Hello all my hikers! or even those who aren't hikers but enjoy the views :) For 2017, I signed up to complete the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge! For those of you who have never heard of this, it's a challenge to climb six peaks of Southern California. It was originally created by SoCalHiker to conquer the John Muir Trail - but others have also used it to prepare for Mount Whitney. I plan on hiking Whitney someday, but for right now, I am just going to hit these 6 peaks.
Up first - Mount Wilson!
The start of this trail was very familiar - as I hiked Sturtevant Falls a couple months ago! At the beginning of the trail has a fairly steep downhill grade and knowing I was about to have a long hike ahead of me, I already was not looking forward to the uphill on the way back.
The difference for us on this hike, besides the mileage, was that we took the trail to the left to the Top of the Falls that lead up to Mount Wilson. There isn't too much to say about this trail, besides to make sure you're prepared. We started at 6 AM and finished around 3:15 PM - so start early!
Along this trail we hit Sturtevant Camp. Apparently, it was a pretty bustling place back in the day - people were brought in to stay in the cabins and enjoy the outdoors. Today, from what I could tell, you do have to hike a ways to it, but it looks well worth it! Even a 'Honeymoon Cottage' for those hiking sweethearts.
Stopping here was a nice break - stop and swing, relax a bit - before continuing on to the peak.
We were sooo ready to hit the peak at this point. You know when you just want to get to your final destination? That impatience is so real! When your body is getting heavy and your legs are starting to get tight, it's definitely hard to enjoy the journey. I think we can all agree that that exists in all aspects of our lives - not just in hiking. We all want the end result - may it be peaks, valleys or whatnot.
When we made it to the top, there were absolutely beautiful views. Sometimes these are hard to capture in a photo - but that's why you should definitely aim to summit Wilson on your own someday. It was very cold off and on - luckily the Cosmic Cafe was open and we snacked on some of their hot items as well as our own trail mixes.
What I didn't know was that Mount Wilson has an observatory - that you can drive up to! I looovveee space and the earth and all that jazz, so I definitely want to come back to look through these massive telescopes. If I remember correctly, some of our closest photos of Mars come from this observatory!
Also a 'DON'T MISS' spot: Echo Rock! We walked right past it! I was looking and asking around for this fence (above) to grab a photo - we walked the top of the mountain I think twice, back and forth, until we found it and the name is real! Stand at the edge of the fence and yell out - you'll definitely hear back your echo - so fun! The clouds were coming in, so our view was slightly obstructed, but still beautiful.
There are several ways to get back down to Chantry Flats - we took the route that was a mile longer but avoided that steep incline to the parking lot (thank goodness!). I believe it was the Upper Winter Creek Trail - very much recommended.
Next on the list is Cucamonga Peak - hopefully without snow. Stay tuned for an update on Peak #2 :)