Mt. Bliss from Monrovia Canyon Park
ElevationAscent: 2,804' 855 m
Descent: -2,803' -854 m
High: 3,680' 1,122 m
Low: 1,094' 333 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)
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“Scenic and historic route to a peak with great views.”— Alan Coles
Follow the Ben Overturff Trail which has nice interpretive signs along the way as it climbs, steeply at times, through an oak and bay forest to Twin Springs and then on to the junction with the Ben Overturff Spur Trail. The short spur leads to the remains of Deer Park Lodge and is a nice place for a good break under oaks trees next to a seasonal stream.
After a well-deserved break, head back down the spur and turn left at the junction which returns back to the road where there is a vault toilet. Turn left and go up the road passing through chaparral of scrub oak, ceanothus, laurel sumac and sage. In 1.5 miles, White Saddle is reached, offering good views to the north into Fish Canyon and the high peaks beyond.
Turn right onto Van Tassel Motorway #1N36 and head southeast on this well-maintained access road which is primarily used to maintain the power lines it follows. The grade is easy to follow as it contours around the hills. Stay right at a junction with the Silver Fish Road where there is a water tank. The unmaintained road leads down to Stone Cabin Flats on Fish Creek then over to Hwy. 39 (not recommended due to very rough condition).
After a mile from the saddle, a fork is reached. Turn left onto the Van Tassel Ridge Road and go a few hundred feet. Look for a steep track on the left leading to the base of a powerline pole. Follow this track up to the top of the ridge, then proceed up the ridge past another pole and then further to the summit.
Mt. Bliss offers superb view to the north and east of the San Gabriel Mountains high country. The view south over the San Gabriel Valley can be outstanding (marred slightly by the powerlines) on a rare clear day when the ocean and Channel Islands can also be seen. The Fish Fire burned the peak and surrounding area in 2016. Return back the same way. Fire crews cleared the break down to the road on the north ridge which is shorter but this route is likely to be rough and overgrown.
On the return back down Sawpit Canyon, you can stay on the road to make a loop trip. The grade is easier and the terrain is more open allowing for good views of the canyon and valley below. There are also nice wildflowers in spring.
Ben Overturff was a local developer who built and operated the Deer Park Lodge.
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Land Manager: USFS - Angeles National Forest Office