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Southern California Advice?

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Southern California Advice?

Postby BSquared » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:00 am

...other than "stay away?" :rolleyes:

My spouse and I will be visiting her brother in Los Angeles for a week or so next week, and we're looking for suggestions for a couple of hikes and/or climbs, since he'll be working most weekdays. I was initially thinking San Jacinto or Baldy, but evidently I was thinking too much "desert" and not enough "mountain," and it looks like it'll be way to snowy to do either peak without winter equipment (but please comment if you know better). Other suggestions for one-day hikes, preferably as alpine as practical and within a couple of hours of downtown LA? We're looking for about 10 mi round trip and a couple of thousand feet or so. Is it a pleasant trip to go up the San Jacinto tram and just wander about, without actually going to the peak?
—B²



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Re: Southern California Advice?

Postby rayfound » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:16 am

San Gabriels, Sheep Mountain Wilderness are your best bet if you wanna stay near LA, have no need for winter gear.

San Jacinto is beautiful, and taking the Tram to the top and hiking the wilderness above is very nice, very cool environment up there, and getting 1 mi away from the tram station will get you away from 95% of the tram travelers. I believe wilderness permits are required, though free, for all hikes in the wilderness area, regardless if overnighting or not.

The San Bernardino Mountains have broad appeal... but at the time of year you're going to be here, I think summiting Old Greyback is out of the question, but the trails could be well enough worn at this point to let you try. You could try asking around on the San Gorgonio Wilderness site.
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Re: Southern California Advice?

Postby Strider » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:49 am

Don't overlook the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. This year there should still be water in the streams into June. Some of my favorite trails include Garapito Canyon (Reseda Blvd) and Boney Mountain Trail (Wendy Drive.)
'Hike long and perspire'
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Mt. San Jacinto "TR"

Postby BSquared » Sat May 22, 2010 7:06 am

Well, thanks to all for the SoCal hiking advice. We decided on a tram ride up San Jacinto, followed by some hiking, hopefully to the peak, but the brother-in-law decided to come along, so that sort of limited our options; Brother In Law is extremely overweight and out of shape, so the peak was obviously out. We had a good time, though. Very pleasant drive from Hawthorne out "the 10" (do all LA people put "the" in front of freeway names & numbers?) with views of Baldy,
IMG_0078.jpg
Distant mountains from the freeway, probably Baldy.
and then probably San Gorgonio. We saw a very odd species of tree growing along the freeways—take a look at the photograph. It appears to have very unusual fruiting structures (it looks like a gymnosperm, so they're probably not really "fruits" as such), and we had evidence that it was reflecting (or perhaps even radiating!) in the RF region of the spectrum. We've seen similar species—perhaps even the same species—near the New Jersey Turnpike. Very interesting, but we didn't have time to stop and investigate more closely.
IMG_0082.jpg
Strange species of tree growing along Interstate 10.


We managed to persuade Brother In Law not to stop at the Morongo casino, but we got some excellent views of the peak when we stopped nearby to pick up some lunch.
IMG_0088.jpg
San Jacinto peak from near the casino.
And, as those of you in the area know, we got to look at a lot of wind-powered electrical generators!
IMG_0087.jpg
Wind turbines.


The tram ride was much cooler than expected (and, surprisingly, it didn't excite my acrophobia sensors even a tiny bit. hmmm...), because the floor of the tram car rotates, making two complete revolutions on each trip.
IMG_0090.jpg
Loading into the tram.


Arriving at the top, we noted with dismay that the only trail goes down, and quite steeply. We were, of course, contemplating how Brother In Law would manage to get back up all those switchbacks, but we gamely set out anyway.
IMG_0093.jpg
Lovely lunch area at top tram station, but it's all downhill from here!
We managed to get all the way to ranger station (about half a mile, perhaps) before Brother In Law decided the air was too thin, so we decided to head back to the tram.
IMG_0094.jpg
The ranger station.
Brother In Law managed the switchbacks fine, although he needed to pause for breath at each turn. I think we'll postpone that Whitney trip for a while ;) He was pleased to have made it at all, though, and obviously had a great time.
IMG_0099.jpg
Brother In Law, safely arrived back at the tram station after negotiating the switchbacks. Whew!


Thanks again for all the advice, and maybe the next time we head out there we can take a real hike! :waving
—B²
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Re: Southern California Advice?

Postby Trent » Sat May 22, 2010 5:25 pm

You're going to be prety much limited to the hiking trails available since the Forest Circus has closed nearly all of the Angeles "for your protection" due to the Station Fire last September. Including a huge area that wasn't anywhere near the fire area.

Best bet is Mt. Baldy area, Mt. Waterman, and the areas on the east side of the Angeles over by Wrightwood. Angeles Crest Highway [State Highway 2] remains closed from La Canada to the junction with the Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road which makes access difficult. Hopefully it will open Memorial Day weekend or June 1st [?].
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