Wright Mountain, Pine Mountain #1, Dawson Peak, Circle Mountain, Gobblers Knob
By: Lou Brecheen
Leaders: Lou Brecheen, Ron Jones
From Highway 2, six miles west of Wrightwood, the "dirt road" leading south along Blue Ridge is now paved. The sign pointing the way to Blue Ridge Campground and Guffy CG is no longer in evidence. Still, eight mountaineers found the meeting place and drove out to Guffy CG, where we left a vehicle to hold a campsite.
Then we took the left fork in the road a half-mile below Guffy and drove two more miles to the start of the Devil's Backbone Trail and parked six vehicles. The steep, east bank above the road slowed us but could not keep us from bagging Wright Mountain in about 15 minutes.
We returned to the cars and picked up packs with lunch, water (and of course, the rest of the ten essentials) and started off down the Devil's Backbone to climb Pine and Dawson. That is a moderately strenuous hike along a trail which is not easy. It is not difficult, but it is not easy.
We had lunch in the shade of a small pine tree at about the 9,000 foot level and then continued on to the summit of Pine Mountain. Don't allow yourself to be led onto the lower of two trails which appear about 500 feet below the summit of Pine. I did and had to scramble up the steep rock slope to the top, from the west.
After identifying every peak in sight, we dropped down the very steep trail to the saddle south of Pine and then followed the much more gradual trail up Dawson Peak. It was enjoyable because of the nice trail and the good stand of Fir and Pine trees.
We relaxed there for awhile, watching a number of people leaving the summit of Mt Baldy. There must have been a jillion of them. When Ron reminded us that we were cutting into our "party time", everyone hustled to leave and get back to the cars and the short drive back to Guffy Campground.
We set up an hors d'ouevre table beneath tall pines and soon had it covered with all sorts of good things to eat-and drink. Before long, here came Asher Waxman to join us. And, shortly after that, Tom Neely came stalking through the woods. We enjoyed a nice, subdued campfire with anecdotes and tall tales. Most of us were pretty tired from the day's activities and were in our sacks by 9:00PM.
Sunday dawned beautiful and clear, except for the smoky residue from the socalled "Texas" fire over on Cucamonga. After breakfast we drove back to Wrightwood and turned off on Lone Pine Canyon Road and followed it two miles to the parking area for Circle Mountain. That took about 45 minutes to hike up and about the same to return to the cars. Then down the paved road to the Lytle Creek Divide road (which does not have any sign there now) where we turned west and drove up to the road end below Gobbler's Knob. All ten of us made it the half mile and 500 foot gain to the top. Upon returning to the cars, we called the whole thing off and sent everyone home. Thanks to Ron for a good co-lead and to all the members for being active participants and contributors to the good time, which, I trust, was had by all.
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