Double Hike: Altadena Exploration
SW Ridge of Muir Peak
Gain: 2200 ft
Distance: 3.6 miles
Great Incline to Inspiration Point
Gain: 2900 ft
Distance: 7.8 miles
A double hike
Others’ photos and Meetup link here
The hike with the group was starting at 10 am, but I knew I would wake up earlier and figured I might as well do some pre-hike hiking. We had previously hiked up to Inspiration Point then over to Muir Peak and descended a small portion of its SW ridge, so I figured it would be a good time to explore the lower portion of the ridge.
Of course, one could say there is never a “good time” to hike through brush, and that’s probably the case. But it takes me a while to learn I guess. Certainly the couple who I spoke to before I departed thought I was an odd one. They asked if I was going to along the trail (Altadena Crest trail), and I pointed “I’m gonna go up that ridge over there”. Their confused faces said it all. “Why in the world would someone do that?”
To just do it, of course. And I did. I parked right off a small street than peters out just below the AC trail with a switchback leading up. I followed the trail for probably 2 minutes before reaching the bottom of the subsidiary ridge. There are multiple ridges one could choose to start then end up along the SW ridge of Muir Peak, and some others are probably better than this. There was, I guess, a slight “use trail”, but not really. Basically very overgrown on the lower end. I ended up hiking past 3 electric line towers, and continued up to point 2820. On the topo map this is marked as Mt. Lowe, and there are 2 survey markers.
From here I traversed a bith NE then a nice, steep climb, turning NW until getting to bump 3681. This was my goal and turn-around point. From here, the brush appears to lessen with a firebreak which one can take all the way up. I descended the same way, and was reminded of Iron Mt-like terrain – the terrible crumbly San Gabriel rock that is too weak to be steady on but not soft enough scree to do controlled slides on. Luckily I made it down only slipping on my ass twice.
Afterward, I drove over to Rubio Canyon for the group hike. We got started a bit after 10, heading up Rubio Canyon and the Great Incline. I still can’t believe they had a tramway here a hundred years ago!
Just as we started ascended the switchbacks out of the canyon there was a decent amount of poison oak hugging the trail for the first few switchback. It can be avoided but be careful and aware…and don’t fall into it (Ray).
We continued to switchback up to a point where an ‘easier’ trail veers east / northeast, then hikes up the eastern side of Echo. Most of us continued straight up heading NW. The use trail was adorned with yucca, one of which was gracious enough to penetrate my hand in 4 locations. But with some sense they could be avoided, which left just the 2000 ft/mile incline to deal with.
Upon arriving at Echo, the steep part was finished. From here we took the Castle Canyon trail (a front range favorite of mine) up to Inspiration Point. Since it was John’s birthday, everyone brought up food to share which we enjoyed under the shaded (thankfully) lookout. We ate, had some beer, enjoyed the pleasant weather (better than down below), and returned the way we came.
Running to the finish
This entry was posted on Sunday, March 29th, 2009 at 7:51 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.