“A fairly exposed trail with beautiful mountain views as you ascend the pass.”
— Niall Murphy
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Dogs are not allowed in the bighorn sheep management area; all of this trail beyond the first mile or so is within that area, so if you'd like to hike with your dog, stay on the lower sections of this trail and follow posted signs.
Need to Know
The trail intersects the creek at several points, and water is available depending on the season. A number of nice spots for camping can also be found very close to the trail, often with stone fire rings; watch for these starting about 0.5 miles upstream of Romero Pools
. Watch for patches of poison ivy which are near some of these areas.
Your climb begins with your very first step onto the trailhead. You leave behind the wide sandy path and begin on your singletrack journey through a few saddles and down to Romero Pools
. Watch your footing as several sections of trail to this point involve scrambling over fairly steep sections of rock.
After you continue past the pools, you'll gain even more elevation as you weave your way into the canyon and up to Romero Pass. Relatively flat or gently sloping sections alternate with rocky climbs. As you continue to gain elevation, you can see significant changes in the plants and animals around you, from dry scrubby ridges to lush oak and juniper glades near the creek. The last mile of climbing as you approach the saddle is particularly challenging.
This is a wonderful trail with a lot of elevation gain, and the views make it well worth the challenge.