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Opinion: The State of The Trail to White Saddle

If you enjoy the hills above Monrovia, you may be wondering when the trail to White Saddle will reopen. I just have some new information, and from that information I would say, No time soon.

Uphill from the Trask Boy Scout Camp much of the fire road is covered with weeds, ruts and debris, and occasional landslides - a few large ones but mostly small. This is not part of Monrovia but is National Forest territory and clearly nothing at all has been done to the road since the flooding following the Bobcat Fire. However, this could all be easily handled with a tractor.

At points where water crosses the road there are some deep ruts, sometimes five or six feet deep. Again, a tractor could fill these in with little effort.

And there are quite a few fallen trees. This is what chainsaws are for.

This is the general state of the fire road up to and maybe a quarter of a mile past the restrooms where the turnoff to the ruins of the Ben Overturff cabin is. It seems to me that the road up to the restrooms and Overturff cabin turnoff is fairly easily fixable. It could again be a nice hike or bicycle ride.


Maybe a quarter of a mile above the turnoff is a gap in the road maybe 30 or 40 feet deep into which you could easily fall and die. A trail might be constructed around it but to fix the road itself looks like a huge, expensive task.

My feeling is that at least the road up to the Overturff cabin turnoff should be fixed and set to open when Canyon Park reopens. If a hiking trail could be constructed around any road gaps such as this one, that would be nice as well.

 - Brad Haugaard


  1. This reason alone is why I wasn’t a big fan of extended the national forest boundaries in the San Gabriel’s. It really wasn’t a reason to celebrate as they aren’t living up to their end of the bargain.

  2. I think some people think that declaring this part of the National Forest a “National Monument” means there’s more money to maintain it. I haven’t heard or read anything that suggests changing its name means more money. Be nice if I’m wrong.

    - Brad Haugaard

    1. That was selling point from a number of the local politicians.

  3. Bummer for me, white saddle was my weekend (and occasional summer evening) ride for more than a decade; hope I’m still in good enough shape to get up there again if it ever reopens