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  • Posted by SusanW on December 31, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I’m really excited to be starting the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge in 2018! I hope to start right away with a climb to Mount Wilson on Jan. 7, but am wondering how well the trail is marked. Do I need a map, and if so, where can I buy one? I’m inviting friends along, and I would hate to get them all lost. 🙂

    Angeleshiker replied 4 years, 9 months ago 15 Members · 31 Replies
  • 31 Replies
  • Jeff

    Administrator
    December 31, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Susan!

    There are a number of trails up Mount Wilson. As with all the peaks, you are welcome to choose whichever route you want up. I have a trail guide to the loop that I have hiked many times. The trail is fairly well marked on the ascent, but once you reach the observatory complex, it helps to have a map of that area. I have all of that available on SoCalHiker. You can find links to those guides on this page: https://socialhiker.net/six-pack-peaks-challenge/southern-california/

    It's also in the menu on the left under Six-Pack of Peaks.

    Happy Trails!

    SoCal Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge™

    • SusanW

      Member
      January 3, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks, Jeff!

  • Marc

    Member
    December 31, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    REI also has one of those waterproof Tom Harrison maps for Mt Wilson and surrounding area; I just bought one for myself yesterday actually. -marc

    • SusanW

      Member
      January 3, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      Thank you, Marc. I'll look for that map. Sounds helpful!

  • Jeff

    Administrator
    January 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    [quote quote=1951]REI also has one of those waterproof Tom Harrison maps for Mt Wilson and surrounding area; I just bought one for myself yesterday actually. -marc[/quote]Great recommendation, Marc. I love the Tom Harrison Maps. You can find them at most local outdoor shops or online at Amazon.

  • Rob Rummel

    Member
    January 5, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Three of us plan on doing the Mt Wilson Trail Saturday the 7th as well as our first of the 6 pack this year. Were looking at hitting the trail-head at Chantry Flats around 07:00. Perhaps we will run into you. Ill be the slow old guy crawling up the mountain. Typically I use a GPS “MotionX-GPS” which works ok. Just make sure you bring a extra battery pack. I do like the idea of getting a map at REI and might make a trip out there today. Any good site to check weather conditions at the peak.

    • SusanW

      Member
      January 6, 2018 at 6:03 am

      We're actually going Sunday, which is the 7th. But I'll keep an eye out for you. We plan to start about 7.

      I haven't used MotionX GPS but just might give it a try. Thanks for the info!

  • 2mnytries

    Member
    January 7, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Hi SusanW,
    Did you end up doing this hike today? I am planning on doing it January 20 and would love to get some info on trail. Thanks!!
    Josie

    • Rob Rummel

      Member
      January 8, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Make sure you get there early. We got there around 07:00 and took the last parking spot near the trail-head. Otherwise you have to park down the street. I seen cars as far as 1 mile down the road parking. The last thing you want to do is walk more after this long hike. also the last 1 mile or so back to the parking lot is uphill and sucks!

    • SusanW

      Member
      January 12, 2018 at 6:09 am

      Good advice! We wound up parking on the road, but luckily were able to park very near the parking lot.

    • SusanW

      Member
      January 12, 2018 at 6:31 am

      Yes, Josie, it was a great hike. We took the route suggested by Jeff. There were a lot of people on the trail going up, so we were able to stay on track with ease. On the way down, though, there were very few people and the trail is not well marked. Also note: the top of the trail goes through a recent burn area.

      To start, we had to look around for the trailhead and weren't sure at first we were on the right path. Print out the map of the top of Mt. Wilson as Jeff advises and bring it with you (the link on this site didn't work but you can get the map at https://www.mtwilson.edu/observatory-map/). In the main parking lot, look for the path marked on the map as the Mt. Wilson trail to Sierra Madre. It's not marked, except for a sign on the ground that said to be careful of hazards in the burn area. When we got to the old toll road, we found that there's another unpaved road just beyond it with a road sign — don't take that one. Go left at the first, very rough road, and then you'll turn left again where the road takes a bend to the right; I think the trail was actually marked “Mt. Wilson trail” here. Then further ahead there's a bench area where you go left to take the Winter Creek trail to Chantry Flat.

      Later, when we got to the fork before Hoegee Camp, we took the path to the right, which is the longer upper trail. Both routes will get you where you need to go.

      We bought the Tom Harrison Mt. Wilson map on Amazon and were glad to have it.

      Happy hiking!

  • Richard Martinez

    Member
    January 8, 2018 at 5:16 am

    I LOVE MAPS! I third the recommendation on Tom Harrison maps. They work really well with GPS, even older models. If you get a maptool to go along with the map and GPS, you can figure out where you are with great accuracy. The Tom Harrison maps do come in weird scales though (not the normal 1:24,000 or 1:50,000), so they have a specific maptool for them. You would also need to make sure that your GPS is in the same grid format as your map, I go with UTM. I ALWAYS carry a map, compass and GPS (they are light and can save your life if you know how to use them), mostly because I'm paranoid about getting lost and partially because its fun for me. Happy trails!

