|map credit: JustRuns.com 4 WD Club|
|Sugarloaf Cafe and Market|
The entrance now though is just prior to the Transfer Station. I went there once after they created the parking area and it's a very nicely maintained starting point. There is an interesting story behind the construction of this long winding switched back road. Back in 1983 I had the privilege of meeting the man who constructed it and found out the reason for it's construction. He lived on Sage Rd in Radec (well, technically Aguanga). His house is out front there of the old famous Cottonwood School House which itself is next to the more modern Cottonwood Elementary School. The house he lived in was an older home with all manner of Barns and other smaller out buildings along with a whole lot of heavy construction equipment. He said the equipment mostly belonged to his son Daniel. The man's name was Jay Dee McGaugh and his wife was Vivian McGaugh. Some of the Idyllwild and Mountain Center residents may know of his brother or even the road named after their family name just west of the Mountain Center 243/74 Jct which is actually called McGaugh Road. That road leads to a Baldy Mountain Meadows area where there is a small Trailer Park and even a medium size lake (when there are wet years) called McGaugh Lake.
|Dee McGaugh's grave is|
in the Radec Cemetary
|credit Walt Palm Springs|
Old Kiln at Logging Kamp
|Old Sawmill equipment left over|
|Sawmill Trail - Madelm1953|
|Sawmill Trail where tree line once existed|
|credt: Outdoor Adventure USA|
Spring fed Pond created by Logging Kamp
|Outdoor Adventure USA|
Spring with black plastic pipe tapped into it.
|Outdoor Adventure USA|
Water Storage for Pinyon Water Company
Below here now is a great video of a group's off-road trek up & down this old Sawmill Logging road built by Dee McGaugh and others many many decades ago. It offers great views and an experience which probably most of you will never take. However, if you do, please only go the 5.5 miles and turn back the way you came. Further roads going up are horrible and destroys the nature.
Here is a link of another group which drives beyond the better road to the Sawmill Logging Kamp from below, but the trail which goes beyond the kamp to the top are extremely rough and not maintained at all. They are pretty torn up and the surrounding landscape badly eroded. I wouldn't recommend anyone go beyond the Logging Kamp. Just go down the same way you came up. Nature up there in spots has been badly beaten up. You'll have to scroll halfway down the page to the Santa Rosa climb, as the first photos are of their Borrego to Anza Valley Trek which is interesting, especially since I thought that road was closed for good.
This YouTube Video is very Kool. The guy uploaded and published it on December 19, 2012. It's a hiking trek from Toto Peak in the Santa Rosa Mtns along the ridgelines of Dawn Peak, Rabbit Peak and Villager Peak, which very few people have ever taken (including myself, though I always wanted to) because of it's remoteness and the strong degree of difficulty and numerous obstacles along the way. But it's great that some have documented there adventures for those who may never have an opportunity for such an exploration of remote regions.
Some References and Great Photo Streams by other Visitors
The Sawmill Trail can be accessed by Hiking, Horse, Bike or Offroad Vehicle, but you will need an "Adventure Pass" permit.
USDA - Forest Service: Santa Rosa Mtn Sawmill Trail 5E02
SANTA ROSA AND SAN JACINTO MOUNTAINS TRAILS PLAN (when fully implemented)
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
Tom Chester's Webpage: "Plant Guide to Sawmill Trail, Santa Rosa Mountains"