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Mount Wilson Trail 11W22
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mini location map2019-04-03
16 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
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Mount Wilson Trail 11W22Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2019
Hiking8.70 Miles 2,801 AEG
Hiking8.70 Miles   3 Hrs   53 Mns   2.24 mph
2,801 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had to make another work trip to LA for more software training, so I looked into some local trails nearby that I do some hiking and exploring while I had the opportunity. The training was in Monrovia, which is right at the base of the San Gabriel mountain range. The bottom end of this trail is in a neighborhood. There isn't a proper trailhead there, but you can park along the street in several spots. there is a park a few hundred feet downhill, which allows for ample street parking. Not the best arrangement, but good enough for me trying to get a hike in on a weekday while traveling for work.

The trail is very smooth and wide, not a lot of rocks to step over or hard to keep your footing. At first the surrounding neighborhood is well hidden, but as you ascend, it becomes more visible until you get further up the canyon. There was quite a bit of green around, likely due to the rains CA got at the same time AZ did.

the trail basically follows up the left (west) side of a steep canyon. during most of the hike, the sound of the stream below is audible. The weather was mostly overcast across LA, and this led to the top of the mountain range being obscured by the clouds. A few times I was able to get a glimpse of the top of Mt. Wilson and the observatory there.

About a mile in, there is an unsigned junction to a trail that looks like it heads west and might go back down into the neighborhood somewhere. I haven't been able to find much about that online. After that, there is a junction for the First Water area, that appears to be a spring and possibly a campground area. I didn't get a chance to check it out.

About 4 miles in is the Orchard Camp. there is a info sign for it and the foundations of the buildings are still there. After the Orchard Camp, the trail begins to look like trail by AZ standards: narrow and rocky. Just over a half mile past the Orchard Camp, I decided it was time to head back due to time constraints. I needed another 1.4 miles to reach the road to Mt. Wilson. didn't see the point in that for this day. I was proud that in just over 2 hours I had not only done over 4 miles, but also 2700'. Maybe the Cactus to Clouds hike isn't outside my skill set after all :-k . I was even able to pass a couple who looked to be at least in their early 30s on my way downhill. The HAZ hikers keep the standards high, it seems. BTW, Mt. San Jacinto has quite the large cap of snow right now, very scenic from a distance (and up close).

Saw about 20 or so hikers the whole time. Most were going downhill. The majority of hikers were within the first 1.5 to 2 miles from the bottom. Glad to have been able to check this one out. Looks like it leads in to a nice system of trails throughout the mountain range.
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