Mountain Bridge Wilderness Hike (El Lieutenant)
Hike #1 - Saturday, March 19, 2011
Twelve hikers in the group. Dan Waslin, Terri Shaluly, Ron Howitz, Alan Toney, Glara
Burge, John Winterbury, Laura Arnold, Trudy Bruns, Jan Snower, Ann Sullivan, Steve
Acres and the hike leader.
We started at the Caesars Head Ranger Station Trailhead. Hiked Frank Coggins #15,
including the loop, returning to the junction with the Coldspring Connector (#7). There
were several young folks at the junction - two with guitars. They strummed a little music,
then we went onto the Coldspring Connector, turned right onto Cold Spring Branch (#3)
with several rock-hopping creek crossings along the way; left onto Bill Kimball (#5) with
its easy, then moderate, then steep ascent to the base of El Lieutenant. Scrambled over
rocks, sometimes using roots and branches for hand-holds, to the top of the rock, then up
an easy grade to a lunch spot. Before this point in time, our group had agreed to divide
into to two units; the faster group stopped for lunch at the junction of Bill Kimball &
Cold Spring. We re-connected there. Turned left onto Coldspring, descended to another
creek crossing, then an unwelcome ascent to the intersection with Frank Coggins. From
there it was a short ½ mile easy hike back to the trailhead.
It was very warm going. The 5 or-more creek crossings were a little challenging because
of high water from recent rains, but most of the crossing rocks were exposed if a little
wet. Most of the hikers had two trekking poles which were very helpful during the
crossings and highly recommended for this hike.
The trails were well maintained and marked with posts or painted blazes - some on rocks
near the face of El Lieutenant.
Thanks to Ron Howitz for faithfully maintaining his duty as sweep.
Advertised as 7.5 Miles, 1500 ft EG; Strenuous. GPS readings on two occasions indicate
the mileage is ‘close enough’, but the elevation gain is closer to 2000 ft; if so, the rating
should be VS.
See related photographs in Photo Albums>2011> 3/19/11 Mtn Bridge Wilderness.