Flat out steep
Overview: A quick hike from the Oak Flat Trailhead (3650 ft) to the northern section of the Four Peaks Trail #130 (5400 ft).
Hike: This hike takes off from the Oak Flat Trailhead in typical mid-zone vegetation. Distant views of the Four Peaks lure you in. Cairns help direct you across a ravine and onto the show. Enjoy the first short level section as once you start ascending it's game on.
The area was damaged by the 1996 Lone Fire. Talking with a local at the trailhead I learned the trail was impassible after the fire. My pre-trip attempts to find out the trail status from the forest service turned out to be a joke. They're poor organizational skills have proven useless to the public. Luckily as of this writing twelve years later there's little sign of the fire. The trail is free of any debris and plenty wide.
The footing is pretty good most of the way up. Although surrounded by low chaparral it's mostly exposed due to the lack of tall trees. Many trees did survive the fire just not enough to canopy the trail. On route you pass a water gauge. Continuing up you'll swear it's getting steeper. In reality it holds a relatively steady grade, it's just happens to be unforgiving. Minutes before reaching the upper end you enter the Four Peaks Wilderness marked by a small wilderness sign.
Summary: This is an old trail that lacks the use of switchbacks. Albeit a nice trail I don't see much use other than a loop or shuttle hike with the Chillicut Trail #132. Backpackers would be better off driving up to Lone Pine Saddle than enduring this steep ascent into the wilderness.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.