Today I wanted to share a couple of photos from a hike my friend, Julie, and I did the other weekend! We summited Mt. Wilson — the first of LA’s Six Pack of Peaks Challenge. We chose to park at Mt. Wilson Trailhead Park (free street parking!) and took Mt. Wilson Trail up to the top and back down, totaling 15 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain from this trailhead is 5,640 ft to reach the 5,712 foot summit. There are no fees or permits required for this hike. Alternatively, if you start from the more-popular Chantry Flats trailhead, you may have to pay for parking.
Ju and I met at the trailhead park just before 7am. I think that is just about the latest time to start if you want to avoid the extreme heat .. I think we would actually start earlier if we were to do it again. The beginning ascent was extra beautiful because of the extreme fog we experienced. Coming back down in the afternoon heat and sunlight felt like a completely different hike!
One very interesting (and helpful) thing that we learned on this hike was identifying the Turricula Parryi plant, or “The Purple Poodle.” This lavender plant isn’t super well-known because it only appears periodically, but it really should be, given that it’s extremely poisonous and is right up there with Poison Oak. The plant grows in scorched areas, or, right after a wildfire, which given California’s recent tragedies, makes a heck of a lot of sense. In fact, there are a lot of toxic plants in California that sprout up after wildfires … so it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with them before heading out on a hike! Otherwise, just be extra cautious to not touch any plants you can’t confidently identify. Hike in pants and long sleeves if you can!
And if plants weren’t enough to worry about, always stay on the lookout for rattlesnakes! We came across one on our way back down and it was the first time I actually heard one rattle. Needless to say, we ran past that guy pretty quickly and kept our eyes peeled the entire rest of the way down…
Our Saturday Mt. Wilson hike was a great one. There’s just something about being up in the mountains with one of your best girlfriends, breathing in the fresh air and catching up on life, that is hard to beat! This is definitely a difficult hike, and trekking poles are recommended. Bring lots of water. There’s more shade heading up than coming back down. And when you reach the top, there’s a cool Observatory (which we didn’t actually check out) and even a full-service snack bar because you can also drive up to the top … but where’s the fun and adventure in that!? I was proud of us for tackling this length of a hike without any hesitation … and now I’m ready for the next Peak in the Six Pack Challenge!
^^I had to share this photo…doesn’t this log look like a bird head!?^^
thanks for stopping by!