Climbing trees is kind of dangerous

Tree Climbing, Rock Climbing -- Oak trees in the Crystal Lake camp grounds are good for climbing though it's likely that the U. S. Forest Service rangers would warn people not to climb them if they saw people doing so. It is rather dangerous, after all.

Pine trees, sugar pines, and most of the other kinds of trees up there are split in to three types:

Bears and USFS people have removed low limbs from many of the trees in the camp grounds, bears because they accidentally break limbs off, and USFS as part of the fire mitigation and human safety effort.

During most of the year there are ants that seem to like the oak trees growing along streams or in places where water can be found under ground.

There's no actual rock faces anywhere in the area that would be suitable for actual rock climbing though the camping grounds exists within a shallow canyon and the walls of the canyon -- covered in dirt, rock, and usually dead trees (bark infestation) -- can be climbed with a great deal of effort.

Since there are no medical services available in the ground (when the recreation area is open, any way) tree climbing and canyon wall climbing would be extremely dangerous. At minimum medical help would be 25 miles away -- there is currently no suitable helicopter landing field located within the Recreation Area. There is a heliport located on the trail which leads to South Mt. Hawkins fire look out however the tower burned to the ground and the condition of the heliport is not yet known.

There are a large number of canyons located outside of Crystal Lake Camp Grounds which have water running through them only during the rainy season, and those canyons afford suitable -- though extremely dangerous! -- climbing exercise.

The U. S. Forest Service spends a lot of time responding to medical emergencies routinely within the San Gabriel Mountains, and it's a problem that the Service would like to see be reduced. Part of that reduction effort is the repair and maintenance of hiking trails. While trails in the mountains are never 100% safe, visitors sould probably stick with the trails and refrain from hazardous climbing.

By sticking with the established trails, injured hikers can be rescued by other hikers who come across them. Injured climbers who hike in to side canyons are usually found eventually, though often in the past people have died of exposure after injuring themselves in falls.

Site map is at: Crystal Lake site map

This web site is not operated or maintained by the US Forest Service, and the USFS does not have any responsibility for the contents of any page provided on the http://CrystalLake.Name/ web site. Also this web site is not connected in any way with any of the volunteer organizations that are mentioned in various web pages, including the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders (SGMTBs) or the Angeles Volunteers Association (AVA.) This web site is privately owned and operated. Please note that information on this web page may be inaccurate.

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