Monday, September 21, 2015

Hike 2015.024 -- Little Santa Anita Canyon to First Water

Hiked Thursday, April 9. 3 miles. Haven't had time to edit pictures for any of my other hikes. This one, I apparently edited some time ago, but never did the write-up. Well, now this is over five months after the fact, so I can't very well remember much about this hike. I do note by looking at the pictures that the water was very dry. Yes, it's a drought. But it's been an odd drought. If you were to just look at the rainfall totals since this hike (say, from May to September 2015), you'd see we're actually pretty far above average for the past five months. The two inches plus we got last week was the wettest September on record for Los Angeles
But, because it had been so dry the previous years, and also below average into April, Little Santa Anita Canyon had gotten very dry by the time I took this hike.
And, since this was still pretty early in the year, even with the below average rainfall, First Water was still pretty green.
Can't remember anything else specifically about this hike. It's one I've done many times before, even long before hiking became my semi-obsession. This was one of the earlier trails I learned of, and the first way I walked up to the top of Mount Wilson. I also have a fond memory of taking one of my aging dogs on a hike to First Water. He was well into double-digits by then, and maybe a little senile. But he still loved the memory of going on rides (which he hadn't done in years). He hoped into the car when he saw the leash, and excited ran back and forth on the drive up. Then he wound up sitting on my lap. Of course, this was before airbags, and I'm sure this wasn't ideal from a safety standpoint. But he was so excited to be "going for a ride," I could not force him to sit on his own.
He was also an excited hiker, and we walked quickly up the hill. But the plan was for this short, three-mile trip, because, hey, old dog, remember?

Once at first water, I explored a little downstream, and we both slid down a short chute. Fortunately, I had little trouble making my way back up, and I was able to push my dog up ahead of me.

We made it back fine, and got back in the car, for the drive home. My poor old dog was beat. He curled up and took a nap on the floor in front of the passenger-side seat.
The trail up Little Santa Anita Canyon starts in Sierra Madre. From the Foothill Freeway (I-210), exit at Baldwin Avenue and head north. Six blocks north of Sierra Madre Blvd, make a right at Mira Monte Avenue. The Mount Wilson Trail starts up the short, paved road that says, "Mount Wilson Trail," just west of Mount Wilson Trail Park. There is limited parking on the west side of the Mount Wilson Trail road, right at the bottom. Otherwise, park on Mira Monte. Walk up the paved road, then turn left, off the pavement, when you reach a sign indicating the trail. It's about seven miles up to Mount Wilson, but just 1 1/2 miles to First Water.