Inspiration Point and Grassy Hollow is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Valyermo, California that features a great forest setting. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Beautiful cool day! Nice hike west out of Big Pines Rec area. You don't need an adventure pass to park at the area but you can buy one there if you like. PCT goes in and out of the sun so we chose the fire road return so we would be in the sun. Lots of families with young kids. Enjoy!
I love this trail...but I came just this close to getting my daughter bit by a rattlesnake. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN. The rating really depends on what you want in a hike. I gave it 4 stars for being relatively family friendly for smaller children if you are near Grassy Hollow. I am actually surprised to find that Grassy Hollow is at 7400 feet of elevation. I live 15 minutes away and am at 4000 feet. It never seems like the roads climb that much to get to GH.
Great for families with small children.
One of my favorite stretches in the Angeles National Forest. And that's primarily due to the options. A great place for a family with kids or to introduce a novice to hiking. But experienced hikers will certainly enjoy this as well given the fact that you can knock out a quick out and back of a few miles or lock in to a full day of hiking and bag a summit in the process.
Park in the Grassy Hollow Visitors Center in the Big Pines area just west of Wrightwood off the 2. Water and bathrooms are available. Head past the picnic table to pick up the PCT. They have a fun sign at the trailhead which shows an arrow to Mexico (330+ miles) and Canada (2,200+).
Heading north (Canada) kicks off with a little climb the first 400 yards or so which, if you haven't acclimated to the elevation, (7,000 ft.+) will get you breathing a bit but beyond that there are only brief hill climbs which makes it accessible to most anyone. The trail is well maintained and offers up some stunning views of the Mojave Desert right out of the shoot. In a relatively short distance the trail meets a service road. Make a right and after a hundred yards you'll see the white PCT post to continue on your journey.
This trail is notable for some expansive views, rich forest that is broken up by areas of thick manzanita. You may smell smoke from a campfire at the Jackson Flats Group Campground which is located just out of site to the west of the trail.
For novices, continue on the trail and enjoy a gentle hike through a shaded forest. You can make this an out and back by continuing until the trail starts to descend rapidly, maybe two miles from the trailhead.
If you're looking to add some mileage to your hike, take the trail marked Jackson Lake, located about 1.5M from the trailhead, which will descend toward, you guessed it, Jackson Lake. Personally, I don't usually go all the way to the lake, about 2.5 miles from the sign, but instead turn this in to a loop hike.
After about a 1.5 miles you'll come across a signpost for Jackson Lake (it's facing the other way but you'll see it.) If you continue about another 100-200 yards, look for an unmarked side trail on the left. Take this and begin a gentle ascent through some beautiful forest. Note that this trail is available to mountain bikers but I've only seen two in the many times I've hiked this section and, like most mountain bikers, they were very respectful of hikers. There are a couple of great outcroppings with some wild rocks that suggest a good place for a quick break and take in the view. I've had very good luck with spotting deer through here as well and rarely see another hiker.
Continuing on the trail for another mile or so you will reach a fire road. Take a left here and begin a climb back up to the PCT which you'll reach when the trail levels off. If you take a left, you'll be hitting a pretty steep climb for about 500 yards or so until you reach the flat stage of the trail. Continue on and arrive back at the Visitor Center.
For the more experienced hiker, either pass the Jackson Lake sign (or take it for a longer trek back around) until you reach the junction mentioned above. Going straight, (or right if you're coming up from Jackson Lake) drops you sharply down through an Oak forest to Vincent Gap. From there you can set your sites on one of four options. Check out Vincent Gap for more specifics. But the one to do in my opinion is Mt. Baden Powell which, if you're feeling hungry for some summits, will allow you to bag Troop Peak after Baden Powell and if you're a superstar you can continue on to the three "Hawkins" peaks. (That's a big day that I've yet to do.)
Grassy Hollow is a great jumping off point for hikers of all levels and experience. And after you're done communing and getting your heart pumping you've got the nice little town of Wrightwood and it's one main street waiting for you. I'm not sure of the name of it but there's a diner there that makes some great after-hike food!