This is the first of our Six Pack of Peaks (http://www.meetup.com/HikingOC/messages/boards/thread/9056224) series of challenging hikes up progressively higher mountains in Southern California. This is not a hike for beginners. Due to the pace, distance and elevation gain, it's intended for intermediate-advanced hikers. Know your limits!
Mount Wilson is one of the better known peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains, part of the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County, California. It is the location of the Mount Wilson Observatory and has become the astronomical center of Southern California with 60-inch (1,524 mm) and 100-inch (2,540 mm) telescopes, and 60-foot (18.3 m) and 150-foot (45.7 m) tall solar towers. The summit is at 5,710 feet (1,740 m).
We will be hiking a ~14 mile loop that takes us up to the top of Mt. Wilson in the San Gabriel mountains, with a short detour to the popular Sturtevant Falls. From the falls, we'll take the Gabrielino trail to the top of Mt Wilson -- one of the best known peaks above LA with commanding views of the city -- then down the Winter trail back to Chantry Flats.
6:30 AM - Meet at Chantry Flats - NOTE THE REVISED MEET TIME!
6:45 AM - Hit the trail!
Note that Chantry Flats is about a one hour drive from Orange County. Carpooling is recommended. A National Forest Adventure Pass (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino/ap/vendors.php) is required for parking at Chantry Flats.
We'll be hiking about 14 miles. With a break for lunch, expect about 5-6 hours hiking time and 4,200 feet of elevation gain.
GOOD TO KNOW
Wear hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, bring plenty of water, snacks, a light lunch and the Ten Essentials (http://socalhiker.net/2010/02/the-ten-essentials/). There can be poison oak along the trails.
Chantry Flats on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?geocode=FSAW_gEd4kf9-CkJNXy-cvTcgDERxWm-eq5LmA%3BFczLCQIdPRz3-A&hl=en&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=19&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=107737017548218126486.00048637442ef04829152&z=19&iwloc=00048637482ead74da4d5). Click the marker, then Directions for turn-by-turn directions and estimated driving time.
Mt. Wilson webcam (http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/towercam.htm)
Current weather conditions on Mt Wilson (http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/KMWS.html)
Topo map of trails (http://www.adamspackstation.com/BSACMap.html)