Aqua-hiking!

South Fork Lytle Creek
April 16, 2011
Nick, Sonya, and I went on an adventure this weekend.  We hiked up to Bonita Falls, which is the second highest waterfall in So. Cal.  This place is about 1/2 mile from the highway, and although there is no trail, it has long ago been discovered and is a bit battered and bruised.  Well, trashed and graffitied, anyway.  We ended up packing out 4 bags of trash yesterday.  But even with that, you cannot help but be awed by the beauty of this very tall fall.  If you count all its tiers, it is 370 feet high, with the bottom drop being 160 feet.   

We then "rock-whacked" and "aqua-hiked" our way further up the main canyon.  Most people stop at the falls so the abuses got fewer and fewer and the scenery more and more rugged.  If that's possible... we are talking about one of the most rugged mountain ranges in the west.  The San Gabriel's are impossibly steep in some places and only navigable if you are a bighorn sheep :p   Anyway, the water is amazingly clear and so cold it hurts, but because it was a warm day it felt wonderful and we sampled every swimming hole we could find.  Our favorite was one that was chin-deep and featured a grotto and and its own little waterfall.  Nick slipped once in this pool, though, and lost one of his prescription sunglass lenses in the water... but amazingly Sonya found it! 

We ate lunch at the grotto and then started hiking further upstream, but one rock finally whacked back and I fell bruising my left shin.  What I didn't discover until later that night is it appears that I also hurt my left big toe...  so no hiking for me for a little while :p

It was a great spring hike, though, and we saw several wildflowers in bloom (Indian Paintbrush, prickly phlox, nightshade, phacelia) and lizards, frogs, and squirrels.  No bighorn, though, they are no doubt further up on the mountain now that it's getting warm. 

Anyway, hope you enjoy the pics :)

More photos here!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarol/sets/72157626517260516/

Nick's Photos

My first hike to Bonita Falls May 2008

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