Summary: This is a wonderful hike to the high country of the San Gorgonio Wilderness. I included it and listed it as moderate, because for this area, it is about as moderate as it gets, also this is a wonderful spot to camp. It is secluded and shady. The bench above the springs is ideal. Plus with filterable water available, it makes a great spot from which to explore the highest peaks in Southern California.
This trail is steep, but not as steep as the entrance from the south side of the wilderness. The drop-offs become a lot more apparent on the way down, and this trail is not recommended for acrophobics or small children. You gain lots of elevation and the views get better and better as you reach higher elevations.
Get permits in advance for busy weekends, during the week you might not see another soul.
The water at the springs can dry up in late summer.
Trailhead: From the 10 east, exit University Avenue in Redlands, turn right off the exit, and then turn left onto Citrus. Make another left onto Judson/Ford. Follow it to Lugonia Avenue (38), make a right. Follow the 38(it turns to Mentone Blvd and then into Mill Creek Road) to Mill Creek Ranger Station where you must get a wilderness permit for Forsee Creek. Continue east past Mountain Home Village, and follow the 38 as it turns to your left up the mountain. Continue past Angelus Oaks and turn right onto Jenks Lake Road. Follow the signs for Forsee Creek trail. A high clearance vehicle is recommended but not necessary. Park at the trailhead.
The trail is easy to follow, but overgrown in spots, it is steep and narrow in places. Since this is a north side trail, it is shady the entire route, even to the crest.
San Bernardino Peak, Shields, Anderson and East Peak are all within reach.
The ideal camping spot is just above the springs a quarter of a mile up the trail. (Lat:34.14152 Lon:-116.90297)
Trail Guides for Jackstraw Springs - Forsee Creek Trail:
San Bernardino Mountain Trails - 100 Hikes in Southern California
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: San Bernardino National Forest (909) 794-1123 - Mill Creek Ranger Station
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Cristina on 2/22/2014
My husband and I took the hike up to jackstraw springs on a Thursday. We didnt see anyone until we where already down the mountain. It was a very beautiful hike with a great views of the valley and Jenks Lake. I would love to bring our daughter but this trail is a bit much for kids. Some steep passes, slippery snow, down trees and brush. At the camp the creek was frozen over, which made it fun for me to slip and slid around. We didnt stay too long since the sun was on the other side of the mountain, it gets dark quick. I would recommend bringing beanies and gloves.
Reviewed by Marco on 10/11/2009
I went up Forsee to San Gorgonio and back on 10/10/09. It's a lovely, little-used trail. I saw no one on the way up till right before the summit, then no one on the way down after the first hour. Look sharp to stay on route: I got bollixed up at Jackstraw Springs on the way up then missed the turn downhill at Trail Fork Springs (the signs are overhead).
Reviewed by Anna on 7/6/2009
it was nice, but man the way down was a dread. I'm a beginner, so maybe an 8 miles hike was a bit much.
Reviewed by JR on 4/12/2009
This is a great hike, just not when there is snow on the ground. Unfortunately we were unable to make it all the way to the springs, we had our thirteen year old son and eleven year old daughter with us who do very well on the trails. The trail is a little steep in some places and with the hard packed icy snow we got to a point at about half way up that I did not feel comfortable continuing. We have vowed to come back in a month or so when the snow has completely melted. The scenery even half way up the trail is absolutely beautiful, through the pines you can spot beautiful shots of the surrounding meadows and ridge lines. WE'LL BE BACK... :)
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