Upper Las Virgenes Canyon – Cheeseboro Ridge Loop

This weekend I decided to give my legs a break and instead of 9 pounds per foot of ski, binding, boot and climbing skin, treated them each to 13 ounces  of running shoe. I was thinking about it the other day — skiing up San Jacinto with my tele gear is a little like strapping two 5 lb. bags of sugar to each foot, going up to (on average) 9,500 feet, and then climbing 4,000 or so stairs. I either need to get lighter gear, or go back to using my Europa 77s!

Today’s run was an elongated loop through one of the more isolated and rustic areas of upper Las Virgenes Canyon. From the Las Virgenes trailhead of Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve the 14.5 mile route followed upper Las Virgenes Canyon and Bell Canyon roads to the overgrown (and easy-to-miss) single track that leads to the west and connects to the Edison powerline service road. This Park Service PDF includes a map of the area, and this interactive Cesium browser View shows a trace of my route.

After climbing up and over a rocky ridge and down to the junction with the Sheep Corral Trail, the service road continues south along Cheeseboro Ridge all the way back to the Las Virgenes Canyon trailhead. With all the rain, and recent warm weather, Spring was happening in a big way in the chaparral. Over the course of the run I photographed nearly 40 species of plants that were in bloom. Here are a few of the wildflowers:


California Buckwheat

Chinese Houses


Yerba Santa

Related post: Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Backcountry