Three Points to Twin Peaks, Waterman Mt.
Gain: 5000 ft (4200 ft if out-and-back to Twin Peaks)
Distance: 14 miles
One of my favorite hiking areas, but from a different trail.
With the Saturday hike cancelled, had to come up with something nice on Sunday. Well, it doesn’t get much nicer than the Waterman / Twin Peaks area of the San Gabriels.
I had previously hiked the two mountains from Buckhorn, but never got around to using the trail from Three Points, so we decided to do that. I was surprised that the HPS description said that this out and back would be over 5100′ of elevation gain. I wasn’t sure it would be that much, but knew it would be a good hike.
We set out from Three Points, briefly following the PCT before staying right at a fork where the PCT goes left. We followed the trail as it wrapped around the curves of the southern face of Waterman Mt. The views are very nice on this trail, but I especially enjoyed the large boulder sprawled out at random locations along the way. The trail has a reasonble grade, gaining perhaps 1600 ft over 5 miles.
We intersected the trail heading down from Buckhorn, and descended down to Twin Peaks saddle. Soon I was reminded of the calf-burning steepness of this ascent. Perhaps 1/2 of the way up, we came across a patch of snow. We crossed a few more snowfields on the ascent, but all of them were soft and could easily be avoidable if needed.
We got up to the East Twin for lunch. It is worth descending from the summit maybe 100 ft east to a nice pyramidal rock which gives expansive views to the south and east.
Afterward, we headed back down. One hiker (Lee) had not summited Waterman before, so I went with him and the other two headed back the same way we came.
We followed the trail up to Buckhorn for maybe 1/2 mile past the Three Points trail junction and then just ascended cross country, generally aimed at the peak. The terrain of this area is very forgiving and makes such ascents very enjoyable and easy. We made the peak and checked out the views from various boulders.
A guy came hiking up that I realized was a ranger. Then I realized he was the same ranger I had an altercation with before! Well he didn’t recognize me and we said our hellos, luckily nothing more than that.
Lee and I then descended the west ridge of Waterman. It is steep in a few spots, but pretty reasonable overall. Lots more nice landscape and cool boulders. After 3 miles we hit the Three Points trail and soon after were back at the car. A very nice hike.
For the way I went, it was about 14 miles and 5000′ gain. For the normal out and back route, it was about the same mileage but 4200′ gain.
Raven hanging out, me making weird noises
birds whistling, if you can hear it
This entry was posted on Monday, May 4th, 2009 at 12:26 pm and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.