Arrastre Falls Trail Head

Friends of Juniper Flats

Arrastre Falls Trail provides an easy hike to a permanent riparian area overlooking the Victor Valley of San Bernardino County in Southern California.  Although the falls may be dry during the summers of drought years, the area still supports cool, lush vegetation.  I enjoy visiting the falls after a long day at work or when I only have a few hours to visit a natural area on an otherwise busy day.

Arrastre Falls View from Top of Arrastre Falls looking North Towards Victor Valley

There are two trail heads for the falls.  Both provide a short and easy hike to Arrastre Falls.  When time and energy permit, there is also a more strenuous path up the ravine behind the falls.  Climb to the top of the rocks over the falls for a fantastic view over the Mojave Desert.

Bear Valley Road and Central Rd

bear-valley-rd-and-central

These directions start from the intersection of Bear Valley…

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2018 High Desert Annual Conservation Coalition Meeting

  The Friends of Juniper Flats will host the 2018 High Desert Annual Conservation Coalition Meeting on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm. Come join us at the Sterling Inn, Regency Room, 11738 Francesca, Victorville, CA. The event will provide a wonderful networking opportunity for conservation organizations and the general public. Benefits of the … Continue reading 2018 High Desert Annual Conservation Coalition Meeting

Why should I stay on the trail while using motorized vehicles in parks?

The concepts presented in this article apply to desert scrub even more than forested areas. A heartfelt thanks to the Soil Science Society of America for putting this together.

Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!


Riding ATV’s and motorcycles around the forest can be incredibly fun and exhilarating. But in order to make sure those trails stay open, it’s vitally important to limit erosion in the areas you enjoy. Going off trail risks your safety, as well as the safety of the plant life and soil itself.

blue all terrain vehicle ATVs can provide a lot of fun, but they can be destructive when used off trail. Source: Morguefile

And though it might not seem related, did you know that just over half of the nation’s water supply originates in forestland?1 Snowfall melts, and rain sinks through the soil. That precipitation in forests is what eventually supplies our cities and private wells.2 Water for our homes and businesses, including agriculture, relies on healthy forest soils.

Forest stream Forests account for over half the U.S. water supply – but the soils can’t work to absorb and move water if overuse…

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Why does it matter if I stay on the trail while hiking in the woods and parks?

What happens to the soil when people travel off of designated trails and routes? This article was written in for hikers in areas with frequent usage.  In Juniper Flats hikers are allowed to go off trail because the density of hikers and frequency of usage is low.  As more people hike in the area, management will reevaluate their policy.

Motorized vehicles weigh more than hikers and apply more force with rotating tires. As a result, the impacts of riding or driving off of designated routes is much greater. In the Juniper Flats Area, operation of motorized vehicles is only allowed on designated routes.  The concepts explained in the re-blogged article also apply to operation of motorized vehicles off of designated routes.

Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!

Question: Why does it matter if I stay on the trail while hiking in the woods and parks?

Answer: People love to be outdoors, and soil is an important contributor to a good outing, whether you are hiking, mountain biking, painting, or just enjoying nature. But humans can have significant impacts on the soil. When we walk on soil, our body weight compresses the soil. Soil compaction occurs when soil particles are pressed together, reducing the space between them. This has several effects.

Uncompacted, loose soil has more pores for air and water between soil particles. Uncompacted, loose soil has more pores for air and water between soil particles.

In the figure to the right, you can see that soil particles come in various sizes. In between the particles are open spaces, or “pores”. These pores allow air and water to move through the soil. Air is important because microbes living in soil pores use some of the nitrogen and other…

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