Sapphire Falls. The worst hike in Southern California

Sapphire Falls in Rancho Cucamonga
This hike is currently closed. 



 Last week I hiked to Sapphire Falls in Rancho Cucamonga with some friends. I can say without hesitation that it was the most filthy, polluted and completely despoiled trail that I have ever hiked. There were heaps of trash several feet tall strewn along the trail. The canyon walls were so completely covered in graffiti that it looked more like a freeway underpass than a nature hike. A local hillbilly was actually burning huge piles of discarded bottles and wrappers in a very misguided attempt to clean up and the canyon was completely filled with the putrid black smoke from the burning plastic. We actually got into a verbal altercation with him when we put out his trash fire.There were hundreds of people hiking in the canyon in the 90+ degree heat and many of the groups I saw only had a single bottle of water to share between several people. With such a large number of people jammed into such a small space, I highly suspect that the water in the creek is too dangerous to swim in because of fecal bacteria. If you accidentally swallow a mouthful of creek water, you might end up in the hospital. In case you have Sapphire Falls on your 'to do' list, let me strongly suggest that you save yourself some heartache and skip it. This easily gets my vote for the worst hike in Southern California. I've read rumors online that the city is trying to block access to the canyon and discourage hikers by issuing parking tickets. I almost never agree that closing a hike is an appropriate course of action, but in the case of Sapphire Falls, it might be the only option.
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