Mineshaft Flat

South Fork Trailhead to Mineshaft Flat (10 miles, +3400/-800 feet).

Half Cookie and I wanted to do a little trip this Fall since our trip to the Sierra got canceled (twice!) this Summer. So we decided to check out San Gorgonio Mountain.

Our original plan was to do a big loop around the Lost Creek Trail and Aspen Grove Trail to the Fish Creek Trail and up to the summit.

We started at the South Fork Trailhead.

Here we go!
So yellow
So bright

Soon we were hiking into the burn zone from the 2015 Lake Fire.

So stark
Sugarloaf Mountain
Blue Elderberry
Witches Butter
Buckwheat?
A pretty ravine

At Grinnel Crossing we passed over the South Fork Santa Ana River on our way to the Lost Creek Trail.

Don’t fall

But as it turns out, the Lost Creek Trail is literally lost. The whole hillside was covered in spiny chaparral, so we retreated and decided to head up to Lodgepole Spring above Dry Lake.

Even the trail sign is lost
South Fork Meadows
Happy
Gorgonio above gold-onio
California Fuscia
Not so dry

Above Dry Lake we found Lodgepole Spring, which is essentially just the inlet to the lake where it appears above ground briefly before disappearing below again a few hundred yards from the shore. We then headed up to Fish Creek Saddle. From there we headed over to Mineshaft Saddle and dropped down 100 feet to camp near Mineshaft Flat.

Dry Lake from Fish Creek Saddle
Heading towards Mineshaft Saddle
Pretty burn zone
Mineshaft Flat

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