- Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Southern California Trails
Mt. Wilson Toll Road - #Mt.WilsonTollRoad
Socal - Los Angeles County - Altadena NickNames: #Mt.WilsonTollRoad
From the 210, exit on Rosemead bl. and go north(Towards the mountains). Rosemead bends west and turns into Orange Grove bl. Proceed and turn right on Altadena dr., then right on Crescent dr. and right on Pinecrest dr. The trailhead is on the right hand side. There's no parking near the trailhead on the weekends and and 2 hour parking on weedays. It's easiest to park around the corner and ride to the trailhead. The area is safe. There's water,restrooms, and picnic areas at Henninger flats and atop Mt. Wilson. Thomas Guide page 536 D5
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- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road-I rode up to The top about 6 weeks ago & had to go try it again!...I had forgotten how hard it was for me! It seemed tuffer this time! heh-heh! Glad I did it. The road seemed a little looser than it was just 6 weeks ago which makes sense with no rain to pack the dirt down. ALSO it was graded around the Henningar Flats section which made it looser.
matt w a 52 year old Cross-Country Rider
- Trail UpdateI DID IT!-Well I climbed the Mt. Wilson Toll Road Today! I would say the road is in pretty good condition. It is not too loose at all. One thing though Those pesky dear flies were "slightly" out of control! It made me want to throw a small bottle of bug spray in my pack for situations such as that! Other wise it was a GREAT DAY! The food or snack shack is open up there and they have some VERY GOOD sandwiches up there! There were about 50 people at that pavillion! I have done that ride many times over the years and this was the most people I have EVER seen up there! Kinda cool to see so many people enjoying the mountain. BUT I did not see one other biker at the top & "I think" I was the only bike to accend the trail to the top for the day as I did not see any other tire imprints in the dirt. The ride down was very fun and rewarding!
Matt W a 53! whew! year old Die-hard Enthusiast
- Trail UpdateDirt, Snow, And Ice-The trail was in a great condition after recent rain events. Rode up to Mt. Wilson with a CX bike. Trail was well-packed most of the way but snow appears about half an hour from Hanninger Flats then turned into slush and ice about a mile before the towers.
Ryan CX a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Cannondale and Scattante from Pasadena
- Trail Update8-13-2009 Update-8-13-2009 i stop by the entrance of Mt. Wilson toll road by Altadena and i talk to the workers who was working on this project. he told me that 8-13-2009 is the last day of repair and the trail is open to hiker and bikers but he told me that the gate close at 4pm everyday(not sure). but there are still small repair in the upper trails. i really excited to once again bike this trail.
johnxmtb a 19 year old Weekend Warrior riding a specialized hardrock mountain bike from arcadia
- Trail UpdateGOOD NEWS FOR HENNINGER FANS!-Making inroads
Pasadena Star-News Article: 05-13-2008
IT'S been a good couple of weeks for trail access in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains.
First, a judge ruled definitively against the long-running, enormously misguided attempt by a small cabal in Altadena's La Vina Homeowners Association to prevent hikers from strolling where they have been since the 19th century.
That victory in Millard Canyon was celebrated with glee by many people of goodwill throughout the region, not a few of whom live in La Vina itself and who are going to be stuck with paying attorneys' fees because a small minority of their neighbors went off the deep end.
Also this month a Monrovia trail to which the public has long had access - if not from the 19th century, at least from 1971 - was ruled entirely public again by a Pasadena Superior Court judge.
It was another case of a homeowner misunderstanding what the public right of way means. The Sawpit Wash Trail runs alongside a county flood-control channel for about two miles, and is popular with hikers and runners. When one homeowner over 50 years ago refused to sell land for the channel, the county obtained a binding easement for the trail. The city of Monrovia had to sue to make a new homeowner at the property understand what an easement means; again, the city and the hikers won.
Good stuff. But what about the sad situation in which one of the most famous trails in Southern California has been blocked not by some ornery property owner but by a
landslide, and the powers that be can't seem to clear a way through?
That's what readers keep asking us about the massive slide that covers the historic Mt. Wilson Toll Road just past the bridge over the Eaton Canyon stream below Pinecrest Road in Altadena.
The slide occurred during the El Nino-driven rains of the winter of 2004-`05, when 38 inches of rain fell on the city, and many inches more came down in the mountains.
A quick glance shows that clearing the road - widened 101 years ago to accommodate the 100-inch Mt. Wilson telescope and closed to motor vehicles other than government ones since 1936 - is not going to be an easy task.
There are thousands of tons of dirt and rocks to be moved.
