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2008 Trip Report - Blue Ridge Truck Trail

San Gabriel Mountains Day  Trip

Blue Ridge truck trail

By Marian Johns

The Desert Explorer meeting at our house on July 12 was a short one since we  wanted to be on our way to the Lupine Campground high in the cool San Gabriel  Mountains where we planned to have lunch. Joining us on this splendid day were  Jean and Sunny Hansen, Bob and Nancy Dodd, Marilyn Martin, Jay Lawrence, Leonard  Friedman and daughter, Hannah, Tommy Perasso, Glenda Roach, Jared Fields and  Catherine Mayfield.

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It's only 25 mile from our house to the campground, but it took nearly two hours  to get there. We wasted some time trying, but failing, to buy $5.00 Adventure  Passes for our vehicles at two Ranger Stations they seemed to be totally  unorganized couldn't sell them for reason too complicated to explain. We finally  decided to chance it without the passes. (We later learned that the ticket for  not having a pass is $5.00, so we needn't have bothered wasting all that time.)

Our route took us up Lone Pine Canyon Road to Hwy. 2, through Wrightwood and the  Big Pines junction and on to the Blue Ridge Truck Trail. This is a dirt road  with spectacular views; unfortunately it was very hazy that day. Despite the  haze, we could clearly see Mt. Baldy and its rugged north face very impressive!

After following the ridge for several miles, the road split and we took the  right-hand fork which dropped down, down, down into the San Gabriel River's  Prairie Fork basin. The road was so steep we needed low-range to save the  brakes. Years ago it was possible to drive several miles farther - all the way  to the stream, but now the road ends at the campground. Even so, we enjoyed  eating lunch in the shade of the tall fir trees and chatting with our friends.

Heading back, we made a side trip all the way to the end of the Blue Ridge road  where we oohed and aahed at the desert views. Back on Highway 2, we all headed  home in various directions.

All and all, it was a fun day, with good company.