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Mojave River Valley Museum
Angeles National Forest:
Shortcut SaddleShortcut Saddle (4,780') is a saddle on the Angeles Crest Highway, 19 miles from I-210, at mile marker 43.3, approximately 30 minutes driving time from the freeway. This is a wide spot in the road with adequate room for parking, but no toilets. Restrooms are available at Shortcut Picnic Area 0.3 mile west on the north side of the highway.
Arthur N. Carter, writing in Trails Magazine, Winter 1937, page 7, says, " This trail (coming from Mt. Wilson) from the West Fork to Barley Flats was one of the steepest trails I have ever traveled; a pack burro hardly knew whether his next lunge would carry him forward or tip him over backwards." In 1893, in order to improve this section leading from the West Fork to the back country of Chilao and Buckhorn, a new trail was built up a canyon to a low saddle on the ridge between the West Fork of the San Gabriel River and Upper Tujunga Canyon. This followed a rough trail made earlier by Newcomb. The new trail was called "Shortcut".
Map: Chilao Region (SS marks the location in the lower left of the map)
See also: USGS 7.5' x 7.5' Map: Chilao Flat (34° 16' 27" N, 118° 02' 20" W)
By Car: From Interstate 210, on Angeles Crest Highway, State Route 2, 19 miles. Park on either side of the road at Mile Marker 43.3. A Forest Adventure Pass is needed.
By Trail: South from the West Fork Campground, this section is also called the Shortcut Canyon Trail or Newcomb's Trail, and north from Chilao on the Silver Moccasin Trail. Or south from the fire road, 2N23, coming up from the Red Box - Rincon Road.
Season: All year.
No. RT miles Elev. gain Season Name
52.1 3 (1 way) -1800 all Angeles Crest Highway to West Fork Campground
52.33 6 1800 all Shortcut Saddle to West Fork Campground
Source: T. Chester & J. Strong