We’ve hiked in Santa Anita Canyon starting at Chantry Flats a few times in the past. One time we went fishing with Rick and another we did a short weekend backpacking trip camping at Spruce Grove. This time we had a much longer hike ahead of us, so we didn’t have any extra time for fishing or much photography. It had rained a couple days earlier so the streams were full of water and there weren’t as many people on the trail.
The canyon is really beautiful and the first part of the trail goes by a number of private cabins. Most of the trail is pretty shaded by the trees, but occasionally there were some spring flowers.
Our goal for the day was to summit Mt. Wilson. Although it’s only at 5710 ft, it required 4,000 ft of gain to get there over 7.5 miles. We started around 10 am and after 3 miles of gentle grade began the tough climb to the peak.
It took about 3.5 hours to get to the top and we were exhausted. The weird part was reaching the top, which has an observatory accessible by car with 50 or so visitors. Since you can drive to the top we found ourselves surrounded by energetic kids and people in suits and dresses probably after church. We grabbed a cup of hot cider and a crappy cup of hot chocolate and ate lunch in the parking lot. After resting we were tempted to hitch hike down, but left civilization once again for a grueling 7.5 mile hike back to our car.
On the way back we passed a lot of casual day hikers enjoying the streams and cool shade.
We can generally tell how tough a hike was and how tired we were feeling based on the amount of photos we took. This hike was 15 miles, 4,000 feet of gain, 8.5 hours and we took only 28 photos. The next weekend we hiked up Smith Mountain which was only 7 miles, 1,500 feet of gain, 4 hours and we took over 100 photos.
The tough climb to Mt. Wilson definitely exhausted us, but it was a good experience for training for Mt. Whitney and showed us where we still need to gain some strength.
This brings back some fun memories, but I can’t believe you guys could just walk past all that great looking water… For shame…
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