Slow Poke Hike To Azusa Peak Via The Garcia Trail With Peak Bagger Challenge
Dust off your trail shoes and let's get back out to the Garcia Trail for a short but challenging slow poke afternoon hike up to Azusa Peak. It's only a mere 1.4 miles to the top (2.8 miles round trip) but don't let the short mileage fool you...at 1240 feet of elevation gain in only 1.4 miles, this trail is as steep as some mountain trails and portions of the trail are somewhat narrow and slippery.
For us slow poke hikers, that means a lot of huffing and puffing and a good challenge just to get up the hill. You may want to bring a trekking pole. It will likely feel like a longer hike.
WARNING: Do not attempt this hike if you have not been hiking or walking for exercise regularly. There will be no Plus One RSVP's for this hike.
In other words...this will definitely be a STRENUOUS hike for beginning hikers and couch potatoes. Sure, we'll hike at a slowpoke pace and take short breaks along the way, but DO know your limits as this trail is a steady climb from beginning to end.
But for our fellow hikers who happen to be Peak Baggers, this hike will likely be like a walk in the park. So to make things interesting, we will provide an optional Peak Baggers Challenge for any interested peak baggers on the hike.
Here's how we'll do it; Kim and l will lead the slow poke hikers up to the cross at Azusa Peak and take a relaxed, slow pace. If the entire group is down for our slow poke pace, then that's what we all do, leaving the challenge for another day.
About the hike: We will meet in front of the fire station at the trail head and take the winding trail to the Glendora Ridge Motorway, a dirt service road that runs along the ridge, and then hike up a wide slope for the final two-tenths of a mile to Azusa Peak, where we will take a 15 minute break for snacks and photos and either wait for or join the Peak Baggers if any, who are taking the Peaking Bagger's Challenge. Then we'll follow the path across the north slope of Azusa Peak back to top of Garcia Trail, and then take the trail back down, being careful to watch our step due to the steepness of the trail. Although not required, a trekking pole will be useful if you have one.
The Peak Bagger's Challenge
If you are a peak bagger or fast hiker and are up for the challenge, you will skirt around past Azusa Peak and continue onward to Glendora Peak (shown in the photo below) adding an extra 1.2 miles (one way) and an additional 580 in elevation gain. Then you will hike back to the cross at Azusa Peak and either wait for or join the slow poke hikers already there. Then we all hike back down together. The challenge is entirely optional. If everyone on the hike wants to just take the slowpoke, relaxed pace, we'll will still have a fun hike.
Note: Since this is just a hill on the edge of town, no adventure pass is needed. Just park on the street out front.
Be sure to bring a couple bottles of water, a snack, sunscreen, and trail shoes or hiking boots regardless of the expected weather conditions.
The hike should take no longer than 2 to 2 3/4 hours depending on the group and if anyone takes the Peak Bagger's Challenge. There will be an optional post-hike dinner at the nearby Max's Mexican Cuisine at 635 North Azusa Avenue, Azusa, CA.
This hike will also be posted on Lazy Ass Hiking and Energized Outdoor Adventures and aside from the peak baggers and fast hikers, we'll be sure to keep slow poke hiking pace.
Directions: From the I-210 Foothill Freeway, exit at Azusa Avenue and go north on Azusa Avenue to Sierra Madre Avenue, about 1.7 miles. Turn right (east) and drive 1.1 miles to L.A. County Fire Station #97 at 18453 Sierra Madre Ave. Park on the north side of the street in front of the houses or anywhere nearby that you can find legal parking. Walk to the trailhead next to the fire station. Garcia Trail starts at the north end of the grass area. If you are coming from the east, the fire station is 0.5 mile from Barranca Ave.
We will meet in front of the fire station near the trail head. Meet 15 minutes early for introductions.
Heavy Rain or a fire closure cancels. Check Meetup site 24 hours before hike.
Waiver of liability: Please read before signing up for this event. By participating in this event you agree to not hold these assistant organizers or Meetup liable for any harm to you of your property. The hike organizers are not a professional hikers/trained leaders and are not trained to treat medical emergencies. Hiking is an inherently dangerous activity that can lead to injuries which include but are not limited to falls, fractures, rattlesnake bites, poison oak, insect bites, heat stroke, and frostbite. You are responsible for your own safety and being appropriately equipped to participate in the hike. You are also responsible for knowing whether you are physically able to participate in the hike. Always stay on the trail, let the hike organizer know if you are leaving the group, and never walk alone.