7 of us climbed (on mt. bikes) the fairly overgrown but beautiful Holy Jim Trail to the Main Divide. 5 of us made it all the way to the summit. The 8 creek crossings and waterfalls are flowing very well. There is even a spring with water available about 3/4 the way up to the Main Divide where the rocks from old silver mining cross the trail.
We left the HJ parking lot at around 9AM in the heavy mist, fog, and drizzle. 3 of the guys in our group rode from their houses in Laguna Nigel, Garden Grove and Aliso Viejo. That was more than 27 miles already!! I opted to meet them at the trailhead like most normal people.
While ascending the HJ trail the flowers and sage was nearly overtaking the trail in some sport. If hike this trail when it is a "June gloom" day you will likely get wet as the air was so saturated it was condensing on all the plants and consequently spraying over anything that brushed by it. As we got higher...close to 4000' the fog was really thick (probably the middle of the cloud bank). We all hope that we would poke through the clouds when hitting the summit, but were weren't optimistic.
The trail was smoother and more rideable at higher elevations. The last section of trail before the Main Divide was very steep and loose (hike-a-bike time). After taking a well deserved rest at the Main Divide and beginning to chill because of our soak clothes and the 51 degree temps, we headed up the extremely rocky, and loose trail to the summit of the High point in Orange County.
It was a difficult climb on the rocky fireroad to the summit not because it was incredibly steep, but because the jagged, loose rocks that were quite slippery in the mist and light drizzle.
Finally WE MADE IT!!!!!! And guess what…blue sky and 360 degree views! We clearly could see Mt San Gorgonio and the 10K ft ridge off the NE. It was so cool to be above the clouds. We were just on the top of the clouds so it the vies were sporadic, but the sun definitely felt good and helped dry us out.
It was a long slippery decent on narrow singletrack but all in all it was a good day. I was glad I didn’t have to ride all the way home like the 3 other guys.
FYI: for those of you that hike with cell phones (I don’t personally because they typically useless in mt terrain and take away from the isolation experience for me) don’t expect reception anywhere on this hike. Even though you are right next to the huge towers on the summit my buddies had not even a hint of a signal.
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