Thursday, February 25, 2010
Hike 28: Sunset Peak and San Antonio Falls
Two separate hikes. Sunset Peak is where I tried to go on Feb 12, but the Glendora Ridge Road was closed at Cattle Canyon junction, and piled snow left no apparent room for parking near the gate.
According to Modernhiker.com, the easier route up to Sunset Peak is to drive 3.2 miles past Cow Canyon saddle to the intersection with Forest Service road 2N07. This is right before mile marker 7.75, and will enter from the left side. You follow this road 3.9 miles each way to the summit (7.8 miles RT). That's the route I did, even though 1) Upon returning to the USFS visitor center at Mt. Baldy, I was told that Glendora Ridge Road wasn't supposed to be open; 2) "Most" poeple take the route from Cow Canyon Saddle, even though there is VERY limited parking there, and; 3) Even though there is a USFS flyer showing the route I took on 2N07 route is the way up, other maps indicate that this road crosses briefly into the San Dimas Experimental Forest, which is supposed to be limited to entry by permit, only.
Bottom line: It seems that the USFS would have no problem with you taking this route to the summit, provided they feel Glendora Ridge Road is open. This means ignoring a sign on the road that says, because of the San Dimas Experimental Forest, you shouldn't park on the left (south) side of the road in this area. It also means they prefer you to park in the tiny shoulder near Cow Canyon Saddle and taking that route up.
The view from the summit is outstanding. You're at the open end of a large and wide bowl, with Mt. Baldy to the north and a whole slew of 8-9 K peaks all around you. Unfortunately, clouds obscurred my view by the time I got to the top. But I still felt on top of the world.
I had slight blisters but wasn't completely tired, so I went to the Mt. Baldy visitor center and bought some maps for future reference. I also got word that the trail to San Antonio Falls would be fine (it'll probably be covered in lots of snow by tomorrow night!). So I drove up there and took the 1.2 mile RT walk there. It's entirely on a paved road that appears to get plowed, because there was some big stacks of snow on the side of the road. Apparently, the road makes a bend on itself and turns unpaved right where you can see the falls.
Not as much water coming down as I would have expected. Also, the lower falls was abbreviated in length because of a pile of snow/ice at the bottom. It was very nice, nonetheless.
Total of 9 miles hiked for the day. Very scenic.