But it's been years now, during which the steep but lovely hike to Henninger Flats and on to Mt. Wilson has been not available to thousands of hikers and bicyclists used to its rugged charms.
So we called the man in charge of solving the problem, Frank Vidilas, acting chief of the Forestry Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and asked him what gives.
The good news is that Vidilas sees an end in sight. The bad is that it likely won't be cleared until April 2009. That's because the complications, says Vidilas, are both natural and bureaucratic.
In the first place, there are six more landslides than the one visible from town farther up the road. In the second, a lot of agencies - including the city of Pasadena, which owns the land the first slide covers; the California Department of Fish & Game; the United States Forest Service - all have fingers in the pie. It's been decided that the county needs to take the lead in solving the problem, because its vehicles use the road most, to bring supplies to the firefighters in permanent residence in cabins at Henninger. (Now the supplies come in from the clear road down from Mt. Wilson, but that's a long way around.)
Vidilas is working to get yet another bureaucracy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to foot the estimated $1.4 million bill for a contractor to clear the landslides. He hopes to see work begin by this fall.
So do we. It's been too long a wait to see the important trail cleared
a 44 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a 2008 FOES FXR from Sierra Madre, CA
- Trail UpdateMount Wilson- Henniger Flats-About a year after the landslide, I spoke to a friend who is a Altadena fireman about the trail and asked if/when it was going to be repaired. The reply (at that time was) the city was not going to repair the trail because it would cost a few million and the city didn't want to spend that type of money, but within the last few months, neighbors in that area say that they've seen bulldozer. So, who knows? Write to the city of Pasadena or Altadena
ak1ra1i a 48 year old Weekend Warrior riding a trek from pasadena
- Trail UpdateGOod question. This has been a pet peeve of mine for several years now.
a 42 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a FOES LTS from PASADENA< CA
- Trail UpdateWhen are they planning on clearing the slides?
a 44 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT Zaskar from Sierra Madre
- Trail UpdateIt's Doable-I hiked up to the Toll Road last September and with the excetion of a few small slides (after the big one) you can make it to Henniger. The gate from Crescent drive is locked so you have to go in through the park. Make sure you ride very slowly and give the hikers a lot of room since you're not supposed to ride in that area.
I was told by the ranger at Eaton Canyon vistors center that FEMA gave the USFS $1 million to repair teh Toll Road. Not sure when we will start seeing work on it but I will post something if I see anything being done.
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road-Is this trail still rideable from Eaton Canyon to Mt. Wislon? Has anyone tried it lately? Thanks!
nomadca a 46 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Foes FXR 2:1 from Pasaden
- Trail UpdateI rode the part from the bridge to Henninger flats yesterday (May 8, 2006). There is only one REALLY big land slide in the beginning of the trail. Although there is a narrow route which goes through it. Once you passed it, the road is totally rideable all the way to Henninger flats (there is another small land slide right before the flats, but if you make through the big one, it's not even worth mentioning.)
It looks like the road is being used by quite a few hikers. It's amazing to see how everything looks overgrown and abandoned, when it wasn't heavily used for around 2 years.
Since the gate is still closed, you have to go through the Eaton canyon park, please try not to annoy a lot of hikers and dog walkers, since technically biking is not allowed there. Noone is bitching about riding a bike there. You can technically walk it all the way to the start if you'd like to be nice.
Mikhail a 26 year old Cross-Country Rider
- Trail UpdateLandslides (still)-There's still a giant landslide just past the bridge at the end of Eaton Canyon, looks like it completely obliterated the toll road / trail entrance there. The Chantry Flats road was closed too. Too bad, I was looking forward to a good hike up to Wilson. Anyone know what's the best way to get up there besides the paved road from Hwy 2?
paulie505 a 38 year old Weekend Warrior URL: http://www.paulketrick.com/wilson_slide.html
- Trail UpdateToll Road Update-Does anyone have an update on when (or if) they are going to fix the trail and bridge? I went to the ANF site as well as the LA County site to look for it per Miznax's url, but could not find anything.
- Trail UpdateToll Road Singletrack-Hiked up there yesterday via Rattlesnake. Not too legal I guess, but many are hiking the trail. What used to be fireroad is now in places single track. There were some signs of bikes in places as well. Still don't know of a preposed clearing and opening of the trail.
- Trail UpdateUSFS-
- Trail UpdateAny Word On Repairing?-I wish I checked the trail posts before I left to ride this trail. What a mess! Does anyone have any info as to when this road will be cleared. I imagine that they have to wait some time for the ground to dry up and settle. If you have any info please post. If you have a link to a site from the USFS please share. I tried doing a seach but came up empty.
