Mt. Wilson Trail #11W22
ElevationAscent: 3,935' 1,199 m
Descent: -73' -22 m
High: 4,903' 1,494 m
Low: 1,040' 317 m
GradeAvg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 48% (26°)
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“A challenging climb with some rewarding views.”— Swire Ho
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.
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Land Manager: USFS - Angeles National Forest Office