Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spruce Grove- Backpacking & Camping trip




Ava and I are back from our 1 night backpacking and camping at the Spruce Grove camp, located at the Angeles National Forest. It was an amazing first time experience, backpacking and camping!

We did a pretty good job packing and could of stayed another couple of nights with all the food supplies and clothes that I carried. Plus the running creek along the trail and at the campsite would provide plenty of water to drink from (using water filter/pump recommended).


Once we arrived to the campsite, Ava wasn’t ready to settle in yet. So after setting up the tent, we hiked another 3 more miles (roundtrip) and checked out Mt. Zion.  (Spruce Grove campsite, continue on the main Gabrielino trail to Mt. Zion Entrance Summit, 1.5 miles) That is exactly what we did. Overall we hiked 7 miles and Ava was ready to rest and I was ready for some Malbec (wine;)
Mt. Zion Entrance Summit

The campsite has picnic tables and the fire-pits (fire-permit required). There are 2 bathrooms (bring your own TP). 

Hiking details:
Adventure pass is required (REI sells them) and displayed in your car. Park at the Chantry Flats Parking Lot or on the side of the main road, behind double white lines (parking violation ticket). The trail sign are in a good condition and well-defined.

Total hike distance from the main parking lot to Spruce Grove campsite: 4 miles using Gabrielino trail. 
The 1st mile, the Gabrielino trail splits into Upper and Lower Trails and then joins again after about 2 miles. The last mile is shaded and goes along the running creek with few crossings over it (be prepared to get your shoes/feet wet depending on the water level at the creek).
Then you are here  ;)
Here ;)
Gabrielino Trail: Lower and Upper
A lit bit about the Gabrielino trail split: Lower trail climbs above the beautiful waterfall and some areas of the trail are narrow and of the cliff. If you are scared of the heights, I would recommend you to take the Upper Trail to get to the Spruce Grove campground. Upper trail is an easier trail to hike on. However, the Lower trail is more scenery. We took the Upper trail to get to the Spruce Grove camp. On our way back, we took the Lower trail and that was a perfect combo. We didn’t miss anything.

This hike is recommended during the week. The reason is the parking. This area is popular during the week-end and if you are not at the parking lot by 630am the latest, you will need to find a parking spot along the road. We arrived at 7am and found a parking spot about 1 mile away from the main parking lot/entrance.

Please, let me know if you have any questions about the trail or have any to recommend? 
Spruce Grove Backpacking & Camping pictures!                                                                
                                                                         Cheers!-Ella
Feeling safe with Ava ;)


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