Leader: Dave Borchart
Location: Bailey Canyon to Jones Peak / Crossover to Orchard Camp Loop
Distance: Approx. 9 Miles
Gain: Approx. 2300
Time: 6 hours
Pace: Moderate / Group Based
NO BEGINNERS PLEASE!!!! NO DOGS ALLOWED ON THIS HIKE!!!!!
This is a dual meet up hike witht the San Gabriel Mountainms Hike Group. Any avail. spaces will be transfered to the other group to accomodate the waiting list the week before the hike.
Towering directly over the small foothill community of Sierra Madre, Jones Peak ( Elevation 3375' ) divides the watersheds of the Little Santa Anita Canyon to east, and the rugged, steep, narrow Bailey Canyon where our adventure begins!!! The Canyon was homesteaded in 1875, by R.J. Bailey but he soon had to sell the property. It passed thru several titleholders and today is owned by the city of Sierra Madre, which operates it as Bailey Canyon Park. Jones Peak was name after the first mayor of Sierra Madre, C.W. Jones, who served from[masked] and was a longtime resident until his passing in 1967. He was 99!!! Our hike starts at Bailey Canyon Park In Sierra Madre. The first ¾ mile will take us thru the park, up a short paved road past the Bailey Canyon flood control basin and the Mater Dolorosa Retreat House to a dirt path that leads into Bailey Canyon where we will pick up the trailhead. The next part of the hike takes us up to approx. 1000 ft elevation on a series of switchbacks which provide us an amazing and ever increasing view of the Greater Los Angeles area. Once we hit the top of the first set of switchbacks we will proceed in a northerly direction back into the canyon approx. 1 mile to the remains of an old stone cabin where we will take our first of four planned breaks. After approx. 15 minutes will continue our trek up to Jones Peak via the second set of switchbacks that will take us the north facing slope of Jones peak, and our crossover point. We will scramble up the final 300 feet to the peak for our 2nd planned break and enjoy a spectacular view!! IF the weather and air quality is good, we will see a view out to Malibu, POSSIBLY San Nicolas Island, Catalina Island, and down in to O.C. After a 30 minute break we will scramble back down to the saddle, and up to the crossover trail which will lead us to down into Little Santa Anita Canyon and on to Orchard Camp for our 3rd break.
Little Santa Anita Canyon is ripe with history!!! Long before the arrival of the white man, Gabrielino Indians carved a trail up the canyon and continued it to Mt. Wilson. Benjamin Wilson created the first modern trail into the San Gabriel’s up this canyon in 1864 to gather lumber from the mountain top that was later named in his honor. The Harvard University telescope was carried up this trail piece by piece in 1889 and occupied the first observatory on Mt. Wilson. B. Wilson A.K.A. "Don Benito" built his “Halfway House" in 1864. The original halfway house was so named, because it marked the halfway point on the trail to Mt Wilson, and was a construction camp for the original Mt. Wilson Trail. Sometime later it was homesteaded by two mountaineers named George Aiken and George Islip. Together they planted a small orchard of Plum, Chestnut, Apple and Cherry trees, which eventually led to the current name "Orchard Camp" A fellow by the name of James Mc Nally transformed Orchard Camp into a trail resort. Over the next 50 years it passed thru a succession of owners and at one point was most popular resort in the range. 1911 saw its largest amount of visitors, 40,000 people signed the camp register!!!! Orchard Camp was abandoned in 1940 and all that remains is the foundation. Most of Little Santa Anita Canyon is owned by Sierra Madre, and is the Sierra Madre Historical Wilderness Area. A local by the name of Ambrose Zaro maintained the trail almost single-handedly. His passing in March 1990 was mourned by ALL Mt. Wilson Trail hikers.
Most of the trail is in direct sun. On a sunny day it can get rather warm during the hike, even in the winter! Sturdy boots are REQUIRED, as are 2 or 3 liters of water, some snacks. Layered clothing and a hat are recommended. Bring a camera and share your pictures with us after the hike.
If you are traveling WEST on the 210 freeway, exit Baldwin and proceed north to Sierra Madre Blvd and turn Left. Proceed west approx 1/2 mile to the stop sign at Lima, turn Right and proceed to the 3rd stop sign. This will put you at Lima and Carter streets. Turn left on Carter (the park is on the right) proceed slowly to the park entrance on your right. There is FREE parking in Bailey Canyon Park but it is very limited. Additional free parking is avail on Grove St. directly outside the park entrance.
If you are traveling EAST on the 210 freeway, exit Michillinda Ave. Turn Left at the off ramp on to Colorado and proceed to the signal at Michillinda and turn Left. Proceed approx 2 miles North to either Grandview OR Fairview and turn Right. Proceed approx 1/2 mile to Grove St. and turn Left. Proceed 1/4 mile to the top of the street and park. The park is located at the end of Grove St.
We meet up at the park entrance and will depart at 8:00 SHARP!!!!
Because this is a loop hike I will need a few shuttle drivers to meet me at the end point of our hike located at the intersection of Mountain Trail and Mira Monte in Sierra Madre at 7:30. We will leave our vehicles here and I will shuttle us over to Bailey Canyon Park ¾ miles to the west. Parking is free and no adventure pass is need for this hike!!!!!!!