    • SusanW

      Member
      January 12, 2018 at 6:33 am

      Thanks! Do you use a GPS phone app or a separate device?

  • Jeff

    Administrator
    January 12, 2018 at 8:36 am

    [quote quote=2799]Thanks! Do you use a GPS phone app or a separate device?[/quote]Actually, I use Gaia GPS on my iPhone. It's not free, but it allows you to layer different maps, see exactly where you are, and work offline in airplane mode (important for conserving battery since many of these hikes are out of range). You just have to be sure to download maps for the area you're hiking when you're at home.

  • 2mnytries

    Member
    January 14, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Hi SusanW, thank you so much for the detailed info o the hike. Can't wait to go next weekend!

  • amaliagenie

    Member
    January 15, 2018 at 8:38 am

    [quote quote=2533]Hi SusanW,
    Did you end up doing this hike today? I am planning on doing it January 20 and would love to get some info on trail. Thanks!!
    Josie[/quote]

    Josie, I have yet to start my 6 pack adventure. If you're open to partner on this hike, I'm available to join. Let me know.

  • 2mnytries

    Member
    January 17, 2018 at 6:58 am

    @amalagenie ..we plan to start at 6 45…welcome to join….message me and I'll give you contact info…see you Saturday!

  • Kajsa Alger

    Member
    January 21, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Hi All. We just did the Mount Wilson hike from Chantry Flats so I thought I'd put some notes since I'm still a fairly new hiker (just under a year) and all trail notes help me a ton when I'm planning.
    1) We've done hikes from here before and the road was always open, so were surprised to find it closed (winter season hours) until 6:00am. But when we arrived at 5:30 there were already several cars waiting and most definitely the parking lot filled up before 7am, so start as early as you can if you don't want an additional mile or so walk to your car afterwards.
    2) I like to read the blog Modern Hiker to get trail information. He is usually pretty detailed about the state of the hike and what to expect. I've also learned that I am about 10 minutes slower than his miles, so I can estimate my time roughly on the time he posts. (I always time my hikes to learn the average time I take per mile so that I can estimate my total time, and also my water consumption). I was the slowest one in our group and it took us 4 1/2 hours up and 3 1/2 hours down, plus a lunch break at the top.
    3) I preferred starting off by going DOWN the cement road (towards the falls) and then up towards the summit, and coming down the trail towards the old toll road and ending at the cafe picnic area. That way at the end of the hike you're not walking up ugly cement. Just a preference.
    4) This was a knee buster for me. I recommend KT tape if you've got sensitive knees like me.
    5) Beautiful hike right now in January- but COLD. gloves, hat and many layers all needed and used. NO bugs right now which is great but the summertime the bugs come out like crazy.

  • Debra G.

    Member
    February 12, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Hello all! First, thank you for the details. I am doing my first of the 6 at Mt. Wilson this weekend. I know this area because I have been to the falls a couple times. I would like to NOT have to take the cement road all the way back up the hill to Chantry. Is there a sign I should look for to take the trail near the old toll road so I end at the picnic table area? I think I am most nervous about coming down the Mountain since I have read several times that the signage is not good.

    Advise and knowledge please. Thank you so much!

  • Tyler Glowacz

    Member
    February 12, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    [quote quote=4595]Hello all! First, thank you for the details. I am doing my first of the 6 at Mt. Wilson this weekend. I know this area because I have been to the falls a couple times. I would like to NOT have to take the cement road all the way back up the hill to Chantry. Is there a sign I should look for to take the trail near the old toll road so I end at the picnic table area? I think I am most nervous about coming down the Mountain since I have read several times that the signage is not good.

    Advise and knowledge please. Thank you so much![/quote]

    My wife and I did mt Wilson this last Saturday. We hiked up mt Wilson the way that leads to sturtevant falls, and when we descended we went down the side that you enter from the parking lot below the cosmic cafe at the peak. From there it's pretty straight forward, then eventually you get to a sign that says “hogees camp” and “chantry flat” if your looking at the sign it sends you left for chantry flat and that is the way we went. It seems like you made a wrong turn or something because it sends you up for a bit after going down, but you end up looking down on the parking lot and coming off trail above the general store. I hope that helps, sorry I don't remember all the details on the signs and the trail names. Someone with more experience can probably help you here and there is tons of friendly people on this trail to ask for directions.

  • Patrick Paulson

    Member
    February 13, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Thank you everyone that posted. We are planning on taking this hike on Feb 25th. We are doing someone 6-10 mile hikes in the meantime to get ready. This is great information on maps, parking, etc. Thank you!

  • Debra G.

    Member
    February 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you so much Tyler! That is very helpful. I spent some time yesterday, reading, cutting, pasting and printing out maps. I cannot wait! I will post about our hike on Monday morning while I put my legs up and sip some coffee.

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