Location visible to members
San Gabriel Peak, several miles northwest of Mt. Wilson with an elevation of 6,163 feet, is the second highest point in the front range of the Angeles Crest. (Strawberry Peak, a few miles to the north, is all of 12 inches higher, hardly noticeable unless you squint.) The top of San Gabriel Peak offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the San Gabriel Mountain Wilderness--including Mt. Wilson, Mt. Waterman and Mt. Baldy--to the east and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area to the west. On a clear day you can see all the way to Santa Catalina Island.
Now that the Mueller Tunnel, closed since the Station Fire, has re-opened we can make an extended loop--descending from the Red Box Ranger Station to Valley Forge, ascending from Valley Forge to Eaton Saddle, emerging from the Mueller Tunnel with views into the depths of Eaton Canyon (of special interest to anyone foolhardy enough to have accompanied me in past years on the Idlehour Trail), climbing up a narrow switchback trail to San Gabriel Peak, and then descending through the forest on the north side of the mountain back to our starting point at Red Box Station, pausing briefly to pay our respects to the abandoned Nike Missile Site on Mt. Disappointment.
Roundtrip of 9 to 10 miles with an elevation gain of about 2,000 feet. Moderately difficult. Not for beginners.
More than half of the route is forested and shady, but it is summer and we are at relatively high elevations (4,000 to 6,000 feet) throughout, so wear sunscreen and/or a hat, bring water and pack a lunch. We will return to Red Box Station between 1:30 and 2 pm.
The drive to Red Box from the intersection of Hwy 2 and the 210 Fwy in La Canada takes 30 minutes. There are restrooms and ample parking (National Forest Parking Passes required) at Red Box. Plan to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before 8:00 am. My mobile phone does not work at Red Box and we will depart promptly at 8:00, with or without you.
Carpool Directions: Those who do not have a parking pass, or want to save gas, should meet at the Milmada Drive carpool point on the frontage road just east of Hwy 2 between 7:15 and 7:30 am. When you exit the 210 Fwy, turn north toward the mountains and then turn right at the second road, Milmada Drive, and make an immediate left onto the frontage road that runs parallel to Hwy 2 and park. Look for a white Volvo sedan and two small black dogs. My mobile number is[masked].
Since I limit the number of participants please do not RSVP "Yes" unless you mean it.
Joining this hike is entirely voluntary and participants assume all associated risks. It is each hiker's responsibility to ensure that s/he is in sufficient fitness and health to participate, with appropriate provisions and equipment. The Los Angeles Hiking Meetup group and the hike organizer make no warranties about the safety or supervision of these activities.