Hike to John's Meadow via Forsee Creek Trail

Jake and I love hiking with new friends.  This past Saturday, we hiked the little known trail, and less maintained Forsee Creek trail to John's Meadow.

Unlike the South Fork trail, which is wider and better maintained, this trail is a single track all the way to it's destination, John's Meadow.  The trail follows along the north side of the mountain. Winding between the trees, the trail offers shade, sun and mountain breezes.

As you go higher in elevation, you will encounter more thorny brush.  Because this trail is single track and not as well traveled as the neighboring South Fork trail, some of these bushes may be overgrown, and crowd the trail boundaries.  Be sure to wear long pants, unless you don't mind a scratch or two.

 As you traverse the terrain, you will cross some small streams, or rather, mud on the trail where a steady slow stream of water has soaked the ground. Near the end of the hike, you will cross Foresee Creek. After that, John's Meadow is not too far away. It us just up the side of the gully and around the corner.  Don't blink, or you might miss it.  
Photo by Nancy Domin

Photo by Nancy Domin
The campground and John's Meadow are not well marked. The only sign that indicates camping is a small sign hanging from one of the trees saying "Do not Camp Here". We did not even realize that we had arrived.  We had kept on hiking on the unmaintained ridge trail until the next creek crossing and realized we had gone to far.  The trail had dwindled to a deer track. We were not the only ones that did this.  If you consider taking the ridge trail, you will need a map and compass. It is unmaintained.

Don't expect John's Meadow to be a traditional looking meadow with grass swaying in the wind. This is a sub-alpine meadow, with brambles, manzanita and pine trees. You can tell you've reached John's Meadow, by the change in the soil. It is less rocky and more loamy.

DIRECTIONS to Trailhead:

From the Mill Creek Ranger Station, Jenks Lake Road is about 30 min (depending on how fast you drive).

From the Mill Creek Ranger Station continue up 38 through Angeles Oaks (this is a small town, if you blink, you might miss it), and about 10 miles after Angeles Oaks look for Jenks Lake road. Turn RIGHT on Jenks Lake, and about 1/4 mile after you turn, look for the sign that says "Forsee Creek trailhead" and make a right (this should be the 1st dirt road that you see on the right).

Follow a dirt road about 1 mile to the trailhead.

You will need to stop at the Mill Creek Ranger station for a Wilderness Permit (free) and an Adventure Pass for parking ($5 for the day or $30 for the year). The Ranger station opens at 7am during the weekend. 

For reference:
Mill Creek Ranger Station
34701 Mill Creek Road
Mentone, CA 92359