Posted by: Brendan | January 30, 2011

Madwomen Springs Bike/Hike

This trip has changed my model of what a bikepack can be.

Where most of my bikepack trips have essentially been very long bike rides, this trip instead placed more emphasis on a remote hiking destination in the Indian Canyons. I’d heard a bit about Madwomen Spring from Florian on Twitter and this entry on Hike Every Day blog. I’d otherwise heard very little about the place… but I knew it’s storied in legend and very few people make it up there.

I waved goodbye to the ‘fam. Alexander has started to notice & appreciate bikes.

It was the new bike’s maiden voyage… I’ll have a complete blog entry on this soon. Dave, Nick, and I set out after work Friday from Garner Valley, bikes loaded for a night under desert stars and a day on foot.

We made a few adjustments to the gear and descended into Palm Canyon. The first bikepack of the year, it was a good opportunity to re-familiarize ourselves with the gear.

We enjoyed good eats in camp while frogs in the nearby creek stayed up late chatting.

Sunrise on San Jacinto
We fueled up with oatmeal and espresso (thanks for that Nick) before setting off on foot. We stashed the bikes.

At the start of the canyon, we could see much of what lay ahead.

Our first glimpse of Bullseye Rock. As the story’s told, human heads were rolled down this rock once upon a time.


The view downcanyon of 3-Mile Wash and Dunn road, where our day would ultimately end… but we first had to climb much higher.

Atop Bullseye Flat. We explored all over this area, finding artifacts and the start of some spring flowers. From here the hike got significantly tougher, hotter, and drier.

The sun was beating down pretty hard by mid day. We cherished moments of shade as we passed by large boulders. The route turned from a faint trail marked by cairns into a cross-country endeavor with some class three scrambles.

Arrival at Madwomen Spring and the rock house. This place was very difficult to find! We didn’t see it until we were almost right on it.

The cabin was full of interesting and useful items, cookware and tools. Not many more than a dozen parties had signed the register in the past 20 years. Some were USFS types who’d been in by helicopter.

Some of the items have been there a long time.

The spring was dripping slowly. We didn’t take any water.
We started the long hike back down to the bikes. It wasn’t as long & hard as the way up, but it took a toll on our wimpy cyclist legs.

The waterfalls were beautiful and refreshing on a hot January day.

We arrived back at the bikes and saddled up ready for a fun ride out.

We finished out the ride on Cindy Whitehead. I’ve come to like this route.

Long day.

The final destination, El Gallito. Stamped our Badass cards.



  1. […] Check out Brendan’s writeup here………super fun trip. […]

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