, Indians! :D
As noted in the first picture, I parked near the Green Mountain Ranch entrance, crossed their bridge, the walked along their property fence to the east, to reach the main body of Lytle Creek Canyon. I then headed up canyon about 1/2 mile, boulder-hopping to the first large side canyon, which is home to Bonita Falls.

From there, it's a short but sometimes steep way to the falls. Several small cascades were tumbling down the creek, and I stopped to photograph several of them.

I then continued to the main fall, and took many photos there, as well. I then returned the way I came.

This waterfall (and the walk to the falls) has long been dogged by graffiti numbskulls. It's still an impressive falls, though and well worth the short trip to see the falls. But you do need either the Interagency pass or the southern California national forest "Adventure Pass." It's available for $5 a day or $30 for twelve months. The 12 month pass is available from most ranger stations in the southern California area. Day passes are usually also available there, but also from many area sporting good stores, such as REI, Dick's, or Big 5.

No comments:

Post a Comment