Mount Wilson The Hard Way

There are about seven different routes in which to summit Mount Wilson. We took the route that begins in Bailey Canyon, and ascends first to Jones Peak, then to Hastings Peak, and then a final push to reach the Mount Wilson Toll Road.

I kicked off my 2017 Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge on Earth Day (4/22). This was my second summit of Mount Wilson, but my first for the challenge. 02-wilson-hardway
We started out at 6:30am from Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park in Sierra Madre. On this hike we also bagged Jones Peak and Hastings Peak before hitting the Mount Wilson Toll Road for the final part of the ascent.

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Looking at the ‘road’ to Mt. Wilson from Jones Peak

We were a bit concerned about the heat since it was going to hit 95 degrees that day (yes, in April!). Luckily we were able to beat the heat going up, and we had pleasant weather to enjoy on this adventurous hike. It was also a cool 75 degrees on Mount Wilson, which made our lunch at the Cosmic Cafe an enjoyable one.

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Looking back south to Jones Peak

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Hastings Peak. The triangular number sign is missing from the pole! There’s also a benchmark.

For the return trip, we went back down the Mount Wilson Toll Road to where it meets “The Bench”, and then took the Mount Wilson Trail back down to Sierra Madre. To complete this loop, you have to hike / walk on the surface streets for about a mile to get back to Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park. This was definitely one for the books. A beautiful, memorable hike!

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The last segment from Hastings Peak leading up to the Mt. Wilson Toll Road. There are two strands of cable hanging from below the road to help you get up there.

Below are the hiking stats:
Total Length: 16 Miles
Elevation Gain: 4613 ft
Ascent Distance: 7.75 miles
Descent Distance: 8.25 miles
Descent Time: 3 hrs, 49 min
Temperatures: Begin – 65 degrees, Summit – 75 degrees, End – 90 degrees

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Brand spankin’ new trail sign on the Mt. Wilson Trail, pointing the way to the steep one-mile route back to Jones Peak.

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Ascent Elevation Profile

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Descent Elevation Profile

Trail Conditions:
The trail up to Jones Peak is a nice single track with lots of switchbacks. From Jones Peak to Hastings Peak is a narrow trail, and slightly overgrown in areas, but still easy to navigate through. This part of the route, for me, was pretty tough since you have to go up and over a few “bumps” to get to Hastings Peak. The final push to the toll road on this route involves a very steep 200 foot use trail which is kind of loose in areas. There are two cable ropes that you can grab on to to make the final steps to the Mount Wilson Toll Road. The toll road itself is pretty rocky with a few rock slides to go over along the way. There were also a considerable amount of flies and gnats in some areas which was kind of annoying. The Mount Wilson Trail makes for a good return trip, with lots of shade and some very welcome cool afternoon breezes on a hot day.

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The End

 

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