Mrkcy a 27 year old
- Trail UpdateIt's CLOSED And Here's Proof...-For the guy 2 below, this is no place to promote your thriving real estate business. Please establish some boundaries with your work.
- Trail UpdateSlide-Just had a feeling to drive past the trailhead. There is a huge slide you can see from the Gate at Pinecrest. It wiped out about 50+ yards of the road 25+ yards up from the trailhead. Looks like that alone will take a long time to repair.
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Road-From 210 FRWY exit ALLEN Ave. and head north towards the mountains. keep going untill you cross with ALTADENA Dr. (You can't miss it) keep going straight as ALLEN Ave becomes PINECREST Dr., PINECREST Dr. curves around and just when you face SOUTH "away from the moutains" the trail head is on your left handside. URL: Visit my web site to contact me if you have trails in the area for me to try
- Trail UpdateClosed Again....-...landslides.
- Trail UpdateClosed Again...-...landslides.
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road - Post Rain-Rode up the Mt. Wilson Toll Road yesterday morning (10/24) to Winter
Creek trailhead. Trip up to Henniger is pretty tacky, some rutting but
mostly unchanged and in good shape. From Henniger up to the first
ridge line there are one or two hike-a-bike sections as the trail has
some rocky sections and washouts - however, it's still fun and a little
more challenging than usual. From the ridge line to Winter Creek,
however, is a different story. The first few miles are nice but then it's
like riding up a dry creekbed. Many hike-a-bike sections and severe
landslides leaving the trail totally unrideable (even a careful hike
across) in some sections. As it stands, probably not worth it to ride
past the second ridge line (this is where you come out of the shade and
have a view of Altadena below before heading East bound toward
Overall fun ride and perfect given my time constraints (read family
plans) on Sunday morning. If coming down toll road, be very careful of
washouts and rutting above Henniger but have some fun!
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 16 miles Elevation change: 4000
Mountain Goat a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Curtlo custom frame & Marin Mount Vision from Pasadena
- Trail UpdateHey-I got an idea. Why dont you go for a ride and let us know what happens? Go all the way to Chantry, I'm curious as to how overgrown the trails are. Keep us posted.
Henry a 36 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a VT1 from Temple City
- Trail UpdateAngeles Forest Trails-Hey, the Angeles Forestry Service is putting all their fire patrols in the canyons with cabins on weekends, so how will they know if we're riding on the trails?
- Trail UpdateTrail Closed To Public-I planned on doing this ride last week and showed up to the trailhead only to see that the gate was locked and there was a big sign that read "Forest Closed to Public." Duh, the news did report that the Angeles National Forest is closed to the public. I thought about being a renegade and riding up to the toll rode from the park, but that would be wrong. So I drove over to El Prieto and there was the same sign. Very :(
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road-Every Sunday I tend to ride hard (probably too hard), and this was no
exception. Rode the Toll Road express (no stops) on Sunday, 9-26-04,
to see how long it would take to get to Skyline Park. Didn't race, but it
was hard. Total time from Toll Road trailhead was 1:42 (26:30 to
Henniger, 40:00 to Idlehour, 50:00 to ridgeline, 1:24 to Winter Creek/
Mt. Wilson Trail, 1:42 to Skyline Park gate). Think it could be done
a bit faster. Anyway, I ended up taking the Rim Trail
(dumb idea) to Newcomb Pass to Chantry Flats (fantastic) on the way
down then rode from Sierra Madre back to my house near Victory
Park in Pasadena. Tough ride of about 26 miles.
The trail to Henniger Flats has recently been scraped in some sections
adding some traction on the way up in steeper sections. Trip up to the
ridge line is as fantastic as ever. Ridge line to Winter Creek trail is
getting softer again but definitely doable with no
touches.....however, you have to have some strength left at this point
in the ride to clear some softer, rockier sections. The last mile of
packed fireroad to Skyline Park is always very tough.
Overall, fantastic ride and telling that I'm getting in better shape. I'd
never tried to ride all the way to Mt. Wilson in one triumph and decided
to challenge myself. Good stuff.
I ride in the San Gabriel Mountains every Sunday morning religiously at
the crack of dawn and am seeking other strong riders to join me.
