Ways Down Skyline/C2C other than Tram?

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Ways Down Skyline/C2C other than Tram?

Postby BackcountryMike » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:37 pm

Are there any points along the trail or at the peak area where someone can pick you up and drive you down?
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Re: Ways Down Skyline/C2C other than Tram?

Postby Florian » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:25 am

No pickup points along the Skyline itself. However once you're on the summit you can exit to Idyllwild area via multiple routes.
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Re: Ways Down Skyline/C2C other than Tram?

Postby Florian » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:30 am

The state park has a pretty good map on their park brochure showing trails on the mtn. Scroll to the bottom for the map. Note that Skyline trail is not shown.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/636/files/MtSanJacintoSPFinalWebLayout2018.pdf
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Re: Ways Down Skyline/C2C other than Tram?

Postby Ed » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:25 am

Personally, I hate the free State Park maps. The trails are not in bold contrasting colors, the waypoints are not labeled with elevation. I've seen people standing at trail junctions and studying that map with a puzzled look on their face more than once, and then asking me where they are and which way to go. The Tom Harrison Mt. San Jacinto map is far better, covers a larger area, and is available in both 'paper' and digital. The digital version is a pdf file which is readable on your smartphone with the free Avenza app, and will give you your current location on the map.

As Perry pointed out elsewhere, the best down route to Idyllwild from the Long Valley/Ranger Station/Tram Station area at the end of Skyline would be by the Willow Creek trail to Saddle Junction, via the Hidden Divide, and then down to Humber Park on the Devil's Slide trail. From the summit, the trail down to Saddle Junction via Wellman's Divide would be the best. The digital Tom Harrison map would be very helpful if you made a wrong turn. But these are not easy exits in either case. And the tram station is expected to be open on Monday. And I'm not even sure two of the three highways to Idyllwild are fully open yet. And as Florian pointed out, no exits from Skyline itself, until you arrive at Long Valley, which is one of the features of the trail that makes it distinctively difficult and hazardous. A great deal of grief has resulted from people trying to take shortcuts down from Skyline.
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Re: Ways Down Skyline/C2C other than Tram?

Postby Florian » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:15 pm

Ed wrote:Personally, I hate the free State Park maps. The trails are not in bold contrasting colors, the waypoints are not labeled with elevation. I've seen people standing at trail junctions and studying that map with a puzzled look on their face more than once, and then asking me where they are and which way to go.

I don't think it's a bad map. It does have elevation contours. I'd bet the confusion you are seeing on people's faces is that they just don't know how to read a map.

Also per my other post tramway to remain closed until 10/7.
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Re: Ways Down Skyline/C2C other than Tram?

Postby Ed » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:44 am

Yes, it is ok as a topographical map. The reason I hate it is because it could be so easily improved, by using a bold contrasting color for the trails, and marking trail junctions, etc. with elevation. You would think magnetic declination should be there also, though I am sure few people adjust for it, or need to, in our area. The Cuyamaca State Park map is the same, so I suppose it is a common format for all the State Park maps.

Thanks for your efforts to keep people apprised of the tram closure, Florian. Had I put up a warning sign that was removed, I would still be in outer space.
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Re: Ways Down Skyline/C2C other than Tram?

Postby Sally » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:15 pm

I believe that it is every hiker's responsibility to research every hike before they put a foot on the trail, even if they have done the trail before. At minimum, check the weather report within 12 hours of departing. Other things to check could be trail conditions (downed trees, washouts for example), trail closures, access to and from trailheads (roads AND TRAMS, for example).

Also, there needs to be a plan "B" in case things don't go as planned on the trail, such as injury, or getting lost, or your expected means of return is not available (for example: the trail is on fire or the tram is closed. Always have at least the minimum of what it would take to spend the night in the particular area and weather in which you are hiking. This should be extra food and something to keep you warm enough. This could be anything from a just a windbreaker for a very short day hike in the desert to extra warm clothing and a bivy sack for ventures into higher elevations where it can get cold at night. Also, you need a map or knowledge of the trail so you can get back to civilization if your original plan is not feasible.

For your information, there is NEVER a GUARANTEE that the Tram will be running to whisk you back down the mountain, whether you just did Skyline or took a day hike to the Peak from the upper tram station. Besides being closed for annual maintenance, the tram could shut down because of weather (wind, ice on cables, lightning strikes), unforeseeable mechanical issues, or security reasons to name a few.
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