Trailhead for Thunder Spring Trail to Chimney Flats Trail to Scott's Cabin Trail
This mostly shady 4 mile loop begins on the far side of doane pond on the south side of upper doane valley. This moderate-to-difficult hike involves a 700 ft elevation gain/loss. Start by hiking along thunder spring trail, which follows alder-fringed Doane Creek. Turn right onto chimney flats trail, which follows an uphill switchback route along part of chimney creek, and past a small waterfall. Dogwood trees bloom in may and western azaleas bloom in may and june.
The trail climbs out briefly in a meadow area known as chimney flats, the site of an old homestead. From here the trail becomes a dirt road which climbs steadily through the forest until crossing a paved road and joining the scotts cabin trail. Here hikers can see century-old apple trees planted by palomar pioneers. The remnants of a settler's cabin are also located along this trail.
Unfortunately the cabin was vandalized in recent years, and little remains of the historic structure. This downhill grade will junction with cedar trail. Turn right onto cedar trail as you pass through lush fern and azaleas on your return to doane pond.