10/10/2022 at 1:36 pm #6573
2 night trip to Limber Pine Bench and then on to Trail Fork Springs.
Road to trailhead is in rocky/ decent condition. Sedans and minivans parked there.
Hiking trails are in good condition. Very few obstacles.
Spring at Limber Pine is flowing enough to fill bladders.
Don’t count on the spring at Trail Fork flowing at all.
Details for those interested:
Got off work early on Friday, packed up Max and headed up the San Bernardino Peak Trail for a 2 night trip. This was going to be the maiden voyage of my new X-Mid Pro 2 so I could compare it to my Stratospire Li.
Road to the trailhead was in normal condition- rocky, but nothing crazy. No ruts to speak of. There were sedans and a minivan parked when we got back. I would not feel comfortable taking our Sienna back there, but realistically, it would have made it without issue. Our Crosstrek had no problems.
First night will be spent at Limber Pine Bench and the next night at Trail Fork Springs- assuming there was water in Limber Pine Spring to refill our supply.
Got to the trailhead a little later than I planned and we ended up getting to camp about 6:30pm. Set up the tent in the dark, made dinner and went to bed. Trail to Limber Pine was in good condition.
Next morning we walked up to Limber Pine Spring to get water. Luckily, it was flowing enough to fill the Cnoc bladders with no issue. Just had to be a little creative with where/ how you placed the bladder so that it was able to be filled completely (or you could bring a scoop and fill it with the scooped water).
Packed up and headed out around 9:00am and made it to Trail Fork Springs camp about noon. Leaving Limber Pine, the trail to Trail Fork Springs has a lot of variety after SB Peak. Some ups and downs, some scrambling, nice flat areas. Pretty cool.
At Trail Fork Springs, we walked around to find a good spot to camp and got everything set up. Made lunch and took a nap. Newly rested we wandered around a bit until we felt the first rain drops. Nothing major and was over quickly. Heard some thunder but never had anything worse than that short 5-10 min sprinkling where we were.
The spring at Trail Fork did not appear to be flowing. There was a marshy area that appeared to be the way to get to the pipe people talk about. I did not want to mush my way back in there to find it. Suffice it to say, the marshy area had small puddles where water could be scooped etc. Not sure how quickly that area dries up.
Knew it was going to be a long hike back in the morning so we went to bed early and were up and hiking out by 7:00am. Apparently, Max was on a mission to get back. We made the 10.3 miles back to the car by 11:20- including a stop at San Bernardino Peak for about 10 minutes.
As always, any questions, feel free to ask.
10/10/2022 at 3:07 pm #6574
Whoa… that got long – winded even for me. 🙂 Here’s a pic.
10/10/2022 at 9:08 pm #6575
That pic worked… let’s try another.
10/11/2022 at 8:14 am #6576chris in redlandsParticipant
Sounds like a great trip! Makes me feel kind of bad for not even making it up for a day-hike in the last few days… from down here in Redlands, it looked like there must have been huge storm clouds up there, and the last couple of times I’ve been up in SGWA with a “20% chance of thunderstorms” I managed to be wherever it was that got the 20%. ha!
Limber Pine…what a great place to camp! A few months ago I was camped at Trail Fork camp and a giant tree came crashing down right near us at 3am…and it was totally calm! Unnerving, for sure!
Regarding Trail Fork Springs, you’re correct; the spot where the (nonfunctional) pipe is found is in that marshy area. You can get to the water by tiptoeing west along a soggy path about 20 feet from the spot below the trail junction signs where you can see the path into the willow thicket. I was there Thursday before last and the spring was flowing enough to fill up using the “two bottle method;” holding the mouth of one small gatorade bottle in the flow over a flat rock then pouring that into another once you get as much water as the angle of the collecting bottle allows. it would be very hard to fill a bladder there, unless you had an old pump-style filter.
I’ve never seen trail fork springs completely dry. It’s one of my favorite places for water both because of its reliability, and because you don’t need to filter it. It’s one of those springs where you can see right where the water is coming from the ground. Every time I’m there I make a half-hearted plan to come back and fix the spring box. Fifteen years ago the pipe still worked, but doesn’t anymore, I assume because 1. the spring box filled with sediment, and 2. people used to stand on the pipe to get water to come out, which i think probably killed it for good. A day’s work with a shovel would probably get it working again!
Thanks for the writeup!
10/11/2022 at 9:11 am #6577Ben ParkerParticipant
Thank you both for all the great information. These detailed trip reports are really appreciated!
10/11/2022 at 9:57 am #6578
Thanks for the info, Chris. You’re a wealth of information!
