Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mt. Wlison Hike (California)

Though famous for its observatory, Mt. Wilson houses number of radio and television antennas and is famous landmark and conspicuously visible to anyone driving in San Gabriel valley and beyond. At around 5,700 ft, this is one of the highest peaks in San Gabriel Mountains. You can in-fact drive up to Mt. Wilson following Angeles Crest Highway (around one hour drive from LA downtown).
Day after thanksgiving, along with 4 other very experienced hikers; we started this hike from City of Sierra Madre at intersection of E. Mira Monte and Mt. Wilson Trail. It is long and strenuous hike through wilderness with steep elevations and passing through some shade and lot of sun. Make sure that you carry plenty of water (at lest 2 liters) and food as there is no source of drinking water on this long hike. We were maintaining quite brisk pace. Having never experienced a long hike this one, it was really tough for me and was getting slower and slower progressing through the hike and had virtually no energy left at around 3/4 of the onward hike. I had to stop and break away from the group. Fortunately, making slow and continued progress, I was able to join the group at Manzanita Ridge point. It took us approx 4 1/2 hours to reach the top. After resting for approx 30 - 40 mins at Mt. Wilson we made our way back and with few short stops made down in approx 3 hours. The total hike was around 15 miles (round trip) with approx 4500 ft. of total elevation gain.
Here is the hike log:
8:25 am      Start (89 E. Mira Monte Ave., Sierra Madre, CA)
9 am          First Water - 1.5 Mile (break 10 mins)
10 am        Orchard Camp (2,960') - 3.5 Mile (stopped for lunch approx 15 mins)
11:30 am    Manzanita Ridge - 5 miles (break 10 mins)
                  Mt. Wilson Toll Road (5.5 Miles)
1 pm          Mt. Wilson Summit (5,710') - 7.5 Miles
4:30 pm     Return -  15 Miles

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