Friday, April 12, 2013

Hike 2013.021 -- Little Santa Anita Canyon

Hiked Monday, April 8. I'm just about a week behind in my hike blogs, and, if I get some hiking in over the weekend (as I intend), I'll be even more behind in a few days.

Little Santa Anita Canyon is the "classic" Mt. Wilson Trail. When I was growing up, the sign said it was 8 miles to Mt. Wilson. Now, the sign says it's 7 miles. I don't believe them.

The trail starts at the corner of Mt. Wilson Trail (a small, private street) and Mira Monte Avenue, in Sierra Madre, about 1/4 mile east of Baldwin. To drive to the trailhead, you'd take the Foothill Freeway (I-210) to Baldwin and head north. If you're coming from the west, this will mean exiting at Baldwin, turning left, then making another left on Foothill Blvd, right after you cross under the freeway. Then you'd make a quick right to get back on to Baldwin.

Head north on Baldwin, through Old Town Sierra Madre, and on up to Mira Monte (about the second to last street before you run out of city). Turn right, and look for parking near the small Mt. Wilson Trail Road, which will be on your left.

As this was an after work hike, I was planning to keep it short. That made First Water the logical stop. It's only about 1.5 miles up the canyon. Still has a pretty serious climb (made more serious by a series of slides that require a detour above the slide area and adds perhaps 100 vertical feet in each direction to this hike.

As you near the high point (altitude-wise) of this hike, you'll note a trail that turns sharply to the left, off of the Mt. Wilson Trail.

That's a relatively new addition, and provides a ridge route down towards Sierra Madre. In theory, it also provides a ridge route up towards Hastings Peak (which I took, once), but it's crazy-steep, and I don't think it made my trip faster than if I headed up the more established trail towards Hastings Saddle.

Walked easily, as is my nature. What this means is, I normally walk pretty fast. But then I stop to take a lot of pictures. I mean, a LOT of pictures. Well over 100 on this 3 mile roundtrip.

As is usually the case, the water was running at First Water. Kind of low for this early in the season, but very nice.

I headed downstream just a few score yards to get the view of the small "waterfall." This spot has some nice memories for me, but that's a tale for another day.

Easy 3 mile roundtrip. There's a significant altitude gain, but if you take it slow, it should not deter you. Relatively child-friendly, too. The trail is generally pretty wide, although a careless person could, I suppose, still walk right off into Little Santa Anita Canyon.


  1. Thank you for the post! I look forward to more! IMHO, missing a post due to living life and being active is wonderful! :)

  2. Yeah, but sometimes falling behind makes me fell like I'm slacking on my "job." ;D