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2018-01-23  
Maple Spring Trail Cleveland National Forest, CA
mini location map2018-01-23
22 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Maple Spring Trail Cleveland National Forest, CA 
Maple Spring Trail Cleveland National Forest, CA
 
Hiking avatar Jan 23 2018
markthurman53
Hiking13.00 Miles 3,418 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   5 Hrs   59 Mns   2.82 mph
3,418 ft AEG   1 Hour   22 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Back in Orange County I had a day where I would be the only one hiking, so I picked a hike a little more challenging then the last couple days. Originally I planed to do the San Juan Trail just south of Saddle Back Mountain but the Ortega Highway still had construction and the delays were long. I opted to head back to Silverado Canyon north of Saddle Back Mt and hike the Maple Spring Trail. The Maple Spring trail is a 17 mile loop trail which is a favorite for mountain bikers. With a late start I opted to go until I ran out of time and head back the way I came. This turned out to be a great hike with lots of prolonged climbs. This day, while not rare but is not the norm was extremely clear. From the main divide trail I could see west over the Pacific Ocean to San Clemente Island and Catalina Island, North over all of the Angeles forest north of Los Angeles, East over San Bernardino Mountains and San Gorgonio Peak, South to San Jacinto Peak and all the way to Mount Laguna east of San Diego. Just incredible.
The trail starts in Siverado Canyon and heads up to the Main Divide Trail (Forest Service Road). The first 3.5 is a steady climb of about a 2000 feet to Bedford Peak. Great views of Silverado Canyon, Madjeska and Santiago Peak which are the two peaks that make up Saddle Back Mountain(Saddle Back Mountain is the dominant feature if you are in Orange County). Once on the main Divide the trail is just like any ridge trail, a lot of ups and downs as you pass over each peak. I continued to just north of Baldy Peak where I turned around.
Near Bedford Peak I ran into a crew working on the Transmission lines. They were replacing and repairing the Transmission towers. Since there is no flat on these hills they had a helicopter to assist in transporting Material and workers to the towers. Only ran into one other person and he was a mountain biker heading up the mountain, maybe doing the Maple Trail Loop. I will have to finish this hike from the other direction at another time, maybe throw in Santiago Peak also. The last time I was on that peak was in 1974. If you are in Southern Cal and get tired of the Zoo and Disneyland, I recommend heading to Saddle Back Mountain area and do one of the many trails in the Cleveland National Forest. Pick a good winter day after a storm and the views should be spectacular.
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