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Old 08-19-09, 09:06 PM   #1
John R
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Finding Water on way to Crystal Lake

Does anyone know were you can find water on Hwy 39 heading towards Crystal Lake? We know there's water at Camp Williams store on Eastfork but its a ways to climb after doing Crystal Lake. We rode to Crystal Lake on Tuesday 8-18-09. The weather was perfect, nice and cool with a breeze. I ran out of water on the decent back to Azusa. I know if it would of been a typical hot August day I would of been in trouble. We plan on riding it again on Thurdsay 8-20. I hope its a cool day again.
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Old 08-19-09, 09:44 PM   #2
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The spring across from the call box. I measured it off from Islip down and it's 9 miles. Haven't done the math for the other way. Easy to spot and you'll hear it. On the way up it's on your left, at the apex of the switch back and the big blue call box sign is on your right at a shaded turn-off a few yards up the road. There's a cabin above the spring(s) set back a bit from the road. There's a bigger spring bubbling near it. Use the spring right next to the road, it's easy to refill your bottles there.
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Old 08-19-09, 10:09 PM   #3
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Like Obie says, the spring is at the right switchback where you see the call box. More specifically, it is just past the 35.5 mile marker, about 10 miles up from the East Fork bridge.
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Old 08-19-09, 10:18 PM   #4
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The spring's the only solution. I personally won't drink from it. There is a campground further down with dry spigots (no water). The only taps are at the ranger station next to the OHV entrance. (although a ranger once advised me not to drink from it.)
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Old 08-20-09, 06:36 AM   #5
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We saw the spring, it seems pretty risky. I guess it might be camelback time. Thanks Guys.
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Old 08-20-09, 07:41 AM   #6
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We saw the spring, it seems pretty risky. I guess it might be camelback time. Thanks Guys.
A lot of people drink from it and I haven't heard of anyone getting sick, but I haven't tried it.
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Old 08-20-09, 07:46 AM   #7
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I've been drinking that water for years. It's delicious and cold. Drink from the one down hill farthest from the cabin.
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Old 08-20-09, 09:37 AM   #8
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I've been drinking that water for years. It's delicious and cold. Drink from the one down hill farthest from the cabin.
+1. I drink from their a couple of times a month. Some of the guys I ride with will drink it and some won't.
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Old 08-20-09, 03:21 PM   #9
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Wow, Now I'm totally confused, to drink or not to drink?. It seems that because it's comming out of the rocks it might be ok. A friend of mine drank from it and had no problems. I'm a little concerned about Ghardia. Were riding up there on Sunday, I guess I will make that decision then...Thanks
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Old 08-20-09, 04:28 PM   #10
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Wow, Now I'm totally confused, to drink or not to drink?. It seems that because it's comming out of the rocks it might be ok. A friend of mine drank from it and had no problems. I'm a little concerned about Ghardia. Were riding up there on Sunday, I guess I will make that decision then...Thanks
Giardia. I had it once, don't want it again. I think the water is o.k. if there's no livestock around, though.
You can buy a filtering bottle that takes it out of the water.
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Old 08-21-09, 01:25 AM   #11
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Well, the water is coming down from Crystal Lake, which is not even safe to swim in. (called a "no touch" lake.)

Supposedly, it's filtered out naturally by the time it gets to the street but - like I said - it's not for me personally.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:12 AM   #12
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I don't know where you get your info, but if you look at a topographic map, I think you'll find the water course that feeds that runoff does NOT come from Crystal Lake.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:43 AM   #13
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I don't know where you get your info, but if you look at a topographic map, I think you'll find the water course that feeds that runoff does NOT come from Crystal Lake.
? Crystal Lake is above the stream. I'm not a geologist or anything, but that doesn't seem like rocket science. It's not like the area up there is a rainforest, and that stream runs continuously.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:46 AM   #14
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You don't have to be a geologist or rocket scientist to read a topo map either. Here's a picture for you.



P.S. help prevent the spreading of misinformation based on rumors.
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Old 08-21-09, 02:01 PM   #15
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Well done, JM. Showing just how needlessly paranoid some people can be is funny. Maybe their GPS didn't show that???

If y'all are that worried, carry iodine tablets and threat the water.

If you would like to lose a lot of weight really fast, get the Giardia anyways.
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Old 08-21-09, 03:40 PM   #16
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You don't have to be a geologist or rocket scientist to read a topo map either. Here's a picture for you.



