Orchard Camp via Mt Wilson Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Orchard Camp via Mt Wilson Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sierra Madre, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2181 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The first half of the trail to Mount Wilson, an old camp used by Mr Wilson himself. The trail was originally built by Benjamin Davis Wilson, who was the grandfather of General George S. Patton around 1852. The trail followed an old Indian trail and as legend has it, was used by the Spaniards to hunt for Grizzly Bears. Ben Wilson wanted to find better wood on the mountain, but was unable to locate any so the trail reverted to a popular tourist attraction for hikers. Hikers would set signal fires at the summit to let other know they had arrived safely. In 1864 Ben Wilson expanded the trail with the help of Mexican and Chinese laborers. Orchard Camp is the halfway point to Mount Wilson and while it's three room building not longer exists, a wall and stone steps remain to this day, making a great place to stop and have lunch before returning to the trail head for those not eager to make the 14 mile round trip all the way to the summit of Mount Wilson.

2 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

go early morning or late afternoon to avoid heat. trail faces Eastern exposure with minimal shade. Can stop at the falls halfway up for rest and shade.

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Left early in the morning (near sunrise) to avoid heat and crowds. Had my Aussie come along as the path is pretty dog friendly. Orchid Camp is a great resting place. Shade and places to explore.

3 months ago

3 months ago

A lot of 'calf burning' incline at start for about 2 miles and will slightly decline half way. I hiked during summer mid day so if you're physically fit and don't mind the heat, go for it!

4 months ago

4 months ago

6 months ago

6 months ago

Whole trail shaded in the afternoon

hiking
7 months ago

Very scenic trail well maintained. There was lots of shade during the 2nd half and the climb is fairly good for about 2 miles.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a scenic but heavily trafficked hike that ascends on the west side of Little Santa Anita Canyon. I made it to Orchard Camp and would've gone further had it not been too late in the day. Next time I'm going to go all the way to Wilson.

8 months ago

9 months ago

Decent trail to Orchard Camp, half way point to Mt. Wilson (roughly both in elevation and length) not super scenic but nice and shaded. Parts of it are next to a "water fall". Went on 1/15/17/, a day and a half after ~3 weeks of on and off rain, and the trail is still in great condition, relatively dry, small bit of mud runoff, no problems. Decently tough hike, due to steady, gradual elevation.

9 months ago

9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail, Well Marked, Good Shape, CLEAN lots of Fun. JUST CROWDED, Trail runners, Hikers, Bikers, Casual Hikers to Die hard hikers. The Higher up you go it thins out a Little, The 1st 1.5 miles is Okay at best, definitely a workout, The second 1.5 is VERY nice, shady, water, wildlife, at that point you are half way to Mt Wilson, Next time I will go all the way! I can only imagine how much nicer it gets. This trail is a GREAT work out and people uses it as a Gym, its Close to home so its Okay. All is Good with the trail just gave it a three due to the Human activity