Thanks for your comment about curent conditions. This page is maintained with information about "normal" conditions. Certainly this year's rains have added to the flow that crosses the road. I have driven the road in a Honda Civic on occasion.
Thanks for that info. Which trailhead? Holy Jim? If so is the location near to the parking area or where the trail actually starts up the canyon past the last house? I'll integrate your comment in the main text if you can fill me in.
The area for the self issue passes is at the Holy Jim Trail Parking area...not at the trailhead, which is about 1/2 mile up the trail from the parking area...
Your statement to the effect that Trabuco Creek Rd is passable w/o a 4WD is going to lead many car drivers into trouble.
As of 3 April 2005, Trabuco Creek Rd. is 4 miles of rocky, washed out, kidney-wrenching hell and is NOT passable without high-clearance vehicle, owing to the deterioration of the road and high water at 1 or 2 crossings. On the way to the Holy Jim Trailhead, we saw one pair of would-be hikers stalled out in their sedan in the middle of an early creek-crossing. It was just as well; they would not have made it past all of the others!! Even in our 4WD vehicle, we were greatly relieved to have made it through in daylight. On our return trip, after nightfall, we found the road even more hair-raising.
(May 20, 2005) FYI, Trabuco Creek Road is fairly manageable in a passenger sedan. (I have a VW Beetle... fairly low-slung) Top speed is only about 8 miles per hour. Allow about 45-50 minutes each way for the 4.6 mile trip. Also, there's one point almost exactly at the halfway point where you have to "walk" to car painfully slowly over the rockbeds because there is no alternative. It levels out a bit after that though. It helps also to have a lot of nerve, determination, and about an hour's worth of previous experience driving off-road. Hope this helps.
Drove to the Holy Jim trailhead yesterday in my Honda Civic, your description still applies. No problem as long as you know what you are doing and take it slow where necessary. However, this would change after rains.
Adventure day passes may be self issued/purchased at the trail head using the "drop-box" (which is actually more of a rust colored pipe). Simply include $5.00 payment with information listed on the envelope and drop into the "box". Be sure to remove the detachable form from the envelope and place in plain view in your car with pertinent information listed.
Just so potential users know, camping at O'Neill is $15/night, plus a one-time (i.e. just for the first night, if you're staying multiple nights) $15 "processing" fee
Thx for the info Diggler. I'll post it on the page. Scott
Whoops, figured out I mis-posted one of the numbers- "processing fee" is $12/night, reg. camping fees $15/night.
Easy to fix. No problema. Thx.
The first recorded ascent took place in 1853 by a group of lawmen who were pursuing horse thieves up Coldwater Canyon. The second recorded ascent is the one you refer to in 1861. See page 145 in Afoot & Afield In Orange County by Jerry Schad.
A good addition I will work in. Local historian and author Ken Croker cites one earlier ascent in 1850 by Major Horace Bell and party. I can't confirm either's source. I knew them both and they have both passed. I know Ken relied quite a bit on another local named Jim Sleeper for historical information.
Hiked to the towers 3/29/2016. Started out at 5:00am with 2 others. Totally dark but we had great lighting. Reached the top about 3 1/2 hours later. Starting the walk I got very warm and took off cap and gloves. Upon reaching the top we found EVERY bush coated in ice. The towers were completely cover in ice and it all came crashing down with a loud sound. We checked the temperature at the top and it was 37 degrees. With the wind chill factor we estimated it to be around 20 degrees. Put gloves and hat on very quickly. Been up there twice in the last 6 months. Fun ( very hard hike as I've had a knee replaced and am now 66)