P.S. help prevent the spreading of misinformation based on rumors.
What does that prove? Do you know how groundwater moves? I'm not going to get into a huge pissing match about this, but I think you're talking out of your ass. (Unless you're a geologist.) I'm not sure why your original post took on such an "I'm being a dick" tone, either.
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Old 08-21-09, 04:19 PM   #17
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Seems to me that for someone who knows "Crystal Lake is above the stream. I'm not a geologist or anything, but that doesn't seem like rocket science. . . . " with absolutely no facts to support their unequivocal declaration is the one talking out their ass.
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Old 08-21-09, 05:50 PM   #18
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The water spot that I have been talking about is a spring that comes directly out of the rocks. Surface streams are subject to runoff that may very well contaminate them I would never drink from them. I know the owner of one of the cabins up there, one that was burned out in 03, and he also has a spring bubbling up on his property and that is his only source of water and it has been in use since the 20's. Spring water is the only drinkable source of water anywhere in the San Gabriels. The restaraunts that dot the area rely on underground wells too. Even in the driest year on record a couple of years ago, the spring ran clear and cold all year long. There wasn't a drop of water running in any surface stream anywhere and I'm thinking Crystal Lake was dry as a bone. It's a mystery to me how cold clear water comes up from deep underground, all I know it that it sure hits the spot.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:21 PM   #19
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The water spot that I have been talking about is a spring that comes directly out of the rocks. Surface streams are subject to runoff that may very well contaminate them I would never drink from them. I know the owner of one of the cabins up there, one that was burned out in 03, and he also has a spring bubbling up on his property and that is his only source of water and it has been in use since the 20's. Spring water is the only drinkable source of water anywhere in the San Gabriels. The restaraunts that dot the area rely on underground wells too. Even in the driest year on record a couple of years ago, the spring ran clear and cold all year long. There wasn't a drop of water running in any surface stream anywhere and I'm thinking Crystal Lake was dry as a bone. It's a mystery to me how cold clear water comes up from deep underground, all I know it that it sure hits the spot.
Word.

I'm surprised that so many people either drink this water or diss those who do yet, no one has taken a sample to be tested.
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Old 08-21-09, 08:51 PM   #20
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Word.

I'm surprised that so many people either drink this water or diss those who do yet, no one has taken a sample to be tested.
My friend Laura the science teacher did take some samples to test but by the time she got home they were too old.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:10 PM   #21
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You told me Laura used a field kit to test that spring. Oh no; I'm going to die. Well, someday anyway.
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Old 08-21-09, 10:21 PM   #22
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You told me Laura used a field kit to test that spring. Oh no; I'm going to die. Well, someday anyway.
The first time I drank from the spring I felt like I was going to die if I didn't. I weighed the risks and hoped if I was going to die from drinking it at least I might make it down the mountain to the open road where a car might see me since I hadn't told my wife where I would be riding that day and if I would have died up there on the side of the mountain she wouldn't have known where to look (although her first guess would have been correct). Now I always leave a note when I go up there on the all day excursions but I still drink from the spring since I can't carry enough water sometimes.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:04 PM   #23
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This is a Google Earth image set to horizontal view so as to look at landscape feature details. According to GE, Crystal Lake is nearly 600 feet above the springs area along Hwy 39, and somewhere near a mile away in distance (probably more). While you can't see the lake surface itself in this image, it's just below the ridgeline as indicated. From what I could tell, there's 2 main drainage routes the lake water can take if it's full, such as during a heavy rain. The west drain channel runs to the left of one spring location, and the east channel runs right through the location of the lower spring. In mid-summer there's no drainage from the lake along those channels except perhaps underground.

I wouldn't hesitate to drink from any of the springs up there because of reports of people drinking it without harm. The other reason I wouldn't hesitate is because I recently went in on a joint venture dealing with septic system rejuvenation and primary water treatment along the Malibu beachfront. As part of my education, I attended a water symposium at Pepperdine which discussed Malibu (and the Santa Monica Mnts) water issues. Among the things I learned was how truly effective the ground is for treating water, not only because of it's filtration density, but also because of minimal oxygen, and how earthen bacteria eats up anything "edible" (things harmful to us). A properly functioning septic tank and the underground drain field will effectively treat outflowing water within 100 feet of the tank. Wells dug 150 feet away from septic systems is common.

No telling where that spring water along 39 comes from, but the fact that people who live up there have been drinking it for years tells me everything I need to know.

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Old 08-22-09, 12:03 AM   #24
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Wow Kid, Thanks for that. We are going to ride Hwy 39 Saturday and hopefully we won't have to drink from the spring. But if it comes to getting dehydrated we will. Thanks for your research and time....John
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Old 08-22-09, 11:50 AM   #25
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It seems to me that the filtering effects of soil have been recognized, if not fully understood, for possibly centuries. So what has created the suspicion of water quality??
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