Note to self - get to Madera Canyon before 9 AM on a weekend. Had my college aged sons visiting for the weekend and they wanted to explore a bit. They are on a college kid's sleeping schedule so my compromise with them was to wake them up at 7 AM instead of their usual sleeping in till noon. By the time I got them out of their comatose slumber and out on the road, we didn't arrive at Madera Canyon until 9:15. Our goal was to do Old Baldy over to Josephine Saddle then come down Carrie Nation. After circling the parking lot 4-5 times with a stream of cars behind me doing the same thing, decided to try something new on the fly.
Went down to the Bog Springs Trailhead and strolled over to the map to see what options we had. If you know my last name, you'll understand why my son's first response was to look at the trail map and say we had to do Dutch John in honor of our heritage. So took off and did an out and back up Dutch John. Ended up going past the spring about a half mile until the trail began to get really steep and peter out. I didn't know that area very well, so we just headed back and watched my son's ski down the steep sections because neither one of them had hiking or trail running shoes on.
Not much there, worth exploring if in the area and want to blow off an hour. The spring is dried up and not much to see. But my sons live a mile or so away from Shaw Butte, so getting to hit a trail with actual trees on it was a treat for them.
After finishing the Roger Rock hike I wasn't quite done so I decided to hike to Dutch John Spring. This is a short little trail but don't let the length fool you. It is quite a workout with a 1300 foot elevation gain in a little over a mile. At a little over a mile there is a water trough signed as Dutch John Spring, but the spring itself is further up the trail. I'm assuming this trough has water piped in from that spring(The trough was dry). I would like to do this hike again except earlier in spring when there is more water in the creek.
The little Forest Service pamphlet describes this hike as a "moderately easy" trail - REALLY? Over 800 elevation gain in a mile. My first real uphill hike in a couple of months, and I was not prepared for the pain that ensued. I've got a lot of work to do to get back into shape. Otherwise, it was a pretty hike up through the oaks, and I only came across 5 other hikers in the time I was out. I had to cut the hike short to get back to the camp by the time I had specified on the note I had left for my sleeping wife. Best not to wake the sleeping beast.
First time on this trail. For years I've always passed it by in favor of trails that go higher, but finally decided to check it out.
Like previous triplogs, the tank at the signed Dutch John Spring was not flowing. I suspect that the pipeline is busted since there was water in the drainage above. At the end of the trail is the location of Dutch John Spring on topo maps. There was quite a bit of water. I couldn't find a main source, more like lots of seeps. Found an old rock catchment for the spring, mostly buried.
On the way back down I took a sidetrip and poked around the Daniels Mine area, a copper molybdenum mine from around 1907.
The 3, 4, and 7 year old kids liked this trail, despite the 1000ft climb in just over a mile. At the very beginning, there was a part of the trail that was washed out and created a narrow section, but easily completed with holding hte 3 and 4 year-olds' hands. The trail continued past the spring, but considering that the map didn't have it at all (even as unmaintained), we decided not to adventure up it with the kids. The hike was so fast, we didn't need our packed lunch. Definitely a good morning hike with little kids.
Turns out the Proctor Road has a locked gate hidden along its course, so I had to quickly find another hike. Dutch John was one of the only ones I hadn't done, so I ran through there. There's a nice side trip from the wellspring that crosses onto a ridge offering nice shots across Madera canyon. Nice weather, at least...
After Wrightson we took a walk along Bog Spring and Kent Springs trails then set up camp at the campground.
average hiking speed 1.76 mph
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.