Hike Log

Mt Wilson: An Astronomical Wonder (Literally)


Mt. Wilson Loop via Sturtevant and Winter Creek Trails

Type of Hike:

Day hike

Trail Conditions:

Trail in good condition


Road suitable for all vehicles


No bugs


Snow free

Whew. This was a doozy! But the weather conditions were near perfect, as there was some overcast and and dense fog from morning 'till afternoon so I appreciated the cool conditions! The only problem I seemed to have through this experience was the parking. The parking was pure chaos! I arrived at around 7:50am and there were already cars parked about a half-mile to a mile away from the trailhead! I decided to opt in for the valet parking, which charges $20 for day use. And even when I arrived the valet parking was already ~80% full, so I was even glad to get that space. Definitely going to come a whole lot earlier if I ever decide to do this trail again! However, the trail itself was breathtaking to say the least. I was constantly surrounded by some of the lushest plants and trees I've ever seen in the Angeles National Forest. To see the lushness of this trail comparable to that of a trail in the Sequoia National Forest would be fairly accurate. The rain was a great and much needed benefactor to this forest! I've never seen such encouraging signs for the Angeles National Forest in a very long time, so this was such a refreshing sight to see! The trail itself was well-maintained and easy to follow! There were plenty of well-maintained trail markers that directed me the right way pretty efficiently, and there weren't any confusing junctions or areas where I had to double-check my whereabouts. And the ascent was fairly gradual as well! However, the elevation gain was pretty substantial in some areas! There were plenty of switchbacks that came in sets of 10-12 at a time, and that definitely took some of the wind out of my system. However, there were plenty of chances to catch a breath after those obstacles. I saw plenty of backpacker camps along the way as well, so if you were ever thinking of doing an overnighter vs. a day trip, there are plenty of accommodations to do so! There are even vault toilets and benches that come with the camps as well, so it's a pretty well-maintained backpacker camp! It was also fascinating to see plenty of cabins that were built (and still in use) along the trail as well! It was definitely a sight to see with the rushing creek in the foreground. However, the summit definitely took my breath away, as I essentially climbed right above the cloud line. Probably the most breathtaking summit view to date! There were even some nearby mountains peeking out of the cloud line, so that was definitely a sight to see. Definitely looked more like a watercolor painting than reality in my opinion when I saw it firsthand. There's also alot to explore in the area as well! There's a visitor center (currently closed, but I heard there are plans to renovate it in the near future), astronomical museum, and plenty of buildings that house the observatory's many telescopes (6 to be exact!) Overall, this hike definitely reaps breathtaking rewards for a fairly decent climb! Even though we were only at about 7000′ above sea level, it definitely felt we were much


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