I thought I already discovered all the important waterfall hikes in my area, but I was pleasantly surprised by Heart Rock Trail. This is one of the benefits of joining a hiking group like “Hiking-With-Friends”. More about the group later.
The hike took us through the National Forest close to Cresline along a Seely Creek – with a lot of shade and beautiful rock formations.
Tip: As you keep going down towards the waterfall remember that you have to climb back up on the same trail. Be ready for a more strenuous hike.
The trail starts from “Camp Seely” – which is a property owned by the City Of Los Angeles. Parking is available and free, but on the day of our visit, it was closed. We had to park on highway 138.
The beginning of the hike is on a fire road. This fire road can take you on an alternate path to reach the waterfall, but the real trail branches to the right along the creek at the 0.3-mile mark from the trailhead.
Tip: During our hike, we encountered a falling tree blocking the main trail. Going around it was dangerous. Members of the group helped each other across this difficult area. Please tread carefully around this area.
Once you reach the trail stay to the left of the pool building then continue down the trail. About .5-mile later you will encounter a fork in the trail.
Going to the right will take you to an overlook where you can see the waterfall and the heart-shaped rock. Going a little further will take across the stream and right on top of the waterfall.
If you take the left on the fork, you will be going down to the bottom of the waterfall. You can’t see the heart rock from the bottom, but you will be rewarded with great views of the fall and the stream.
Whichever fork you take, you can make a full loop around the waterfall and come back to the main trail.
The rocks around the waterfall make for a very nice place for a picnic. Grab a spot and enjoy the sounds of rushing water and great views.
After the hike, head to Crestline for lunch or a stroll along Lake Gregory.
Crestline – Lake Gregory
Crestline is a small mountain village in the San Bernardino mountains. It is about 30-minutes away from the city of San Bernardino, but at an elevation of 4000 ft, it is in a totally different climate.
The temperature drops quickly as you drive up highway 18 and the scenery starts changing from desert to Alpine Forest. If you visit in winter, you are likely to see snow on the ground or the trees.
If you get hungry after the hike, you can find several good restaurants overlooking the lake. We had lunch at Toni's Kitchen with great authentic Mexican food and a nice lake view from the balcony.
We tried their Coconut Shrimp plate and Beef Chimichanga. Both were very tasty with large portions.
The Facebook group Hiking-With-Friends is a great way to discover new trails and enjoy the company of like-minded hikers. They post frequent hiking events on their Facebook page. All you have to do it reserve a spot through Eventbrite. It is free.
The guides are great and everyone in the group lends a helping hand when needed.
Distance: 1.4 miles (out and back)
Elevation change: 200 feet
Hiking time: 45 minutes to 1.5-hours (depending on stops)