North 34 degrees 14.227 by West 117 degrees 48.762
Elevation 1596 feet
The San Gabriel Mountains Trail Builders worked with members of the U. S. Forest Service this past Saturday to establish an official and safe foot trail leading from the East Fork Road parking area down to the river below. The effort is part of the on-going program to establish foot trails to concentrate hikers, campers, and picnickers along trails to increase safety and limit erosion and pollution caused by numerous people who usually tromp all over the place.
When completed, the new trail - approximately 108 feet in length containing one switchback, approximately 4 feet wide to accommodate horses to assist in packing out garbage, and approximately at a 10 degree slope - will be used by hikers and campers to access the river.
The use of the numerous informal and dangerous trails along the road will be discouraged or eventually blocked off to allow vegetation to be re-established along them. It's hoped that this will help reduce the number of medical calls that the USFS responds to in any given week - or at least reduce such calls for this particular location - and make it easier for hikers to carry out their own garbage rather than just dump it along the river (as so many people do.)
While the Trailbuilders were surveying the new trail, Lois from the USFS worked on removing spray painted graffiti from the Service's signs. Mike with his chainsaw certificate took a team to cut up and clear a fairly dangerous section of road about 200 feet away at the bottom of a major washout. Janet (spelling?) worked along the road and hillsides collecting garbage and removing tripping hazards.
The rest formed the main team which utilized a inclinometer and flags to establish the route for the trail, and then got to work with a variety of tools to clear the path of brush. The preliminary proposed trail was fairly quickly dug into the side of the hill and then all work stopped when it started to rain (not because we're wimps but because clinging to mud on hillsides while holding sharp tools is kind of dangerous.)
Eventually we'll be back, installing soil-holding fencing and finishing the trail over a number of sessions. We're avoiding pockets of poison oak and trying to make the trail pleasing to the eye as well as easy to walk. When that's done, the USFS will come in and place signs asking people to utilize the new trail and, of course, the trash bins which will be placed down below.
Note: The Oregon area activists are often concerned with environmental issues so I've posted this article in Portland. Also I'm not a member of the Trailbuilders or a spokesman for the group. I volunteer time and effort since I utilize these mountains a great deal and the San Gabriel Mountains Trail Builders do a very good job assisting in aiding the environment and limiting human impact in the mountains.