Met up with old school homey Rico and some hiking folks this last weekend for a romp in the woods. I have been needing to get out of the city, so despite having to wake up at 6am on a Saturday after an epic week at work, I was in for the win. There were about 10 of us, pretty evenly split between guys and gals.
We got to the parking area a bit late (8:45ish) and so had to park down the road a good mile or so. Chantry Flats filled up quick! The guy at the general store where we bought our State Parks passes said it was full by 7am. Lordy. The big draw are some pretty waterfalls and swimming holes a couple of miles in.
Just after the falls is where things got bad. Not steep bad, or overly hot bad, but bad because we were suddenly swarmed by thousands of flies bad. Hoping they would get bored, we pressed on another couple of miles, but by then realized they were going to be pestering us for the duration. I guess it was a good motivation to keep moving (I barely even stopped for water breaks – just drank as I hiked), but it sort of ruined the chance to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Anyway, got to the top and thankfully the flies disappeared due to the slight breeze. We hung out on top for a while, grabbing a sandwich at the little lookout cafe and checking out some of the huge observatory telescopes. It’s pretty developed on top, with several radio and TV antennas, as well as a half dozen telescopes.
The hike down wasn’t nearly as awful as the way up, mostly because we could outrun the flies. Took a pretty good toll on my not-so-young-anymore frame, and I was still feeling sore two full days later.
Rico tracked the trip with his nifty GPS unit and imported the data into Google Maps. Here are some stats and images:
Mt. Wilson Summit Loop via Santa Anita Canyon / Winter Creek Trail
total distance from parking down back to the trail head: 17 miles
starting elevation: 1938ft (car) / 2129ft (trail head)
lowest elevation: 1784ft. (sturtevant falls)
summit elevation: 5690ft (cafe)
total climb: 3906 (top to bottom)
total time: 8.5 hrs
Google Map with route overlay (click to enlarge):
Elevation tracking (click to enlarge):
Rico also added the hike to his awesome new website ReCreateLA.com. Check it out and give the boy some love. Or at least get outside and play!
(As a side note, yes I know my updates are pathetically rare. But I had a pretty nostalgic look back at my posts over the past couple of years today, and just thought it would be a good idea to make a post now and then.)