STONEHOUSE TRAIL PATROL 3/12/14

WATER LEVELS

     Stonehouse:  The water level in the stream is still very good and running clear after the        recent storms at Stonehouse.  There has been some severe flash floods so don't be surprised if your favorite swimming hole is gone!

TRAIL CONDITIONS

     Stonehouse Trail : From the Middle Fork Trailhead to the first trail junction at mile 0.6 the trail is in good condition.  From the junction down to StoneHouse the trail has one minor wash out that can be easily crossed.  The flash floods have re-arranged the creek but it is still passable at both crossings.

    Middle Fork Trail Condition: From the junction with StoneHouse trail at mi 0.6 to the junction with Stonehouse trail at mi 1.7 the trail has had several major washouts from recent flash floods but is passable.  Just be careful at the 1.0 mile wash.

 

OTHER

A new sign at the Middle Fork Trail Head has been posted reminding everyone that Wilderness Permits are required in the Cucamonga Wilderness at mile 1.7.  See the website for more information.

Trail crews will be out in the next few weeks to start repairing the storm damage.

Remember we have had a dry winter so fire restrictions are still in place - CAMPFIRES ARE NOT PERMITTED.

 

 

Water Levels Report Updated 11/16/2013

Water availability

  • Stonehouse Camp:  Water flow Very GOOD (Updated: 11/16/2013)
  • Third Stream Crossing / Camp: Water flow MODERATE (updated: 11/16/2013)
  • Commanche Camp: Water flow NONE. However, about 1000ft up the trail (towards the summit), there is a spring to the left of the trail with enough flow to re-supply. The Spring source is off the trail about 50ft (Updated: 11/16/2013)

Always treat drinking water from backcountry sources

Water sources may be contaminated by unseen pollutants.

While the clear water in that cold mountain stream may look inviting, there may be a number of harmful parasites or bacteria floating in it. Particularly troublesome is Giardia lamblia, a microscopic parasite that can be found in fresh waters. Ingestion of Giardia causes intestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and cramps that may last several months. To avoid the risk of ingesting this organism, treat all water before drinking it.

Water treatment methods include:

  • Water filters. The most convenient method of water treatment is a lightweight filtration system consisting of a pump and filter material capable of trapping Giardia. Though somewhat expensive, the filtration system is an increasingly popular alternative. Read the label to see if the filter is effective against Giardia.

  • Iodine. Iodine tablets (Potable Aqua) or solution of iodine (Polar Pure) is far cheaper, easy to use, lightweight, and take up hardly any space in a pack. Iodine treatment can take 20 minutes or longer, and the effectiveness is lessened in cold or murky water. Read the label to see if the manufacturer guarantees the effectiveness against Giardia, and follow directions for use. Chemical treatment can give a mild unpleasant taste to the water. If desired, add powdered, flavored drink mix to the water to improve the taste. (Note that iodine can have unwanted health consequences, especially in people with thyroid disease, pregnant women, and individuals with shellfish allergies.)

  • Chlorine based treatment. An alternative to iodine is chlorine based products commercially sold for water treatment (Aquamira). Just as easy to use as iodine with out the potential downsides of iodine. Household chlorine bleach should not be used as there are no accepted dosage instructions fro treating water in the backcountry.

  • Boiling water. Keep water at a boil for at least one minute (up to five minutes at high altitudes). Boiling water is a reliable method of destroying Giardia.

Water Levels report updated 7/27/13

Water availability

  • Stonehouse Camp:  Water flow Very GOOD (Updated: 7/27/2013)
  • Third Stream Crossing / Camp: Water flow MODERATE (updated: 7/27/2013)
  • Commanche Camp: Water flow Very LOW, bring water, not recommneded for filtering/re-supply (Updated: 7/27/2013)

Always treat drinking water from backcountry sources

Water sources may be contaminated by unseen pollutants.

While the clear water in that cold mountain stream may look inviting, there may be a number of harmful parasites or bacteria floating in it. Particularly troublesome is Giardia lamblia, a microscopic parasite that can be found in fresh waters. Ingestion of Giardia causes intestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and cramps that may last several months. To avoid the risk of ingesting this organism, treat all water before drinking it.

Water treatment methods include:

  • Water filters. The most convenient method of water treatment is a lightweight filtration system consisting of a pump and filter material capable of trapping Giardia. Though somewhat expensive, the filtration system is an increasingly popular alternative. Read the label to see if the filter is effective against Giardia.

  • Iodine. Iodine tablets (Potable Aqua) or solution of iodine (Polar Pure) is far cheaper, easy to use, lightweight, and take up hardly any space in a pack. Iodine treatment can take 20 minutes or longer, and the effectiveness is lessened in cold or murky water. Read the label to see if the manufacturer guarantees the effectiveness against Giardia, and follow directions for use. Chemical treatment can give a mild unpleasant taste to the water. If desired, add powdered, flavored drink mix to the water to improve the taste. (Note that iodine can have unwanted health consequences, especially in people with thyroid disease, pregnant women, and individuals with shellfish allergies.)

  • Chlorine based treatment. An alternative to iodine is chlorine based products commercially sold for water treatment (Aquamira). Just as easy to use as iodine with out the potential downsides of iodine. Household chlorine bleach should not be used as there are no accepted dosage instructions fro treating water in the backcountry.

