Sunday, August 5, 2012
Hike 2012.052 -- Jones Peak Loop from Little Santa Anita Canyon
I felt like I spent half the way up to the first level-ish area on my hands and feet, literally scrambling up the hill. Sure, you gain altitude fast, and the view backwards is nice, but the sandy areas and great steepness meant very few places where you could conveniently rest.
In fact, by the time I made the first level-ish area, this had already stopped being fun. And, unfortunately, this level area was less than a third of the way up.
Even the last push, where it got less steep, was still plenty steep, with lots of dried buckwheat and sages to push through. I REALLY wasn't haven't having fun, any more.
In the end, I went with the "regular" way down from near Jones Saddle to Little Santa Anita Canyon.
This connector trail is steep, and definitely longer in distance than the ridge route. But it more than makes up for the distance by being walkable on two feet.
As I descended back into Little Santa Anita Canyon, I saw a ravine with a small stand of conifers. Further down, I observed a thick canopy of deciduous trees, which nearly completely hide the canyon floor. One of the few open spots is what I assume to be the "Helispot" point on the trailhead map, which is signed as 2.7 miles from the trailhead.
Once back on the Mt. Wilson trail, it's about one mile above First Water, and about 2.5 miles back to the car. Within that first mile, I had an impressive view up at the ridge from which I had just descended. That's the second picture from the top. No wonder it's such a tough climb!
I'm calling it 6 miles for the day, and ridiculously steep. Won't be repeating this trip for a while.