Saturday, February 3, 2018

HEART ROCK FALLS CRESTLINE

We decided to head to the Heart Rock Falls (Seely Creek Falls) near Crestline for an easy hike, while I was in California last year. Neither my boyfriend nor I had ever known about it all these years. Have to say it is a lovely little hidden gem. Only knew about the Heart Rock through one of the recommended sight-seeing spots on my AirB&B booking (it was a family trip that lasted till end Oct though I stayed on till mid-November).

How to get there:
Take the 210 freeway, then onto CA-18/N Waterman Ave, then Highway 138 towards Crestline. Pass a few junctions and when you reach a brown sign 'Camp Seely' & its barricaded carpark, follow left on a narrow single-lane dirt road, yes you can drive through this although we had doubts at first. At the end of this road you will see a small parking area straight ahead (maybe good for 5 cars) and a barricade that starts the trail.



The drive up the mountains are always nice. The general consensus is that there is nothing much going for San Bernardino, although the national forests and surrounding mountains are totally worth checking out.


This is the start of one of the trail heads that is just at the end of the parking lot, past the barricade. I came here on two separate occasions. At the end of the post I will show the other trail.

This is the easier trail if you'd like a stroll first, it is evenly paved, nicely shaded, sometimes the wind gets gusty and cold.

The other trail is towards the bottom of the hill (right).

After about a mile stroll, you will come to this sign that directs you downwards right.
This hike is about 1.7 to 2 miles round trip. There is a bit of a slope and slippery areas (because of all the fallen loose leaves) after this paved area to get to the rocks so you can bring a hiking stick or wear proper shoes if you are not used to it. If you have climacophobia or bathmophobia or vertigo, please bring those and tell the phobias to pipe down and not disrupt your fun activities (at least that's what I do).

This is the descending slope, after that you will see some useful graffiti to know you're on the right track. It is probably a bit steeper than it looks in the photos.

The Heart Rock is after this rock ledge. A couple was ahead of us, walking their cute puppy.



I gingerly climbed and peered over the edge of the cliff. Aw it's dried up! It did rain last week though but I guess there was just insufficient water.
Sweet. I plan to come back when there's a waterfall going.
Wanted to go down there, but don't know how high we were up here, but yep it may spell death if I slip.

Oh yes, there was an incident at this spot. I saw an animal foraging in the high forest on the opposite bank but thought it was the couple's huskie puppy, but something wasn't quite right in its gait. So I asked boyfriend to look again for me as I have pretty bad eyesight even with my glasses. He said 'Yeah? It's their dog.'. Then I thought it was strange they were comfortable letting the puppy roam in the wild without supervision. And then I looked again at the couple and saw they were holding the dog. Hey..... if that's the puppy down there, then what was that I just saw?! Turned out it was a bobcat. Both grey, and similar sized. Bobcat has bigger hind legs. Dammit... By the time we figured that out, we missed our chances to take pictures/ film it! I mean what if I'd just spotted Bigfoot lol. Trust my gut instinct the next time and snap first, ask later!

 Ah well. We didn't want any trouble with wild animals so finished our food before climbing down.
It's nice. Granite I think? Unfortunately there are some graffiti and litter around.

Wondering how I was to climb back up later? Well the same way I climbed down sorta.

The creek was almost dry.
I do not recommend going in the water but I know some people do, um leeches, folks. The water's pretty stagnant at this point and the leaves are rotting. We've had experience with leeches in the stream near Waterman Canyon, which may be linked to this. Not fun. Traumatised for life lol.
After that it was getting late so we climbed back up where we came from. This is the nice view driving back to civilisation.

****

Okay I mentioned the other lower trail closer to the creek, from the parking lot you go down the slope, past the swimming pool at Camp Seely.
The view will look something like this after a short walk. It is a winding dirt path,  and rather uneven terrain. It goes uphill and downhill with some treading on small boulders and rocks. It is less windy. You can choose this way but I felt it was a bit more tiring.


We went further down the valley for this 2nd trip but came a bit too late in the afternoon so had to turn back shortly after.

Just to note I left one of my walking sticks (it was just a long branch I found in the stream) propped against a tree for whoever wants to use it. 14th or 15th November 2017, and you're most welcome lol.

Thanks for reading and see you in my next post.