Summary: This is an awesome hike. The trail itself is good, until you reach Cactus Spring, which after that you need either a great sense of direction and where you've come from, excellent path finding skills, compass and map skills, all of the above, or a GPS.
This was my first long and off trail hike with my new Gecko - whohoo!
You hike down a rocky canyon and up out of it into a peaceful wash after a couple of miles - this part of the trail is wonderfully serene and easy - it is quiet, calm, and cool, and a great change of pace from the tougher rocky trail you start on.
There are a lot of signs around the spring, but none that mention it, it is off trail and might be hard to find. Look for the area with more bird life, or watch the map closely.
Hiking up the mountain is a bit tough, 3 miles off trail is as tiring as 10 miles on the trail - so watch your energy.
The view is beautiful, but hiking out of the canyon on the way back seems very extreme
Trailhead: Drive on the 74 East past Mountain Center for approximately 21 miles. Turn right onto paved road 7S09. There is a sign for the Ribbonwood Equestrian Park, the Sawmill Trail and the Cactus Spring Trail. Follow the road to the ample parking and look for the sign.
Follow the road - you could only continue another 400-500 feet in a four wheel drive vehicle until it turns into a path, then a road, which will finally lead you to the real trailhead.
Follow the trail until you reach Cactus Spring - just east of the trail. It is only a hole filled with water, then follow the wash and start heading up the mountain.
There is supposedly a use trail, but I didn't find it on the way in, and I lost it completely on the way out. (Lat:33.58584 Lon:-116.37636)
Trail Guides for Sheep Mountain - Santa Rosa Wilderness:
San Bernardino Mountain Trails - 100 Hikes in Southern California
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Santa Rosa Visitor Center (760)251-4800
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.
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