Sweat dripping off my shirt. My knees subtly shaking. The All Trails App lies. This hike is not easy.
Or maybe it’s the margaritas catching up to me.
Anyways, I make one last hoorah and reach the hidden waterfall. The fresh melted snow washes the pain away. That 1.7 mile hike kicked my butt, but it was worth it and the highlight of our trip. I guess that’s why they call me Coach and not a player.
Coach Burt here, Colin and Keenan’s Dad. I wanted to camp with my sons and their significant others for Father’s Day weekend. It was a bit of a challenge finding a campsite due to Covid-19, but we ended up at a SoCal hidden gem, Hurkey Creek Campground. Like the name states, the campground is located alongside Hurkey Creek, that flows from the San Jacinto Mountains into Lake Hemet. The campground itself is located 22 miles east of the city Hemet and only 4,440 feet above sea level, making it a quick and easy car ride for SoCal residents.
We had a legendary crew with us featuring my dog Noby (1st camping trip!), the Burt Brothers and their significant others (Sara and Veronica), Uncle Randy and his dog Cowboy, Cousin Ryan, Tri Di Vo, and Gertie Burty (Colin and Sara’s dog).
Day 1: The Hidden Waterfall
On our first full day, we hiked 1.7 miles each way to a hidden waterfall in upper Hurkey Creek. It was like the tale of the tortoise and the hare with Coach Burt slowly on the trail of burnt trees (brush fire a few years back) that seemed to never end.
We eventually made it to the oasis waterfall (many had their doubts that I would make it, but I did!). We frolicked in the refreshing and rejuvenating waterfall having a fantastic time. Of course, Colin took many amazing photos and videos of Brolonation enjoying life as you can see in the video below.
To get to the waterfall, start at Coyote Run Trailhead. Hike about 1.4 miles until you see an arrow made of rocks that points off the trail.
Brolo Tip #1: Follow the Arrow! Once you take that right, you should be able to see the waterfall a bit up on your left. The total distance is 1.7 miles to the waterfall, the full trail past the waterfall is 3.3 miles.
Day 2: Find your Honeyhole
About 0.7 miles up the same trail was a little hidden oasis on the right side, which we found on the hike back from the waterfall on Day 1. We kept it cool at the honeyhole on the second day Noby and Gertie loved it!
Brolo Tip #2: Enjoy the little things like hanging out at a watering hole with good people.
Good People + Awesome Campsite = Good Times
Camping can be as easy or difficult as you make it. Some like to pack the bare minimum and eat dry food. Personally, I like having a 6 person tent to myself and blueberry pancakes for breakfast. The Good Life requires a bit more work and everyone doing their part, but it is awesome. Taking home the Most Valuable Camper was Keenan’s better half Veronica. The Oreo S’mores really put her on the top. Tri came in a close second because he magically had every item we needed in his bin. What a camper! And what an unforgettable experience.
Camper of the Trip went to Veronica with Tri a close second!
The Hurkey Creek campsite gets a Brolonation ranking of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The campsites included clean community bathrooms, flush toilets, soap, paper towels, and clean hot quarter-operated showers. Each campsite holds a maximum of 6 people and 2 vehicles with a ton of space for activities. A grocery store is located only 1 mile away near Lake Hemet. Reservations can be made on rivcoparks.org for only $25 per night.
Hurkey Creek missed a perfect score because we were literally having too much fun. One night they love your “Hey-O!”; the next night they hate it. We were abruptly told to keep it down in an awkward socially-distant manner.
But maybe that’s what happens when you mix Ryan’s favorite microbrews, Buffalo Trace (one of Brolonation’s favorite Bourbons), moonshine (made by Brolonation member Idaho Bob), lots of gin (and a small amount of tonic), good music, and the Burts.
Another benefit for us was the amount of firewood from downed trees. Late night wood searches got a little crazy but it definitely saved some money!
Brolo Tip #3: Collect your own firewood if you can. Check with local regulations first.
The food always tastes better camping. Here is how we organized our food situation.
- Ryan and Randy: Carne Asada Taco dinner and Corned Beef and Hash breakfast
- Me and Colin: Chicken Skewers, Salmon, and Corn dinner & Blueberry Pancakes and Bacon breakfast
- Keenan and Veronica: Avocado Bacon Burgers and Beans dinner & Breakfast Burritos
Brolo Tip #4: Simplify meals by organizing dinners and breakfasts responsibilities by day.
But my favorite part of the trip was picking the name of my granddaughter Juniper Joy Burt. Colin and Sara kept the gender a surprise and had yet to settle on a girl name. Out of the hundreds of names hollered, Juniper lit up Sara’s eyes. The camping crew voted Hurkey for Juni’s middle name but I guess that one didn’t stick. I am very much looking forward to telling my grand daughter Juni this story.
My last recommendation is to get out under the stars ASAP when you need a refresh from city life. Realize how small you are. Every one of your ancestors looked up at those same stars. Enjoy right now and quiet that mind.
You deserve it.
Brolo Tip #5: Plan your trip for new moons! We were lucky enough to have one. Spotting constellations was awesome. We even got to see the International Space Station fly by.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to our next trip and I am motivated to get in better shape for more sweet hikes on our next epic camping trip with these amazing people!
Peace out, Brolonation. Stay strong. Stay positive. And be good to one another!
-Coach Burt 🙏👍😂🏕🍻
P.S. Buy a Brolo so my sons can keep sharing stories of awesome adventures with good people.