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This hike really starts nowhere and goes nowhere... it is best done as an augment to either the Dry Canyon trail hike (#5574), or perhaps to the "A" mountain trail hike (#119)...stretching either of those hikes on out a bit. The trail just wanders around down below the ridge line where Forest Road 90 (Westside road) bisects the mountain range.
From it's trailhead you'd think that you will be simply angling across and on up the hill to connect with FR90. In fact you will find yourself dropping down, winding around the drainages and finally down well below where you began, loosing 400' of elevation, only then to finally begin the trek back up the hill towards the road. This final 600' climb suggests that it might even become a little strenuous, but never quite makes that extra bit of effort. You do begin to get the feeling you are on a peak hike within that last mile as a very obvious and prominent heavily forested peak rises above you... unfortunately, you top out on the road just before reaching that 8100' point. You could continue on off trail to add that extra bit to the day, but it is still a long way back to where your day began.
This trail, added to one of the others noted, makes for a nice picnic ramble in the cooler months, extending the hike out that extra five miles. For trail runners it gives a bit more grade to enjoy over the flatter sections of lower Dry Canyon, and offers views of the backside of both Hershberger Peak and Ortega Peak. Your return hike can be shortened by simply taking the cutoff trail (#5574A) which drops directly back to lower Dry Canyon, avoiding the #119 section.
Note: It is wise to avoid this trail if it has rained recently or is raining... unless you would enjoy adding in some foot weight resistance training. The sticky red mud will double or triple your shoe weight!
All of these trails are the remnants of old jeep tracks that were cut into the Sacramento Mountains many decades ago... slicing and dicing the drainages for water, cattle and mineral access.
This sun exposed hike should be limited to the cooler months. It makes a great alternative to the snowy, mushy winter hiking in the higher elevations.
If starting from the higher trailheads of FR 90, it can make for an interesting approach to hike the backside of Ortega Peak off trail, especially if combined with cutoff trail #5574A. Check out the map and go enjoy!
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.