We will continue our preparation for our trip to Sequoia with another 2 night trip following the Mt. Wilson fire road to Henninger Flats, continuing on the Idlehour trail and finishing up on the Castle Canyon/Sam Merrill trail to the Cobb Estate at the top of Lake Avenue.
Hike Leader: John A.
Distance (W/Bonus): 16.1
Elevation gain: ~4,100'
This is a shuttle hike so we will meet at the top of Lake Avenue Friday night, drop vehicles, and carpool over to the Henninger Flats trailhead a few miles east. ***NOTE*** When parking at the Cobb Estate, DO NOT PARK ON LAKE AVE!!! Check the parking signs carefully on Loma Alta and park either on Loma Alta or on one of the side streets (Monterosa Dr. or Cocopan Dr.).
We will hike up the road 2.8 miles to Henninger Flats and take a short rest. We continue up the Mt. Wilson Toll Road another 1.2 miles before branching off on the Idlehour trail another 2.1 miles to Idlehour trail camp for the night.
Early Saturday morning we'll break camp and continue on the Idlehour trail another 3 1/4 miles to Mt. Lowe Camp where we will spend Saturday night. We will have the option to take a late afternoon hike to the top of Mt. Lowe.
Sunday we will pack up, stop off at Inspiration Point to enjoy the view and then continue down the Castle Canyon trail 2 miles to Echo Mountain, take a quick snack break and follow the Sam Merrill trail another 2.6 miles to the trailhead at the Cobb Estate.
The Mount Wilson Toll Road was originally built in 1891 to provide easy foot and pack animal access up the mountain. Hikers were charged 25 cents, while horseback riders were charged 50 cents to access the road. The Toll Road was dubbed the New Mount Wilson Trail and it quickly became the most popular route up the mountain. Adjusting for inflation, that means that hikers were eagerly paying about 6 dollars per person to access the trail. That’s crazy! The toll road was in operation until 1936, when it closed due to construction of the Angeles Crest Highway. Now, it is a well maintained fire road that is popular among hikers, mountain bikers, and runners. As the fire road ascends toward Mount Wilson, a wonderful view of Altadena opens up.
The Idlehour Trail is a 4.5 mile trail that goes through the upper reaches of Eaton Canyon as it traverses between the Mount Wilson Toll Road and the old Mount Lowe railway with Idlehour Trail Camp situated almost midway on the trail at the bottom of the canyon.
From Echo Mountain the Castle Canyon trail leads north, first slightly descending and crossing the top of Rubio Canyon. The trail then ascends constantly and gets steep at the end climbing about 800 ft. in 0.3 miles. 2 miles after Echo Mountain it eventually tops out at the Ramada at Inspiration Point (4,510 ft). This lookout was a famous site at the times of the Mount Lowe Railway and has marvelous vistas over the mountains and canyons below and on clear days all the way to the ocean.
Water is available at Idlehour Camp but not at Mt. Lowe Camp so plan accordingly.
There are no restrooms at Idlehour but pit toilets are available at Mt. Lowe Camp.
This is a dog friendly hike for friendly dogs,
What to bring:
REI has a comprehensive checklist of backpacking gear: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacking-checklist.html
If you are not sure what to bring, ask!
As always, please feel free to ask any questions you have here on the meetup reply section so that others who have the same question can get the answers too.
The legal stuff...
The short version - You fall, you die, your fault! simple as that!
The long version (for you lawyer types)...
By signing up for this event, you are acknowledging that you are fully aware of the risks involve with this event. You also acknowledge that neither the
hike leader nor event coordinator is a professional hiker. You will not hold
either the hike leader nor any member of this group responsible for any liability or mishap cause by you. You are responsible for your own action and safety. (Blah, Blah, Blah...)