I really need to buy you a cup of coffee, beer etc. This is the second time you’ve suggested a hike I’d never done that ended up being a winner… although the Sugarloaf trail up from Wildhorse Creek was brutal… 🙂 Here is a quick trip report. I’d post a separate one with pics etc, but I don’t think anyone is manning the forum at the moment to approve them.
Packed up Mika the husky and hit the road Saturday morning. Got to the trailhead and started the hike at 10:30am.
If coming from Angelus Oaks, the trailhead is on the left shortly before the turn-off for Heart Bar. There is a sign indicating the trailhead is coming up. Dirt parking lot right off the 38. I parked a little ways up the dirt road to keep my car a little bit more hidden from all the cars that pass by.
South facing slopes had no/ almost no snow. North facing slopes were mostly fully covered. I brought trail crampons but did not use them. Luckily, there was one set of boot prints to follow for the areas where there was no obvious trail (thanks whoever you are). Trail was easy to follow because of that.
There are some moderately sketchy traverses but if you use the boot prints it’s fairly safe. Snowshoes would have been nice on the section heading toward Sugarloaf Mountain*.
Trail starts up a small dirt road to the right of the trail board. You go through a gap in the fence.
First part of the trail to Wildhorse Camp was a nice slow climb. You do lose about 300ft of elevation going down into Wildhorse Camp which means you’re climbing back up out of the canyon. There is a small creek at the camp that is running for you to filter water. You could feasibly get water out of the creek on your way out of the canyon, but it was easier just to get it there. I had 6 liters at that point. It’s a long slog up that follows the creek. Snow was soft-ish (depending on the time of day) which meant minor post-holing in the deeper parts. It was rough… I need more cardio endurance.
Once you come up out of that part, you reach the junction of with 2n93 (I believe) and the Sugarloaf Trail. You’ll want to take the Sugarloaf Trail. This was brutal (for me). It’s basically straight up the side of the hill (no switchbacks). With the extra weight of the water, I was huffing and puffing… but such is life.
Once you come out of that part, you reach the junction with a trail coming from Big Bear. You take a left and head toward Sugarloaf Mountain. *We didn’t make it to the summit. I was already tired and there was enough snow to make the minor post-holing (6-10” or so) a pain- snowshoes would have been nice. I started looking for a flat spot off the trail and we set up camp. Spent the night and headed back down the way we came.
Weather was fantastic. Got to about 30 degrees or so overnight. Otherwise, warmed up nicely. Gaia says 11.66 miles with 2700ft of elevation.