Lodgepole Springs camping- no water, hunters, cold, aches and pains

Home Forums Trail Conditions Lodgepole Springs camping- no water, hunters, cold, aches and pains

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    • #2065

      Hi all,

      (cliff’s notes- it was much colder than my research indicated.  There was no water at the camp. Glad I always pack extra clothes, water, a GPS device/ app and lights. Hunters use this trail/ area to hunt)

      This is my trip report.  I’m a relatively new backpacker so take my trip as a learning experience- both the good and bad.

      Thanks to the quick permit reply from SGWA, I was able to do a last minute overnight this weekend.

      I checked the weather on mountain-forecast.com.  Said the low was going to be 45 degrees (cliff’s notes- They were wrong- it was 32 degrees), so packed accordingly plus a little extra for colder weather.

      Hiked to Lodgepole Springs campsite Saturday morning and set up my tent.  Looked around for water, but could not find any.  There was plenty at the river crossings on the way up, though.  Luckily, I planned for this and had 4 liters of water with me which was about right for me including water for coffee and a couple freeze dried meals.

      Took off for the summit at noon.  Brought a couple snacks, water, camera, an extra layer, a hat and headlamp in the removable daypack that comes with my backpack (love that feature).  Got to the summit at 4:00pm (I hike really slow) My left knee and hips always hurt after a while.

      Took the obligatory summit pics and headed back down.   Really could have used an extra energy bar as I didn’t eat lunch prior to leaving for the summit and didn’t think it would take me quite that long for the round-trip.

      On the way back, put on my extra layer and ski hat as it was starting to get a bit chilly.  Had to use my headlamp for about the last 45 minutes or so- hiking in the dark.  Used my Gaia GPS app to lead me back to the campsite in the dark.  Would have had to wander around for a bit without it.

      Temps got down to 32 degrees overnight.  I was pretty cold all night.  A ranger I chatted with on the way back down told me to check temps for Big Bear next time and use that as a guide.

      Packed up and left in the morning around 8:30am.  Took me about 2.5 hours to get back to the car.  All-in-all a good trip except for being cold overnight.

      *Something I didn’t know- I heard 4 loud “BOOMS” on the hike in.  Ran into a ranger who checked my permit and said to watch out for hunters.  I had no idea there would be hunters on a well-traveled hiking trail.  Sure enough, I rounded the corner after one of the river crossings and some hunters had just shot a deer and were tying it to a couple branches to carry it back down.

    • #2067

      In all of that, I forgot to include that I hiked in and out on the South Fork Trail. 🙂

    • #2071

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for the detailed TR–always vicarious fun for the rest of us to read while stuck in the flatlands.   For Big Bear and adjacent zone weather i like to cross reference Ben’s Weather site:


      which has some cool webcams to go with it.  Thanks also for the heads-up on hunters working that vicinity and the the Gaia app tip–which may just allow me to jettison the old Garmin handheld and lighten the device load a bit–Steve

    • #2074

      Thanks for the website, Steve.  I’ll be sure to bookmark it for future trips.

      The GaiaGPS phone app is great.  Another is Guthook.  I also carry a Garmin InReach Explorer+ (and a compass and map).  Since I hike alone, I like that the Garmin has the SOS function along with GPS, tracking and two-way text messaging so I can keep in touch with my wife.

      You need a subscription but it’s cheap piece of mind for me.

      All the best.

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