“A challenging climb with some rewarding views.”
— Swire Ho
River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers
Lots of rocks and roots so a sturdy trail shoe is a must.
Look for free street parking in front of Lizzie's Trail Inn and the Richardson House. Mt. Wilson Trail starts about 50 yards north of Mira Monte Ave.
The first mile of the trail is on a sandy singletrack with little shade. The trail goes up and over a large slide and drops down to First Water and some nice shade. A spur trail goes right down to the stream while the trail continues left contouring, then climbing out of the canyon into open chaparral. It then makes a turn into a nice shaded area and there is an unofficial trail in a gully leading west up to the ridge. Nearby there is another trail heading east to a cleared area and emergency heliport.
The trail continues up through a nicely shaded section with oaks and bigcone spruce crossing a seasonal stream then comes to the remains of Orchard Camp, a former backcountry lodge and a good resting point before the next big climb up to Manzanita Ridge.
The trail ascends switchbacks through forest crossing a seasonal spring. There is one rough section with narrow tread then it enters open chaparral reaching a saddle with a nice bench with great views of the Los Angeles Basin on a clear day. There is a junction with the Winter Creek Trail #11W20
going right. Turn left and continue under a shady canopy of oak and bigcone spruce. The trail ends at the junction with the Mt. Wilson Toll Road #2N45
. From there it is a little over a mile to the summit.
Flora & Fauna
Poison oaks everywhere! Oaks, bay, maple, alder trees and bigcone spruce provide some shade, mostly in the mid to upper sections. Open chaparral of laurel sumac, ceanothus, scrub oak on the lower section of trail. Nice wildflowers in spring.