Guatay Stories

Guatay Mountain

This challenging hike combines an opportunity to view rare old-growth Tecate cypress trees and a variety of native plant species.

Giselle, Guatay, the Airstream and the Chief

“That’s it,” my husband, Ben said as he squeezed the last box into the truck before closing the camper shell. “That’s all we can fit.” We were finally leaving Texas and moving back to California ...

What Will Burn, What Will Not

Fires make David Hogan nervous. It's not because he's afraid his Pine Valley house will burn down. It's because after every fire in Southern California, politicians start clamoring for reduction of the "fuel" that covers ...

Perfect Drought

A view of the future from Descanso.

"It's catastrophic!" Duncan McFetridge flings his arms out. "Look, can't you see the change?" Several years ago, when I last came here to the Cleveland National Forest outside of Descanso, McFetridge's cabin nestled in a ...

Trek to the obscure summit of Guatay Mountain, between Descanso and Pine Valley.

Guatay Mountain, a gently swelling, chaparral-covered ridge rising about 900 feet over the hamlet of Guatay, is distinguished by its old-growth population of Tecate cypress trees. This particular species of cypress has a very spotty ...

Hike under a 400-foot-high bridge carrying I-8 traffic over the gorge of Pine Valley Creek.

Starting from the spacious Pine Creek Trailhead outside Pine Valley, the Secret Canyon Trail weaves and bobs its way along the canyon of Pine Valley Creek, finally emerging some 15 miles later at Horsethief Canyon, ...