Mt. Yale is often not seen from the front range. Looking from the foothills, it blends into Mt. Harvard directly behind it. This peak becomes more apparent as you get closer to it or if you’re looking at it from the east or west. From the picture, Harvard Ridge goes from bottom of the far left peak to the 3rd peak from the left.
Our hike would take us up the Mt. Wilson trail to the Jones Peak connecting trail. Once up here, we would then take the ridge past Hastings Peak until we got to the Mt. Wilson Toll road. At the road we would head west until we got to the base of Harvard Ridge. We would then follow the ridge all the way up to Yale.
This was a mid August hike which means heat. At the start it was nice and overcast. The temperature here was nice and cool and I had made the mistake of thinking it would be the same all the way to Jones Peak at least. However, this overcast only lasted a quarter mile into our trek, and after that it was sun and heat all the way.
The Mt. Wilson trail has good gain associated with it. The ascent up to First Water really gives you a taste for what you’ve gotten yourself into. Follow the trail up until the T-junction where to the south it directs you into what looks to be a canyon. Follow this to head up to Jones Peak. This is another good ascent filled with switchbacks and some over grown shrubs. Note, if you get to Orchard Camp, then you’ve gone too far.
At the end of the junction start heading up. This ridge will take you past Hastings Peak and all the way to the Toll road.
From this point follow the road until it rounds the base of Yale. There’s a water tank east of the road and besides it is the remnants of an old trail.
Here is where the trail becomes over grown and bushwhacking becomes a must.
The fun thing about this trail also is that once you get past the bushwhacking, there’s some rock hopping up to the top. This adds to the excitement of it all. Oh yea, watch your step. The drop off is a hundred feet or two onto the Toll road.
Once at the top, there’s a register hidden among a pile of rocks. Also, you can seek refuge from the sun among some brushes towards the east end of the peak. But if you go north, there are some rocks that offer you a great place to sit and gives you great views of Mt. Harvard to the north all the way west towards the ocean. In my opinion, this is one of the best views from a front range peak in this part of the San Gabriels.
We made our way down the same way we came up along Harvard Ridge. However, just to lengthen the hike, we followed the road all the back to where it meets the Mt. Wilson Trail. This is the route we took back down to the cars.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 at 10:47 pm and is filed under Trail Information, Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.