Burned Area Photos & Old Mt Wilson Trail

A beautiful day, not so beautiful burned areas…

Final Stats:

16 miles, 5200 ft

View more stats and maps

Set up another last minute hike with the meetup group, and just before 8 am off we were up the Old Mt Wilson trail, or ‘Old Faithful’ based on my hiking past.

The day was very clear, though a bit warm. Starting early lessened the extent of heat and sun exposure, but still the first 1.5 miles of the trail is uncovered. Luckily, we made this in good time and then got to some more shade.

Although I don’t have a picture of it, from the drive up it appears someone made an big effort to create a firebreak on Jones Peak’s SE ridge. And from what Ray said, apparently this continued all the way to Hastings Peak and the toll road.

We continued up, breaking at Orchard’s Camp and then on to Manzanita ridge. Here we saw some lady smoking. Seriously? Are people just that moronic / careless? No wonder these fires start. For some reason I didn’t say anything, but man that’s disappointing.

Up and away to Mt Wilson it was. On the toll road, we got our first glimpse of burned area – the east side of Lowe, Markham, and San Gabriel Peaks.

(I suggest taking a look at my photo album below as I took in more zoomed shots of here and the rest of the burned areas I could see.)

Getting up to Mt Wilson, we traversed across to the eastern end. Here we got some expansive views on a really beautiful day. Unfortunately much of that clarity gave sobering views of the burned areas:

And many more. The whole area is just toast. Waterman and Twin Peaks look alright, Devil’s canyon and the San Gabriel Wilderness are at least partially burned. AW’s west ridge idea now looks feasible :) . Triplet Rocks area still has brush :( .

Barley Flats and Lawlor were just annihilated. Strawberry too, although I didn’t get great views of it. The album describes better than words.

The top of Wilson’s Peak was relatively untouched. When I got to the north side, I could smell the charred wood / brush pretty strongly. You could see evidence that at least some fire got right up to the paved road, as some trees’ bases were burnt. But the area was not affected collectively. It looks like a nice job fighting off the fire very close to buildings.

And then we headed back down the same way.

Related posts:

Moro Rock
Mt. Baldy Run to the Top Race
The Lure of Triplet Rocks - Missing Hiker Rescued

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This entry was posted on Saturday, October 17th, 2009 at 8:06 pm and is filed under News, 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.

2 Responses to “Burned Area Photos & Old Mt Wilson Trail”

John Y.

John Y. November 16th, 2009 at 10:53 am

Hi, your info on Mt. Wilson was so interesting that I decided to hike it yesterday morning, and I loved it! Was it really 5,200 feet? Thanks for posting so many hiking reports — I’m always on the lookout for more hiking suggestions.


November 17th, 2009 at 6:27 am

Hi John,

I believe its definitely 5,000. The trailhead is just below 1,000 ft and the high point is 5,700 + ft which means it has to be more than 4700. There are enough ups and downs on the trail to account for another 300 ft. I may have added some more walking around the observatory though.

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