Boulder Hopping to Mount Marie Louise W6CT-106

This peak is a lot harder than one might expect. The trail from the forest road is fairly obscure and you follow a boulder waterfall all the way up to the top. There are a few open spots but quickly return to following a rock cairn marked path along the boulders. Trail report below:

1- Parking & Road Info – From Highway 173 behind Lake Arrowhead you will go west on 2N33 until you hit the split where 2N34 goes toward the south. Stay to the right, cross the gate seen in the video and park. You can make this drive in a high clearance 2WD vehicle unless there is snow or other inclement weather. No need for the Forest Adventure Pass here, but it’s worth having one anyway.

2- Trail Conditions – It’s a boulder hopping and tight brushy canyon hike. The “trail” is marked mostly with numerous rock cairns so I highly suggest ensuring you are off this trail/summit well before dark. I’d also encourage you to wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt to protect yourself from the brush, rocks, cactus, and sun exposure. Leave your trekking poles at home because you’ll need your hands to boulder hop and consider gloves as the rocks are abrasive. If you have bad ankles or knees be sure to put some thought into your ability to pull this one off because you are stepping up and down through the waterfall.

3- VHF v HF – I was short on time and used VHF only. My signal improved considerably with the slim jim roll up j-pole though I do believe I was audible into the high desert good enough. There is a way to setup HF if you like but I’d keep it a fairly short run if using a wire antenna.

4- APRS & Cell service worked just fine. I was happy how fast the spot went through on my cell phone using Sprint and the SOTA Goat app. APRS hit plenty of repeaters in the area to relay the signal.

5- Extra Info – Plan accordingly! This is a short hike at .75 miles ish, but it has it’s challenges. Not much to speak of for shade and I would NOT do this in the summer or on a hot day. I can just imaging this is rattlesnake city so be careful where you place your hands and feet when that season is in effect.

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