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Message #4017 of 4034  *NEW*
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Carol  
Too hot to hike? Go creek hiking! Bonita Falls
5/19/08, 6:32am (Last Edited: 5/19/08, 6:34am)
graphic

Bonita Falls is the 2nd highest waterfall in Southern California. In total its 4 tiers drop about 475 feet. The tallest in Southern California is the aptly named Big Falls and both of these waterfalls are on the San Bernardino National Forest. What I like best about the San Bernardino National Forest is the rugged beauty of the canyons and mountains. These are very active geological places... faults including the famous San Andreas cut into these young mountains and flash floods and landslides are common. In short there really isn't anything gentle and easy about this landscape, and although only 3/4 miles from the road, Bonita Falls isn't an easy hike... there isn't a maintained trail rather you make your way up a very, very rocky streambed in a very, very rugged canyon. Todd and I began hiking up it on Christmas Eve last year but didn't get very far because we started too late in the day and it gets dark early in the canyon in the wintertime. But today in two hours I hiked up to the falls and sat for a spell then hiked back. Here and there you'll find bits of a user trail but I found it's easiest, and coolest, to just put on shorts or capris and a good pair of sandals like Keen's and just hike up through the water of the creek. Even on a day like today, when it was 85 degrees when I started hiking, you can stay relatively cool this way. The last scramble up to the lower tier of the falls is the toughest but is worth it. The waterfall is absolutely beautiful. You can stand beneath it and get the most refreshing of nature's showers. And then sit beside it a spell and watch the hummingbirds buzz around the flowers growing in nooks and crannies in the cliff.

But Bonita Falls is also a place that gets abused... This is a very popular place for people to visit as is the main fork of Lytle Creek below. When it's hot in the valley people love to come up here and go wading and swimming in the creek and picknicking alongside it. But a lot of these people don't know/understand/and or practice principles such as pack-it-in, pack-it-out and Leave No Trace. The Forest Service does its best to educate them and hand out trashbags but they only have limited people who patrol the area and they can only do so much. Good hearted volunteers do some work as well in the canyon. Anyway, I found some trash up at the falls which I fished out of the water and I had to work to crop out the graffiti from some of these photos. I met a mother and daughter up at the falls today who said it wasn't always graffitied up there. The last time they were up there in 2004 there apparently was none. Such a shame. Well, I couldn't do anything about that today but I did tote out the garbage I found.

More photos here http://www.tarol.com/bonitafalls.html

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The mountains are calling and I must go. ~ John Muir ~ www.tarol.com
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Message #4018 of 4034  *NEW*
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Larry Levy  
Re: Too hot to hike? Go creek hiking! Bonita Falls
5/19/08, 8:35am
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Beautiful spot. I didn't know it was there. The only falls in the SBNF I knew of is Forest Falls.

I hate when I see trash left behind like that. People can be so thoughtless.

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" I lift up mine eyes to the hills, whence cometh my help.", Psalm 121
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Message #4020 of 4034  *NEW*
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Robert Jones  
Re: Too hot to hike? Go creek hiking! Bonita Falls
5/20/08, 2:38am
Wonderful

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Message #4021 of 4034  *NEW*
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Carol  
Re: Too hot to hike? Go creek hiking! Bonita Falls
5/20/08, 7:50pm
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Thanks

Here's one more photo... I turned it into black and white.

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The mountains are calling and I must go. ~ John Muir ~ www.tarol.com
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Message #4022 of 4034  *NEW*
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Carol
Larry Levy  
Re: Too hot to hike? Go creek hiking! Bonita Falls
5/21/08, 8:14am
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Wow! That looks like an Ansel Adams photo.

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" I lift up mine eyes to the hills, whence cometh my help.", Psalm 121
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