Monte Cristo Day Trip Past and Present ‘gold in them thar hills’

ImageOther than the beach , winter toboggan riding at Mount Baldy the memories I have being in nature is at least one day trip to San Gabriel River in the Angeles National Forest. This is near the area of the Monte Cristo Gold Mine which was the first documented claim in California.I remember it as being a remote quiet place along the river to do a little panning and also cooling off in the hot summers of Southern California.  Now is not uncommon to have 15,000 visitors on a weekend day to the West Fork of the river. That is a lot of people and, sadly, it is not like the river I remember.