Ben Overturff Trail

A few weeks back, I had planned another hike with my aunt. When we did the Monrovia Canyon Hike back in May, we were informed by the ranger that there was another trailhead nearby, which wasn’t as busy as the waterfall hike. After months of planning, we finally got to hike it! My parents had initially said no to coming along; but on the day itself, they came along for the hike – the more the merrier, I say.

The Ben Overturff Trail is named so after Ben Overturff himself. Back in the day, Ben Overturff and his wife ran a little lodge, which sits on Deer Park Lodge, that cost approximately 25 cents for a night. Their lodge was a rather popular weekend destination. However, due to his declining health, Mr. Overturff and his wife deserted the lodge. It wasn’t until the late 40s, the US Forest Service decided to tear the place down after numerous reports of unauthorized use of the lodge. Whatever’s left of the lodge still remains.

The beginning of the trail isn’t the most attractive – it ascends on a paved road, passing Sawpit Dam, and eventually forks into the Trask Campgrounds and then into the dirt road. Along the dirt road, it opens into two stone columns, which marks the official start of the trail.

The hike itself wasn’t too bad. It’s located within the heart of the forest, so everything was shaded well. The only thing I didn’t like was that it gave a very creepy vibe – as in, the kind of vibe where you feel like something or someone is lurking in the woods just watching your every move. Unfortunately, when we made it to the Woodrat Flats portion of the trail, we decided to head back. It felt very isolated and just eerie.

The hike overall was a great workout. It consisted lots of steep inclines and then it stayed flat for a good while. When we finished the hike, we grabbed some breakfast at a local Filipino diner called, Kusina ni Lola, and called it a day. When we got home, I did more research on the trail (which I should’ve done before) and learned two things – the trail has numerous reports of being haunted and that it would’ve been easier to have gone through Fire Road then going down the Ben Overturff trail on the way back. Until the next hike!

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