Typical trails include Mt. Wilson Toll Road, Mt. Lowe & Merril trails,
Josephine Peak and Chantry Flats. If you're a strong or relatively strong
rider seeking someone else to push you up the hills, please contact me
at firstname.lastname@example.org during the week or
email@example.com on the weekends. See you in the
Ride rating: Expert
Ride distance: 26 miles Elevation change: 5000
Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=20%
Mountain Goat a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Curtlo custom frame from Pasadena
- Trail UpdateIt's Been Graded...-
The Toll road was graded on 5/24. The bulldozers did a good job of fixing all the rain damage over this past winter. Give it a week or so for the top soil to pack down a little and it will be like a paved road. I'm not certain if they're doing this all the way to Mt. Wilson, all I made it to was to Henninger Flats and it was all smooth to that point.
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road-Not so sure I agree with the claim the first 2.7 miles to Henniger Flats is the hardest part. I rode this thing up to the top with a buddy yesterday and we both thought one of the rocky loose pitches on the top half of the ride was the most difficult part of the climb. There were a lot of baby head sized rocks and some bigger ones mixed in along this area and the grade was hitting 15-19% as well so it definitely felt more difficult than the ride up to the Flats--not that that portion is easy or anything. Both of us did the whole ride in middle ring which was not easy to do especially in the steeper stretches or rocky areas. It was about 50 degrees up top but felt much colder in some of the shaded areas onn the return which made things bone chilling since you work up a good sweat grinding to the top. Would definitely recommend wearing layers this time of year. By the way Skyline park is closed to Spring.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 18 miles Elevation change: 4500'
- Trail UpdateMt Wilson Toll Rd.-Went up this road today start time was 10:20 AM. Weather was partly cloudy. This ride never gets any easier until you go past Herringer Flats Campground. No obstructions of any kind on this ride. I went all the way up 1¾ short of the top where I turn down to Mt. Wilson Trail.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 7 ¼ miles Elevation change: 3700 ft
Dirt Road=98% Paved Path=2%
TECUN UMAN a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Color Naranja from Califas.....
- Trail UpdateSteep To Moderate = True-But that doesn't mean it gets any easier. The couple of miles up to Henniger kicks your ass and the remaining 7 to the top, well, forget about it. This is the best time of year to do this trail. Not too hot. Not too many mosquitoes. Just be sure you have enough time to make it back down before sunset.
miznax riding a bike
- Trail UpdateCrystal Clear Air-This was my first trip up the Mt. Wilson Toll RD. In my So Cal Trail book it is said to be "one of the steepest sustained climbs in Southern California." That is not an exaggeration. I only did the 2.5 miles up to Henniger Flats today and that was the steepest stuff I have yet seen and there's 7 miles more of it to go until Mt. Wilson. I have been told the the climbing goes from steep to moderate after the flats. If anyone can confirm that I may start earlier next week and go all the way up. The air quality today was great so the view was spectacular! I could see all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The road is in great condition(at least up to the flats). Although there is almost no technical skills required on this road the climb is a real grind so beginners may want to work on their cardio or take frequent breaks on the climb.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 5.6miles round trip Elevation change: 2700
Mrkcy a 27 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Giant-Iguana from Temple City
- Trail Update11-28-03-Made the trek up the toll rode. Past Henninger the mosquitoes weren't bad but enough to be an annoyance. The two rock slides around the 7 mile point have been cleared but that area is still loose. The trip down between 5-6pm in the dark sucked.
- Trail UpdatePerfect-Rode it two weeks ago and best I've ever seen it.No dust at all. Temps were a little on the cool side so you might want to layer up.My suggestion is to descend down Upper Winter Creek Trail.About a mile or so from the top.One of the most beautiful trails in the San Gabs, but not for novice riders.You'll see the sign for the trail.Have fun,I did.
Pain Freak a I dont want to talk about it year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Renrut 02/Surly 1X1 (Mighty Whitey) from Fontana
- Trail UpdateQuestion:-Does anyone happen to know the condition of the toll road? Especially passed Henninger. I plan on riding it this weekend.
- Trail UpdatePLEASE NOTE!!!!-I'm posting the follwing with permission from Martin Gomez, President of The Pasadena Mountain Bike Club. Shape up out there, people. The San Gabriels are one of the most treasured riding areas in Southern California. It would be a crime to lose access there.