One day I’ll wander in there to check out the pipe.
Side note: We were going to take Forsee Creek Trail, but after reading the reports about the washout areas, I didn’t want to risk not being able to get by with the dog and having to turn back. Maybe I’ll head up Forsee by myself in the next month or so and check out the spring.
Side note 2: I know the feeling of hearing a tree fall in the middle of the night. Do you ever hike around the San Jacinto Wilderness? Mika and I have twice hiked down the “King Trail”, named after Jon King of the sanjacjon.com trail report. Neat trail. Kind of “off-trail light”. You might like it.
It’s a very infrequently traveled trail shortly after Saddle Junction that leads down to Willow Creek and beyond toward Caramba and Laws Camps. Nice for solitude. Right near where it crosses Willow Creek, there is an unofficial camp that is currently (at least it was as recently as a month ago) used by some biologists from the San Diego Zoo for surveys/ studies during the week. They don’t seem to work weekends.
Lots of pine cones dropping and other various noises. A little unnerving but less so after realized it was mostly pine cones.
The first night we stayed there, though, I heard the tell-tale cracking of a tree falling and then the crash. I honestly didn’t know what to do except wait and hope it wasn’t going to hit us. It didn’t sound right next to us, but definitely close. Looked around in the morning but couldn’t tell which tree it was.
- This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by MikeH.
10/11/2022 at 9:38 pm #6580stbrnnrParticipant
Thx for yet another great TR, Mike. Really interesting new tent tech there with seemingly solid specs–can we conclude you, Max & the X Mid Pro 2 had a successful and satisfactory maiden voyage? Feedback appreciated!
10/12/2022 at 4:04 pm #6581
These ultralight tents, while expensive, are really nice. For those who are trying to go lightweight, the weight savings is pretty impressive. This tent (Durston Gear X-Mid Pro 2) and its stakes only weigh 22oz. (!)
If you haven’t looked into them yet, they are made with a material called DCF or Dyneema. A very light, strong material. One advantage is that it does not absorb water so you don’t get that wet, sagging tent in a rainstorm like you can in a Sil tent. Also, a quick shake will shed water before stuffing it into its bag. I’ve heard rumors of hail storms destroying them, though… if true, that’d be an expensive hail storm… not to mention no longer having a viable shelter.
The X-Mid is a hybrid double wall tent- netting only on the sidewalls- whereas my Tarptent Stratospire Li is a true double wall and can be setup inner only or fly only and you can change the inner from a full mesh to a partial mesh depending on weather forecast, preference etc.
The X-Mid is easier to setup. The Strat can be a bit finicky. Both have large footprints, 100″x80″ for the X-Mid, so finding a suitable tent spot can sometimes be tricky.
Both are palaces for me and Max or Mika.
I purchased the X-Mid to see if I preferred it to the Strat due to it being easier to set up, which I think I do but I’ll give it a couple more trips to see if that overcomes the pros of the Strat.
Here’s a wide-angle pic of the roominess of the tent.
10/13/2022 at 7:56 pm #6582stbrnnrParticipant
Cool–thx for the detailed overview–seems like a fantastic bit of kit. Given the sales models of (and high demand for) cottage industry gear we’re all reliant on just this sort of informed ‘word of mouth’ or perhaps trusted online reviews, in order to make buying decisions. Judging by Max–who I know is a real rig–space does look rather palatial!
11/30/2022 at 9:35 am #6660scotchybobParticipant
I’m a little late to the party in replying to this post, but you got me curious. How did you feel your X-Mid Pro 2 stacked up to your Tarptent Stratospire? I have the Tarptent Double Rainbow Li and have only been out in it a few times now on PCT section hikes. So far, so good. Just trying to get other people’s impressions on their trekking pole tents.
12/01/2022 at 3:51 pm #6661
It’s a toss-up between the Strat Li and XMid Pro 2. The XMid is definitely easier to set up so that’s the one I’ll keep.
I don’t usually bring trekking poles so I purchased the Durston extendable poles and the Tarptent folding poles for each of the tents.
The DR Li may be the best all-around lightweight tent. Free standing (with poles) and DCF. Lots of headroom with the arch and cross pole. Good choice.
12/04/2022 at 10:18 am #6664scotchybobParticipant
Thanks. I’m super impressed with the tent so far. Pricey to be sure, but I expect it will last me for many years. I love being able to use my trekking poles at either end to make it free standing and it is absolutely cavernous inside which is nice since I have an oversized sleeping pad. Looking forward to more adventures in it.
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