Mt Wilson via Toll Road Trail Run

Final Stats:

17 miles, 5000 ft

oh my quads…

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I had wanted to do this one for a while. Yesterday was forecast to be cool, and I didn’t wake up till 9 am, so that pretty much decided it.

John, aka ‘socalhikes hiker’ actually was planning a hike for a change :P . They were thinking about going to Mt Yale, though I indicated that it was in the closed area. They were still planning on heading to Hastings Peak, so I thought maybe I could walk back down with them to avoid the boring fireroad and bum a ride back to Eaton Canyon Park.

I arrived to a circus of a parking lot. no marked spots left, and nary a space to put my Civic. After a wait a spot finally opened up.

I started walking and looking around, realizing I had no idea where to go exactly. Of course I looked up at the toll road and just headed in that direction but that isn’t too accurate. Luckily some couple pointed out to me that there was a shortcut trail up ahead of me that would intersect with the toll road up maybe 500 ft and save some walking.

Taking this trail, I got up to the toll road quickly. From here, it was pretty simple – just run. Went up at about 5 mph. The toll road generally has a nice grade, probably around 10 %. Of course there are a few spots that get steeper – I had to walk briefly on a few occasions – but nothing very steep nor for very long.

Perhaps a mile after Henninger Flats the road gets tucked away under the trees and away from the sun, which made the temperatures nice and cool. Very ideal for running. I chugged up and what seemed to be not very long, I was at the base of Mt Yale. I looked down toward Hastings Peak, but saw no indication of my friends hiking along the ridge. I continued up to Mt Wilson, finishing off with some intervals that wiped me out. On the way down, I decided to at least run back to the Hastings / toll road junction. When I got there, still no sign of the hiking friends. I looked up at Mt Yale and listened – no sign of anyone.

I figured that they had hit Hastings Peak and were already on the way back to cars – in that case I had to hurry and catch up to them. I started to hike / run down the ridge, which now is completely bulldozed. The unevenness made it hard to run.

I decided to head down Bailey Canyon and then over to Mt Wilson trailhead (where the cars were). The trail up Baily Cyn seems to be getting a bit overgrown, but maybe that was just a perception affected by the fact that I was running down. I made it down quickly and ran over to Mt Wilson trailhead off Mira Monte. Cars were still there.

I looked at my gps and realized I had just run 17 miles! Now I haven’t run outside in a long time. I do some intense running on the treadmill but its not for very long. I was surprised that I didn’t feel disabled, considering my 18 mile experience from over a year ago. But that was on asphalt and this was on trail – it’s amazing how much difference that makes.

I waited for a while, then got impatient and walked down to Sierra Madre ave and got some chicken pie and beer at Luckly Baldwins. Friends showed up about an hour later. Turned out they were likely up on Mt Yale when I passed on the way down. I guess I should have shouted out. Oh well!

Related posts:

Josephine Peak, Strawberry Peak, Mt. Lawlor
Iron Mtn. Video Diary
Mt. Baldy Run to the Top Race

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This entry was posted on Sunday, November 15th, 2009 at 5:25 pm and is filed under 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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