Friday, February 26, 2010
Hike 13: Big Dalton Canyon to Peak 3397 via Upper Mystic Canyon Trail
No hike today and probably no hike tomorrow, so I'll post about an old one. I took this hike on January 29. The trailhead is above Glendora. I took the 210 freeway to Grand, headed north, then headed east on Sierra Madre, then north on Glendora Mountain Road. Just a mile and a half or so north of Sierra Madre and Big Dalton Canyon Road is on your left. Just over 1/2 mile on this road, there's a parking area on the right side of the road. Several trails intersect here, including Big Dalton Canyon Trail, Upper and Lower Mystic Canyon Trails, and the Wren Meachem Trail.
To get to the Mystic Canyon Trails, cross the road and head up hill about a dozen yards. A fallen and overgrown sign indicates the Lower Mystic Canyon Trail is straight ahead. A bit later, an erect sign points the Upper Mystic Canyon Trail as heading to your left. You begin climbing immediately, though it levels of somewhat later.
When you hit an extremely overgrown dirt road, you know you're on Lower Monroe Road. Follow the road to your right. It'll loop around a couple of peaks, neither of which have names. The first one (after traveling about three miles) is 2760 feet tall. The second one (after about 4 3/4 miles) is 3397 feet tall. In both cases, the dirt road/trail loops around the north of these peaks, and that's how you should approach them if you want to top the peak. Cutting directly up the firebreaks is way steep and generally not worth it.
Interesting thing about the second peak is that you'll come across a large, rectangular area that's fenced off. Apparently, there are sometimes bees deployed there. I guess they head out from there to pollinate the sage, and that's where you'd get locally grown sage honey.
Along most of this hike, you've got a nice view looking across towards Glendora Mountain Road. Mt. Wilson is far off to your west.
If you're able to make it to this second peak, it's definitely worth it. It's got a rather broad summit, mostly covered with California buckwheat. Those branches turn a wonderful shade of red when they mature. If it's clear, you'll have a nice view towards Mount Baldy.
You could potentially continue further north from here, and eventually intersect with Glendora Mountain Road, again. Or you can just turn around, having taken a pretty hearty hike.