  • Boiling water. Keep water at a boil for at least one minute (up to five minutes at high altitudes). Boiling water is a reliable method of destroying Giardia.

Fire Danger is now "Very High"

Fire Danger Level: Very High

fire-danger-level-vh.gif

When the fire danger is "very high", fires will start easily from most causes.  The fires will spread rapidly and have a quick increase in intensity, right after ignition.  Small fires can quickly become large fires and exhibit extreme fire intensity, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirls.  These fires can be difficult to control and will often become much larger and longer-lasting fires. (Source: USDA Forest Service)

Fire restrictions effective Friday June 28, 2013

Fire Restriction update from the USDA Forest Service, San Bernardino:

USDA Forest Service, San Bernardino, Calif., June 20, 2013 – As the seasonal fire danger rises, forest officials are increasing fire use restrictions on the San Bernardino National Forest on Friday, June 28, 2013.

This past winter the forest experienced less than average winter snow and rainfall as a result of the second year of a drought, and the seasonal outlook again expects a warmer and drier summer this year with below average summer “monsoonal” rains, which could create the potential for large fires. 

Forest officials are taking these steps to prevent human-caused fires and raise public awareness.  Most wildfires on the San Bernardino National Forest are human-caused and increased restrictions are designed to reduce wildland fires.  Forest visitors are reminded to exercise caution when visiting the National Forest and maintain a higher level of awareness with the increased fire risk.

Travelers and visitors can do the following to prevent wildland fires:

  • Be informed and abide by all fire restrictions.
  • Vehicles should always remain on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass.
  • Use extreme caution around open flames or heat-producing sources.
  • Motorists, use your car ashtray instead of tossing cigarettes out the window.  Also be aware that hot brake shoes, hot exhaust systems, overheating of vehicles and dragging tow chains can cause fires - Keep tow chains high and off the ground.
  • Report all suspicious activities to law enforcement

Fire restrictions and guidelines effective Friday June 28, 2013 on the San Bernardino National Forest are as follows:

  • Wood and charcoal fires are permitted only in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds and within agency provided fire rings or camp stoves.
  • Wood and charcoal fires are not permitted at Yellow Post campsites, Fisherman’s Camp, Cedar Springs, or the following Pacific Crest Trail Camps:
  • Bench Camp
  • Deer Springs
  • Doble
  • Holcomb Crossing
  • Little Bear Springs
  • Mission Springs
    • Campfire permits are required for propane and gas stoves and lanterns used outside of all developed recreation sites.
    • Recreational shooting is limited to Public Shooting Ranges operated under special use permit only, except those engaged in legal hunting.
    • An approved spark arrester is required for any internal combustion engine operated on designated forest routes. These include chainsaws, generators, motorcycles, and off-highway vehicles.
    • Smoking is limited to an enclosed vehicle or building, or within a Developed Recreation Site.
    • Fireworks are always prohibited on the San Bernardino National Forest.

The US Forest Service will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both, as Class B misdemeanors under federal law.  Persons may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.

Forest visitors are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” and call ahead to the local Ranger Station to check on location conditions and restrictions at the following offices:

Lytle Creek Ranger Station
1209 Lytle Creek Road, Lytle Creek
(909) 382-2851

Mill Creek Visitor Center
34701 Mill Creek Road, Mentone
(909) 382-2881

 

Water levels report 6/20/2013

Water availability

  • Stonehouse Camp:  Water flow GOOD (Updated: 6/20/2013)
  • Third Stream Crossing / Camp: Water flow GOOD (updated: 6/20/2013)
  • Commanche Camp: Water flow LOW (Updated: 6/20/2013)

Always treat drinking water from backcountry sources

Water sources may be contaminated by unseen pollutants.

While the clear water in that cold mountain stream may look inviting, there may be a number of harmful parasites or bacteria floating in it. Particularly troublesome is Giardia lamblia, a microscopic parasite that can be found in fresh waters. Ingestion of Giardia causes intestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and cramps that may last several months. To avoid the risk of ingesting this organism, treat all water before drinking it.

Water treatment methods include:

  • Water filters. The most convenient method of water treatment is a lightweight filtration system consisting of a pump and filter material capable of trapping Giardia. Though somewhat expensive, the filtration system is an increasingly popular alternative. Read the label to see if the filter is effective against Giardia.

  • Iodine. Iodine tablets (Potable Aqua) or solution of iodine (Polar Pure) is far cheaper, easy to use, lightweight, and take up hardly any space in a pack. Iodine treatment can take 20 minutes or longer, and the effectiveness is lessened in cold or murky water. Read the label to see if the manufacturer guarantees the effectiveness against Giardia, and follow directions for use. Chemical treatment can give a mild unpleasant taste to the water. If desired, add powdered, flavored drink mix to the water to improve the taste. (Note that iodine can have unwanted health consequences, especially in people with thyroid disease, pregnant women, and individuals with shellfish allergies.)

  • Chlorine based treatment. An alternative to iodine is chlorine based products commercially sold for water treatment (Aquamira). Just as easy to use as iodine with out the potential downsides of iodine. Household chlorine bleach should not be used as there are no accepted dosage instructions fro treating water in the backcountry.

  • Boiling water. Keep water at a boil for at least one minute (up to five minutes at high altitudes). Boiling water is a reliable method of destroying Giardia.