One of the most elegant plants in North America grows only in a few selected location throughout California, most of which are in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Beneficiaries of cold winters and cool summers, most of this species is content to thrive in other montane locales in the Intermountain West and more frigid reaches of Canada and the United States. In Southern California, two stands of these rare tranquil trees grow only within the eastern San Bernardino Mountains. The larger, far more frequently visited, and now burned grove is known simply as "Aspen Grove" in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. At its peak it was quite frankly among the most spectacular jewels of the region as the trees graced gurgling Fish Creek. However, the devastating 2015 Lake Fire has not only kept the trail to them closed at the time of this writing, but the grove itself has burned to the ground. This is only a bad thing for us mortals, as the Aspen are fire-hardy individuals who thrive in rebirth through ash-laden soil. It will be many decades though for this grove, and indeed the entire wilderness, to reach its same level of sublimity prior to the raging inferno.
Fortunately for arborists, there is another grove of these trembling trees, completely off-trail, unsigned, and hidden from everyday visitors tucked into the creek bed of an inconspicuous eastern range drainage. This is the hidden Arrastre Creek Aspen Grove, filled with hundreds of this locally extremely rare beauty in a vale practically uninvited and unseen by even the most experienced of hikers. This is unfortunate, because it is really quite a simple trip that could be made by most with reasonable hiking ability and excellent route finding.
In order to keep this grove secret and untouched, there will be no directions posted publicly here to the location of this noble and delicate grove. If you are interested in visiting the grove, I ask that you comment below with a brief resume of your outdoor experience and why you wish to visit the trees. Please do not take this as pride, but a measure to keep this trees unspoiled for generations to come. Also note, there will be no write-up, but only pictures. A trail guide may be requested by the reader to view.
Elevation Gain: 700'
Location: San Bernardino National Forest
Directions: (See Above Request)
Hiked: 9/16/2017. No Adventure Pass Required.
|Road heading down into Arrastre Creek|
|Trailside Flower in Sept.|
|Behind this tree...|
|First glimpses of Fall coming...|
|Beautiful White bark|