Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hike 2011.017 -- Mt. Wilson Toll Road

Hiked Tuesday, March 22. I accessed the old toll road from Pinecrest Avenue. If you're heading east bound on the 210 freeeway, exit at Altadena Blvd and go north. If you're heading west bound, exit at Sierra Madre Blvd and go north. If you're on Sierra Madre, turn left at Orange Grove and proceed one block west. Then turn north on Altadena Blvd.

To access the Pinecrest Ave trailhead, proceed north on Altadena, about 1 1/2 miles past New York Blvd and the Eaton Canyon Nature Center. Turn right on Crescent Drive, and park just before the first stop sign you see (at Pinecrest). From the stop sign, walk left about 200 yards. The gate will be on your right. The sign on the gate says it's open from dawn to dusk "most days." If you inadvertently get locked in, you've got a pretty long detour for an alternate way out, so don't park here unless you're sure you can get out before dark.

My initial plan was to hike all the way to Mt. Wilson. However, 1) It's been a couple of months since I've done a long, climbing hike; 2) It's a little cool out there still, and; 3) There was a bulldozer clearing boulders at a logical turn-around point. As a result, I turned around where the fire break from Bailey Canyon intersects with the toll road. The bulldozer was working just a hundred yards or so past there.

My best estimate is that I walked about ten miles. It would have been about two more miles to the top of Mt. Wilson. Yes, if I really wanted to, I could have made it. However, I had plans for later this evening and didn't really want to completely wear myself out. I would like to have gone at least another 1/2 mile or so, however, to get a good view to the east and northeast. Too bad about that bulldozer.

I saw a few deer about a mile past Henninger Flats. It looked like a doe and yearling to me. The first shot is the picture I took; the second one is a crop of that same picture. Extremely cute, eh?

I also got to play a little bit more with my Nikon L110. I took a few videos of the mountains, playing some with the zoom feature as I shot. I also took plenty of still pictures. The snow-capped summits of San Gabriel Peak, Mt. Markham, and Mt. Lowe feature prominently. Also, I took some long zooms on Mt. Wilson.

If you watch the video, be sure to check your volume. There were occasional gusts of wind that the camera's speaker pick up rather well.