Leaders: Jack Trager, Gordon Lindberg
This was a reschedule of a trip planned last summer and aborted due to fire closure. This time I requested SASE's so I could notify hikers if there was a problem.
We gathered at the Sylmar carpool point along with a large group looking for Dave Eisenberg's outing to Pinos, Sawmill, Grouse and points west ... both at 7 am. After sorting out our group, we drove to Lockwood Valley and in to the alternate trailhead at the Warner Ranch as our co-leader was looking for a Pathfinder route. I had not been in from this side, but the directions seemed clear... "Just head south, pick up a road, and follow it until it drops down to a stream bed and disappears, up ahead the canyon appears to fork, etc." The only problem was that the road dwindles but continues vaguely along the creek and there are lots of apparent forks ahead. We went too far and realizing it, I relied on compass and headed for the peak up hills, around ridges, and over canyons. Fortunately, we hit the 5400' flat area described right on and followed the road around to the Yellowjacket trail and up the gully to the summit of Lockwood. We arrived at about 11 am only to find that Charlie Knapke and the Petersons had already signed in that morning.
From the summit, I could see what looked like a clear route to the Warner Ranch starting from a meadow just east of the foot of the Lockwood gully and following a valley north and a spur northwest. I decided to do an exploratory and everyone being game, I led to the meadow and followed a vague road up the valley. This was easy going for a mile or so and I congratulated myself on finding a new alternate route ... then we came up a rise to a sheer sided canyon with a series of ridges ahead. After surmounting these, we could see the ranch house ahead at the end of what appeared to be a continuous semicircular ridge. Following the top of this ridge and weaving our way through the brush was not too bad for a considerable distance. We then encountered more canyons and bad lands. Finally we came out just across the creek from the ranch buildings after surmounting another gully and a couple of barbed wire fences. Everyone seemed to enjoy the exercise despite a few comments about the "easy" tag I had put on the hike.
We had a late lunch and an opportunity to explore the apparently abandoned ranch buildings which are quite imposing. While lunching, we found a lovely friendly long haired white kitten which looked well fed despite being abandoned.
On to Pine Springs Campground and a routine hike up the firebreak to San Guillermo led by Gordon. By this time it was quite warm but still enjoyable. We were back to our cars by 4 pm.
Those participating besides the leaders were: Dan Rosenthal, Jason Kubischta, George Thomas, Janet Bartel, Erv Bartel, Kathy Cecere, and Charlotte Bourne. Noted was the 60 year spread between Jason at 17 and Jack at 77.
As a postscript, we learned that after hiking Sunday in the San Gabriels, Kathy Cecere drove all the way back to the Warner Ranch and rescued the white kitten!
Much thanks to Gordon for leading both ways on Guillermo and ably assisting as always.