Condor Peak Trail
Condor Peak Trail Restoration:  Work  Day #2, Riding in!

Condor Peak Trail Restoration: Work Day #2, Riding in!

On December 22nd, a group of Lowelifes RCC volunteers went up to Condor Peak. After reviewing with our USFS liaison, Bryce Hofmann, we had a straightforward plan for working the upper stretch of the Condor Peak Trail.

The plan was to meet at Mill Creek at 8:00 and drive cars up to Lightning Point Campground. There we would prepare the bike trailers to haul all the tools we needed for the day. Volunteers had packable tools as well.

All photos by Ester Song

10 volunteers rode bikes while 4 hauled heavy trailers of tools in and out of the work site.
BOB trailers with thru axles from Robert Axle Project allow our volunteers to haul loads of tools

We left Lightning Point around 10:00 and arrived at the work site considerably faster than when we drove cars. Near the shortest day of the year, we decided 14:00 would be a good time to pack out. Lightning Point is 6 miles and 1,100 feet higher than the top of Condor Peak Trail via 3N32 Mendenhall Ridge Rd.

Riding bikes to the work site was much faster than driving vehicles on the fire road.

It was great to see how well the work from 11/23-24 looked after all the recent heavy winter storms. It was satisfying to see the trail taking shape and all the great work our volunteers are doing.

The plan was to tackle the heavily overgrown brush in the remaining ~1 mile to reach the Condor Saddle.

The brush we encountered was thick and overgrown throughout the trail bed.

We hit remarkably heavy brush early on and our goal of reaching the saddle was recognized immediately as wishful thinking. We were completely inundated with chamise, chaparral whitethorn, and manzanita. Ultimately, we were able to complete heavy brushing along an additional ~0.5 miles of the Condor Peak Trail. It is important to note that this section will require additional attention to be passable for multi-use. As planned, we began to pack out of the work site at 14:00.

Winter weather gave us favorable conditions to use power tools in the heavy brush

A few snowflakes fell on us as we enjoyed a beautiful bike ride back up Mendenhall Ridge. We returned to Lightning Point by 16:00 and the volunteers were treated to a DIY sandwich buffet, chips, and drinks. After relaxing and making sure to “leave no trace,” we made it back to Mill Creek just after sundown.

39 individual volunteers have now participated in the Condor Peak Trail Restoration project totaling 518 hours.

Below is a map that shows our progress thus far. The Blue track is progress from the 11/2019 work days and the Red track is from the work on 12/22.

Board director, Erik Hillard edited a short video of the 12/22 “ride to work” day available on Vimeo below. Definitely worth checking it out!

191225_LRCC_Condor_DirectorsCut from Erik Hillard on Vimeo.

To stay informed of upcoming volunteer opportunities, follow us on Instagram @lowelifesrcc or send us an email & join our mailing list. Our inaugural trail work and campout report with photos is up on our website at trail-restoration/.

We are currently seeking donations to purchase additional tools vital to completing the Condor Peak Trail Restoration Project.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation please reach out to us via email. Even the smallest amount helps!

Lowelifes Respectable Citizens’ Club is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to maintaining and preserving access to trails in the Angeles National Forest for all users.

Special thanks to the dedicated volunteers, supporters, and our partners, Bryce Hofmann and Michael Paniagua, at the US Forest Service!

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