JANUARY 27, 2016 – Indian Creek Trail Head (PCT)

With my friend Christine (cacher sissopolis) I tried to drive to Messenger Flats Campground in the Angeles National Forest. Our plan was to hike from there to Mount Gleason summit. She likes forest & snow hiking and I wanted to find the summit cache. But we were thwarted on every attempt by private property and road closures. The route recommended by a hiking blog led to a private animal sanctuary. A helpful local told us that everything beyond was also private property. He pointed us in the general direction of possible routes but we found them also blocked.
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The left fork here was the wrong road, but it was closed anyway.
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The right fork ended at an active mine/quarry.
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Instead of driving around all day we went to the Indian Canyon parking lot (see Dec 22, 2015 post) where the PCT (mile 444.2) intersects Soledad Canyon Road.
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We hiked South on the PCT. The trail was immediately uphill. An ammo can cache Cherokee Warrior (GCZQPF) was a welcome stop. Just ahead there were 2 long ago crashed cars in a canyon below the trail.
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There was ample evidence that a lot of shooting goes on here.
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Trail intersections were helpfully marked.
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From here there was a long flat stretch.
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We met a Northbound hiking Australian family, probably from the parking lot RV. They were worried about large animal tracks they’d seen. I think those were made by dogs. We said goodbye and kept hiking. The sun broke through the clouds and made me regret leaving my sunglasses in the car.
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At just under 4 miles (PCT mile 440.3) we decided that we were losing more altitude than we wanted to make up on our return trip. We sat down, enjoyed the view for a few minutes and hiked back to the parking lot.
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Back at home I read a warning that there’s a big stretch of the infamous Poodle Dog Bush ending at mile 440.0. I’ve always wanted to see it but missed it by 0.3 miles! Pictures 2 & 3 are by Christine, cropped by me.

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