My first hike of the Six Peak Challenge! I love the outdoors and do quite a bit of hiking, but haven’t done much elevation gain in SoCal the last few years. I read a lot of the SoCal Hiker blog about hikes I go on and saw this challenge. I figured it would be a good way to hold me accountable so signed up!
I woke up at 4:30am and was out the door by 5, arriving to Chantry Flat at 6am. I was shocked how many cars were already there! They must have been going to the falls because I didn’t see too many people on my hike. First time using my National Parks pass!
What a beautiful hike. I grew up hiking in New Hampshire, so the arid, dusty trails of California don’t quite move my heart as the luscious green ones on the east coast. I couldn’t believe how shaded this hike was. The air was so fresh! Real soil and tree roots! I skipped the detour to the falls because there doesn’t seem to be to much water flowing from them right now. Hopefully this winter brings more rain and I’ll be sure to come back next year. That being said, there was enough water in the creek to make for a wonderful creekside hike. I love the sound of running water.
I had never heard of the Sturtevant Camp, but it looked amazing!! Seems like such a fun weekend getaway.
After the camp, I took my first snack break. Peanutbutter and banana sandwich. Just the energy boost I needed for the next 3 miles of elevation gain. But man! That’s when the bugs made their move. I was kicking myself for leaving my bugspray in the car. I had read there could be some gnats, but that was a whole swarm. I definitely SWALLOWED two. Luckily, I had kept my mosquito netting jacket in my bag. I bundled myself up and pulled my hat down to my eyes and it kept them at bay.
I reached the top of Mt. Wilson exactly 3 hours from when I began my trek. I had read the top was anti-climactic due to all the towers and antennas, but the view was breathtaking! At least to one side… the LA city view was less magical. Quite a bit of smog.
Thank God for SoCal Hiker’s description to find the trailhead in the main parking lot. Really helped a lot! I know going downhill is supposed to be the easy part, but it just kills me. My thighs are so much more conditioned to going uphill. On my way down, I met quite a few groups coming up. Including mountain bikers. Don’t know how they do it!! And then there were others that were RUNNING down the trail. I always made sure to step out of their way. I’m in no race.
Took the Upper Creek Trail from Hogees back to Chantry Flat. This part of the trail was much more exposed to the sun and I was grateful most of the trail wasn’t that way. Would’ve been a completely different hike in that heat. I liked this part of the trail because it took me above Chantry, gaining some more elevation and a more gradual decline.
Started the hike at 6:20am and returned to my car at 12:45pm. Not bad. The parking lot was so insanely packed. Vultures just waiting to pounce on my vacated spot!
Great first hike. I know they’ll only get harder from here. But feeling good.