Up to Monrovia Peak

The group at the top of MonroviaWhat a hike this was. One of the tougher front range hikes I’ve done since Santa Anita Ridge. This starts off peacefully enough with a gentle walk along the fire road. It isn’t’ until you get to the start of the trail that things start to become difficult.

This beginning trail along the ridge has its ups and downs, and you quickly realize that this is really going to be a tough hike. The brush is already starting to become annoying, and it only gets worse.

The trail portion here becomes overgrown and a bit hard to find. But looking closely you can see an old trail that cuts right and then makes it’s way up. So instead of taking the steep and very loose path as seen in the video below, take the switch back trail to the right.


On the roadOn the trail. Clamshell is to the far left.The trail cuts right half way up and then breaks left before you round the hill.


My view from afar of Ofir trying to make is way up directly up the ridge.


A close up view of Ofir doing the same thing, but only without the slide.

This is the only real obstacle or path finding for this hike. The rest is more or less ridge or road. Just follow the slightly overgrown trail to Clamshell Peak. Just before reaching Clamshell Peak though, there is a nice steep climb. This can be avoided by taking the path, but that’s no fun. Opt for the steep ridge portion.

Looking at Rankin PeakFrom Clamshell looking at Catalina

From Clamshell to Rankin, parts of require traveling on the fire road. This is a really nice break from the ridge climbs. Plus, there was shade in these portions and view of the back country. But once off of the road, the final ridge climb up to Rankin proved to be the toughest. The grade increases substantially and it just becomes one hell of a climb up. But once atop, you’re greeted with a small plague and the register.

But you’re not done yet. Looking northeast, you can see the rest of the trail up to Monrovia. Just follow the ridge and you’re there. This path also had some snow which was nice given the recent warm up. But this allowed some of our group to refill their Nalgene bottles.

At the top of RankinThe path from Rankin leads to Monrovia to the left.

The final ascent is like the final exam. It’s a steep climb up and it the last reminder of all the struggles it took to get to that point.

The last climbYou can barely make her out, but there is a person standing in the center at the top of the trail.

The top has some great views. The west there’s Mt. Wilson, Strawberry Peak, and Lawlor. To the North you have Roundtop, Vetter, Twin Peaks; to the east there’s the ever present Baldy, and Gorgonio and Jacinto off in the distance. The only drawback to this peak is the amount of trees at the top. These block what would otherwise be a spectacular view.

We had lunch up here for about an hour and just relaxed and put out of our mind the long way back.

The way down was easy. Coming off of Monrovia and onto the fire road was a bit steep, but manageable. We decided to take the road back instead of going through all of the brush and loose scree again. This added about 4 more miles to our original plan. But it was an easy 4 miles.

Baldy in the distanceStill on the roadIt's a trail.

Once off the road, we ended up taking the scenic Deer Park Trailhead back. This had a nice little creek and lots of creek like vegetation.

Just follow the green bordered pathA little creekThe sun peaking in

On the road back to the cars. Ze was trying to find a shortcut, but that would have involved hopping into peoples backyards.

Rounding the cornerI must say though, that this hike was pretty intense. It was a leg burner all the way up. The brush, inclines, and warm sun also makes this one of the most annoying hikes that I’ve done recently. But it was definitely worth it. On a clear day, the views are unmatched. This makes for a great winter or early spring hike.

Would also like to check this out in the snow. That would be interesting.

For more technical details, check out Ze’s trip report Into the Brush – Ascending Monrovia Peak

Related posts:

Mt. Lowe: Cross Country Edition
Saddle & Calabasas Peaks, Topanga Lookout
Triplet Rocks

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 4:40 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.

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