Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Hike 2014.026 -- Echo Mountain
This was my first hike in three weeks. That's probably the longest I've gone without an official hike (more than three miles, off-pavement) in four years.
I initially intended to hike to Henninger Flats. However, I had just barely started when I heard a Sheriff's Department announcement from a radio car: "The park closes today at 7pm). Did that mean they were going to lock the gate at 7pm? It's supposed to be locked at sunset, and there's usually a grace period, so I was thinking I'd have time (even leaving after 5:30pm) to get to Henninger and back. But the announcement spooked me, so I walked back to my car, and then drove west on Altadena Drive, over to Lake, then on up to the Echo Mountain trailhead.
No pictures of some primrose near the start. But, other than that, pretty much everything I saw is here. First up was the phlox. Pretty and purple. I often wonder if these flowers were what the Start Trek people were thinking of when they named that character on ST: Voyager. Well not *really* often. But once in a while.
Then, a yellow flower I've seen and learned before, but could not find a name for this time around. Then some purple penstamon.
There were also plenty of wild mustard, though I don't photograph that very often. Don't want to reward the invasive!
This trail is one I've walked probably more frequently than any other. It's also probably the first trail I ever hiked in the Angeles. It's a good length what a nice payoff at the end (the "White City").
Yet, despite these many return trips, I still see new things here. On this trip, I noticed what looks like a lot of restoration or conservation going on at the White City.
The best time to visit, in my opinion, is near sunset.
The other nice thing is, the trail is now very well improved and easy to walk, even in poor light.
That's not to say you can ignore where you put your feet. You still need to pay attention, of course.
So, when I go, I typically try to start down pretty much as the sun sets, and can usually make it to the trialhead by the end of twilight.