Mountain Musings


Lovely to See You


While motoring past Crestline’s Liberation Therapies on Lake Drive recently, I took careful notice of the colorful hiking-themed mural on the side of their building, which has inspired me to think about many of the hiking opportunities that exist in our mountaintop area.


“A wonderful day for passing my way. Knock on my door and even the score with your eyes. Lovely to see you again, my friend. Walk along with me to the next bend.” (“Lovely to See You” – Moody Blues – 1969)


Let’s start close to home with a short, easy hike along the Heart Rock Trail down to the legendary Heart Rock. Access to the trailhead is on the paved road off Highway 138 leading to Camp Seeley. Just continue past the camp to the trail, which begins past an iron gate.


A few hundred yards down the dirt trail – which follows the pathway of Seely Creek – will take you to an overlook where you can view a heart-shaped depression, carved by eons of water flowing down the face of Heart Rock Falls.


Continuing a few hundred more feet, you will find a steep trail, which descends to an inviting pond, where you’re likely to encounter children and adults splashing in the usually chilly water. A short jaunt upstream will take you to the bottom of the 35 to 40-foot waterfall.


Wonderful photo opportunities abound in this vicinity. Just remember to transport your trash and debris – and anyone else’s – away from this beautiful, wooded area so others will have an opportunity to photograph and enjoy the many scenic vistas.


Another nearby trail that many are not aware of is the Rock Camp Trail, located off Highway 173 on the back side of Lake Arrowhead, across the highway from the Rock Camp Forest Service Station. This is an easy hike of perhaps one mile that winds through a beautiful ponderosa pine grove. Once there, one will find a rock monument with a plaque commemorating an ancient Serrano Indian village, where a series of rocks with holes known as “metates” ground into them with small rocks called “manos” were used to grind acorns into a powder used to prepare meals.


Just before the Heap’s Peak Transfer Station (county dump) on Highway 18 is Heap’s Peak Arboretum, an excellent nature education location with two interpretive trails. The front part of the arboretum has a short nature trail with an identified native-plant garden and picnic area. The seven-tenths-of-a-mile-long Sequoia Trail, which leads to the largest Sequoia grove in Southern California through the back part of the arboretum, is both handicapped and baby stroller-accessible and has pit bathrooms. The Sequoia Trail Guide lists 25 things to see along the trail.


“Tell us what you’ve seen in faraway forgotten lands where empires have turned back to sand. Wonderful day for passing my way. Knock on my door and even the score with your eyes. Lovely to see you again my friend, walk along with me to the next bend.”


Keep it flyin’ Uncle Mott