Hike Log

Moss and Snow and Bears, Oh My!


Mt. Wilson Trail Park

Type of Hike:

Day hike

Trail Conditions:

Obstacles on trail


Road suitable for all vehicles


No bugs


Trail snow-covered at times – Gear and expertise recommended

Road to Chantry Flats was still closed. Used Mt. Wilson Trail Park trailhead.

Overall a lovely hike! Sounds of rushing water kept me company as I headed up. Made a small detour to First Water for a snack. A cool repose from the heat of the first mile and a half. Hardly any hikers past First Water. Remainder of the hike was chilly and lush. I'm a sucker for moss covered boulders. Some ice and slush after Orchard Camp and a few sketchy spots where boulders had fallen and taken some of the trail with it. After Manzanita Ridge there was hardened snow on the way up and deeper snow once you reach the turn to the Toll Road. Traction for boots recommended. Another gentleman I passed had snow shoes. Looked a lot more effortless. Less is more for me, though. To each their own! Follow the path other hikers have made to avoid postholing at this point. Several fallen trees to climb over/under along the Toll Road. At the turn off to continue on the trail from the Toll Road, the trail was completely covered so I took the Toll Road all the way up to the summit. The solitude in this winter wonderland was perfect. I've summited Wilson once before in heavy fog, so I was excited to see the views!

Descended slowly. Just before hitting First Water, I met eyes with a beautiful brown bear just two feet from the trail. Got loud and he dashed off. Turned around to check in and he was back to hunting for snacks on the trail.

That being said, PLEASE keep your trash secure and pack it ALL out. Whether purposeful or accidental, leaving trash is majorly uncool. I found tissues, sanitary pads, orange peels, banana peels, egg shells and candy still wrapped. I promise you, your organic matter on top of snow is not going to decompose before a critter finds it. This is not good for the wildlife and unpleasant for other hikers to see. There was also graffiti on multiple boulders and on structures closer to the summit. This is hopefully the wrong audience for a lecture, but do what you can, guys. Don't litter, secure your trash, educate others and take care of our bear friends!

Reached the bottom as the sun met the horizon feeling accomplished and ready to take on my next peak. Stuffed my face with In-N-Out. All was right with the world. One down, five to go!

Happy Trails :]


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