Hike Organizer: Paul Kemp
Location: Chantry Flat Recreation Area, Angeles National Forest
Hike Difficulty: Strenuous, 7/10 (not for beginners)
Distance: 13 1/2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 3900 feet (total)
Time: 6-8 hours
This is the first in a trilogy of hikes in the next three weekends to prominent peaks in the western San Gabriel Mountains: Mount Wilson (5,713'), Mount Lowe (5,603'), and San Gabriel Peak (6161'). Details for the latter two hikes will appear soon. Mr. Lee Zeebold is offering a $1 million bonus for any person completing all three hikes!
Hike Description: The trail goes from Chantry Flat to Winter Creek, then climbs up steeply thru a dense forest of big-cone spruce and oak to the Winter Creek-Little Santa Anita divide, where it joins the Old Mount Wilson Trail at Manzanita Ridge and continues on to the toll road and Mount Wilson summit.
Sadly, the universe-famous Cosmic Cafe, prefered watering hole of many a celebrated extraterrestrial, is still closed for the winter but we will eat lunch on its fine wooden tables before crossing the Observatory grounds to the top of Sturtevant Trail. The return to Chantry Flat follows the Sturtevant Trail down the steep switchbacks of the east slope of Mount Wilson past Sturtevant Camp, Spruce Grove, on to the Gabrielano Trail and down into Big Santa Anita Canyon. The last part of the hike ascends the fire road back to Chantry Flat.
This is a strenuous hike NOT for beginners - 13 1/2 miles is a long way if you haven't been hiking for a while, or you have only been hiking short distances from your couch to the refrigerator! Make sure that you wear appropriate footwear, bring at least 3 liters of water (you can refill your containers at the top), copious amounts of sweet snacks to munch along the way, and lunch. The temperature on Mount Wilson will probably be on the cold side so bring something warm to wear when we stop on the summit.
Directions: The parking situation at Chantry Flat usually sucks so there will be a carpool meeting point at REI in Arcadia at 7.45 am. From the 210 freeway exit on Santa Anita Avenue, go south for a quarter mile and REI will be on your left. Meet at the north end of the parking lot, for those people carpooling you may want to park on the adjacent street. The meeting time is 7.45 am, leaving promptly at 8, and we will take as few cars as possible up to Chantry Flat. For those not wishing to carpool, meet at the Chantry Flat trail head, lower parking lot, at 8.30am. All vehicles require a National Forest Adventure Pass to park at Chantry Flat ($5 cost).
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.