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It's the then some that makes It!
From the maze of tracks down in the lower levels, this route, once determined, provides some exceptional hiking. On the map, this trail terminates in a deadend up around 6100'... and that is sort of accurate. What the map is missing is the Lost Trail, a very clearly cut trail that runs on up to Ortega Peak, and winds all the way back down to the valley along a ridge system south of Mineral Springs trail. It is not on the map, but it is there, and Mineral Springs intersects it after 3.5 miles, just about 2.1 miles before Lost Trail reaches "A" trail 119 at 7,100'. This continuation opens up the options for various great loops.
The way to find this hike is to head off from the trailhead moving up the hill past the levee, keeping Indian Wells Road in sight. Effectively, the jeep track you want is the one that lines up right with Indian Wells where the old pipeline cut (north/south jeep road) crosses that line. It is easy to spot this cut; there is a major wash on the north side of the jeep track with huge exposed water lines. You may also access this hike by simply following the route of the other west bound jeep track up to the "party place" waterfall, dropping into that drainage and hiking up it until it intersects the jeep road up above. Additionally, instead of hiking the jeep road, feel free to drop off into the drainage on either side of the jeep road and enjoy the nice drainage hiking. You can return to the road further up.
Eventually, the jeep trail ends at an old water tank and you will be on single track narrow cuts for the remainder of the hike. The nice aspect of this hike is that it cuts across all of the valley drainages, traversing some dramatic canyons and moving closely above numerous high ledges and waterfall ledges. Combined with Lost Trail it crosses all of the drainages over to Ortega Peak at Marble Canyon. The grade is never all that steep, with some soft ups and downs throughout the trek. This route makes for the softest climb to Ortega, making the trip in over 7 miles one way instead of the 3-5 miles of the other routes from the city.
Expect to find numerous nice picnic areas, even shaded alcoves.
If you simply glance at the map, it seems a little pointless to make the effort. On the contrary, when used to create a simple loop down Lost Trail, or up Lost Trail to Ortega... then with the option of a fast drop down T119, this trail provides for a great day out from the city.
Note: there is a hike between Mineral Springs and Lost Trail, Little Mineral Springs Trail... that is often mistaken for Mineral Springs trail, very easy to do when hiking from the bottom. It is a nice hike, but it does deadend, although you could cut cross country up to Mineral Springs trail, hiding up above.
Check out the 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.