Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Holcomb Creek

Day 15 - April 20
Mile 279 to 299
up/down: 1300/4300

New trip birds:

Brown-headed Cowbird
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Williamson's Sapsucker
Green-tailed Towhee
Cassin's Vireo
Dusky Flycatcher 

We started the morning on the 7500 foot elevation ridge and walked the nearly flat trail for 3 miles through the beautiful forest. All the new birds above except for the Dusky Flycatcher came in a short span along that ridge. It was hopping with birds and we had a hard time tearing ourselves away. Ultimately we did and continued descending into the Holcomb Creek drainage near Little Bear Spring. We would remain near this creek for the rest of the day - descending from montane to scrub oak habitat at 4500 feet. Much of the upper canyon had burned in 2007. Recovery is going well with Jeffery Pines as tall as 5 feet. The creek is choked with willow and the canyon rocky for much of the distance so the trail only occasionally dipped down to water level. But that was often enough as it gave us a very easy water carry day. 

Big Bear Lake from our ridge 

Mt. Baldy looms in the distance. We'll be there in a week. 

Susan crosses the treacherous Holcomb Creek

Near the end of Holcomb Creek we climbed out of the canyon and traversed to a crossing of Deep Creek about a mile upstream from Holcomb. Here is where we have made camp as it seems 20 miles is our current limit, and this is a really nice spot. 

Bridge over Deep Creek. We're camped below. 

Deep Creek 

Tomorrow we will walk down Deep Creek passing the infamous Deep Creek Hot Springs. This hippy retreat draws all kinds of characters from what I've heard and read. We want to move past as quickly as possible. I have no interest in seeing fat old men wearing little clothing, and Susan says she sees enough of that at home...


  1. Fat old men wearing little clothing...good stuff. Yes we laughed. Tough to leave that spot by the creek. Oh and Quinn says its "Mt Baldy" which of course it is but I had fun with it none-the-less. At your expense of course! Hey, you're on vacation so we can't give you jazz, well a little. 😀

    1. Already fixed the Mt Baldy - damn autocorrect... If we are going to be 100% correct the name is officially Mount San Antonio.

  2. Got us laughing for sure! I can't believe the places you're going. They're bringing back all these old memories. I used to hike in Deep Creek in the late 1960's because there was no trail and you had to keep switching from one side of the creek to the other in order to make any progress. Some places it was quite deep and cold but I loved it anyway. Your weather looks beautiful. Geez, 20 miles a day, day after day, you two are amazing. Most be all that good Thai food.

  3. You have another guy living in your house? I have seen both of you recently, no fat, and not particularly old either. I guess you missed seeing some of my hippy friends who were going to deep creek this week. :)