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    Member Since February 2012

    James Anthony

    Los Angeles, California 

    Favorite Activities

    hikingnature tripsrock climbingtrail runningwalking

    Recent Activity

    James Anthony reviewed Mount Wilson Trail

    over 7 years ago

    I did this hike today to celebrate my first year of losing 86 lbs and returning to a healthy lifestyle. I picked it because it was the longest hike I could find that was reasonably close to where I love (around UCLA).

    I had a little trouble with All trails starting on the trailhead because it kept thinking I was in a different spot from where google placed the trailhead. but no matter. Parking was free on the sidestreets near the trailhead, nobody stole,ticketed, broke into, or otherwise messed with my car in any way.

    What a great hike! In the first leg from Trailhead to "First Water", The trail was teeming with wildflowers on the sides of the dirt path that led up the mountain. It was almost as if someone had transplanted parts of a garden center there.

    Since the recent rains, first water was a welcome blend of sight and sound. It defined the term "Babbling brook". One lady was meditating down there on a rock near the stream. Very cool.

    From First water to the next stop "Helicopter pad" is also very nice, with the heat of the day being masked by the trees above the trail and the way the sun casts shadows early over the ridges to provide for cooling shade. Periodic views of the Arcadia/Pasadena/Santa Anita Racetrack are available, as well as glimpses of the summit of Mt. Harvard, (the only one you'll see with Radio Towers on it). I recommend you stop here to have some refreshment since First Water to Orchard is the longest leg of the hike to the summit.

    From Helipad to Orchard is no too bad after a nice little rest in the warming sun. The woods are alive with activity with lots of Green, flowers, squirrels, ravens, hawks, bluebirds, and hummingbirds here and there. By now, no trace of of the noise of civilization will reach your ears, except perhaps for a passing jet. A few spots present themselves to hop across some small streams on the trail.

    Orchard seems to be a very popular place. I've never stopped there for more than 5 minutes without encountering a party or two either coming up or down from the mountain. It is one of the best spots I could imagine for a picnic with your sweetheart or family since it is not too terribly strenuous to reach, and doesn't take more than 2 or 3 or hours round trip to get there from the trailhead. Cool shade, the sound of water moving past in the ravine below, and wind rustling the trees could be the making for some romantic imagery.

    From the Orchard camp, be prepared to breathe heavy, trudge slowly, and resolve that the the easy part of this hike is over. From Orchard to Manzanita Ridge is what makes this trail "Strenuous".

    The scenery has some changes. The wildflowers are replaced with spiky-leaved plants (don't know what they're called); the air gets cooler, even in the sunlight, but you won't be cold from all the exertion you're doing. There are some nice spots along the way to rest, including a few babbling brooks with big rocks to lay on and bask in the sun if you so desire. Once the scenery on the sides of the trail changes from Oaks, to Pines, to Manzanita Bushes, You're getting close to the top. At the top, there is a most welcome big wood bench to rest for a bit before starting the final leg to the summit of Mt. Wilson.

    From the bench, you can go on to Mt Wilson, a separate trail down. The alternate trail goes to Chantry Flats in the Angeles Forest. Haven't done that leg though personally.

    Orchard to Manzanita Ridge is the most strenuous leg of the journey, but from there to the summit is not as exciting because not far from the Bench spot is the "toll road". From there it is gravel / dirt road all the way to the summit so it seems. But what it lacks in trail esthetics it more than makes up for in panoramic views. On a clear day, there is no doubt you could see all the way to Catalina Island, The Ocean, and Everything in-between. Strain your eyes, and you may be able to see all the way to San Francisco (just kidding).

    Once you get to the top. Hit up the Mt. Wilson Observatory. It is open from April 1 -November 30 ( I know, missed it by 4 days, dammit).

    On your way back down, you may be able to reach Mt. Harvard. It's a short hike with a brief uphill portion, all on gravel road and offers views from the summit all the way into the inland empire so it seems! Worth it just to see the views of most of the trail you just hiked!

    Overall, I'd recommend getting started out no later than 8 am, because it is a long hike and you don't want to be there when it gets dark or when the cold pre-evening wind kicks up. The people you will meet along the way seem to be quick to offer a hearty "hello" and wish you a safe and happy hike. Bring lots of water, energy bars, plenty of water, a camera, and a friend or two to make this adventure one that you will talk about and fondly recall for a long time to come!

    James Anthony reviewed Grizzley Flats

    over 7 years ago

    James Anthony completed Grizzly Flat Trail

    over 7 years ago

    James Anthony checked in to Grizzley Flats

    over 7 years ago