Friends and fellow mountain bikers,
I have to pass on some urgent and potentially incredibly BAD news from fellow PMBC (Pasadena Mountain Bike Club) member and mountain bike patrol guy, Mark Gage. He said that at the last Forest Service Volunteer meeting (at which he is usually the only mountain biker and is prone to catching the flak for all of us with zero back up from anyone else) the other local trail groups are pushing the District Ranger to close at least the Middle Sam Merrill and potentially ALL OF THE LOCAL SINGLETRACK TRAILS!!! That would mean all the good stuff on the front range of the Angeles National Forest above Pasadena and would leave us only the fire roads and pavement to ride. This is due to certain groups of drop off artists that cut the trail above the Circular Bridge area on the Mount Lowe Road to ride a steeper face onto the Lowe Road and are actually short cutting right through that historic landmark on the mountain! Please remember that I am NOT saying that all of the people who do drop off runs down from Willie (Mt. Wilson) are responsible for this.
I've been hearing the complaints for years about these people-even from other bikers-and I have even played Devil's Advocate for these guys, saying that they are just new and don't know any better and I asked that we all try to inform these people when we see them of the error of their ways without being to confrontational and starting fights, but that time now has to be over. Obviously, the message is not getting across. We're now in danger of only being allowed on fire roads-which is exactly what some other trail users want for us anyway and according to Mark, one guy who was complaining at this meeting did so while grinning (at him) the whole time! Even the new District Ranger who at first was ready to work with all user groups including mountain bikers has tired of this problem not going away and is ready to shut us out. They've been hassling Mark at these meetings for months now about the yahoos cutting trails because you know I've said that we all get lumped together as a user group regardless of what good trail users most of us are because of a few knuckleheads that don't realize or maybe don't care about the consequences. Forest Service has wanted to know for a while who these groups are and when they do these drop offs so they could get Enforcement up there to cite them but no one has come up with that information and it seems they would rather close the trails to bikes, then send Enforcement so they can write heftier tickets and silence the hyenas who want us out. It's time to rat out these people who will cost us our trails! The Forest Service is interested especially in the pay shuttle service to Wilson. If you ride these trails and do follow the rules of the trail, don't put that full suspension bike away yet. Please continue to ride responsibly as a good example to these other guys and to the non-bikers who think we are all freeriding, tire-skidding, horse and hiker scaring, Hells Angels. If you know these people I'm talking about, let them know that they're screwing it up for all of us and we just can't let that happen.
Attending these volunteer meetings would be good-so Mark can have some back up-as well as doing trail maintenance with groups like The Mt. Wilson Bicycling Association and CORBA who are now doing trail work in the local mountains. Join bike patrols like Mark's to help spread the word or maybe keep him company since he works on the Merrill mostly by himself. Sweat equity helps-most of the time-when other groups are trying to show how irresponsible and destructive mountain bikers are. These trail short cutters are counterproductive to what we've been working for in the last 15+ years. I've done way too many hours of trail work with the Mt. Wilson group, on the Merrills, the Burton, Sunset Ridge, El Prieto, Gabrielino and other trails in the last ten years to let myself be limited to the fire roads. If that's all I'm going to be allowed to ride, I'm sure not going to make time for trail work in the future and I might as well get used to my road bike.
Tell your friends, acquaintances, and everyone else on two wheels to fix this problem and to not cut trails or make new pirate stuff like the lame shortcuts on El Prieto that are only for people who have no skills to ride the real trail and had to go around some of the best, most technical, turns on the trail. If you have friends that drive up from other parts of town to ride our epic stuff, give them the skinny too so they don't inadvertently jack things up for us. It might be normal for downhillers to not give way in other parts of Southern California but not in the San Gabriels.
Thanks for reading my rant and for being responsible trail users,
spread the word!!!!
- Trail UpdateSNAKES SIGHTED-
Beware, the snakes are out in force after sunset. Myself and some hikers sighted a couple before Henninger. I heard many many more up at the 7.5 mile mark where the trail splits to Chantry.
The trail is still in pretty good shape.
Ride distance: miles 18 Elevation change: 3000
- Trail UpdateMt Wilson Toll Road To Henninger-The toll road continues to be in good condition with
conditions becoming looser. No major ruts or big
rocks, though. One word of caution, I was coming
down and passed a runner (very slowly I might
add) and he was huffing and puffing about a
"mouthful of dirt" I gave him on the way by. First off,
I've been riding this trail for over a year and
EVERYONE, with the exception of this dramatist,
has been super cool on this trail. In any case, the
trail was super dry and I guess he didn't like the
fact I was going by and that THERE WAS DIRT ON
THE ROAD. Anyway, this guy was a jogger and
wore headphones that wrapped around the back of
his head with the other end attached to his hand. If
you see him, BEWARE! This is the kind of guy that
could cause a problem for mountain bikers. Other
than that, ENJOY.
- Trail UpdateKiller Mosquitos-
I have to agree with the previous rider, I rode the toll road last evening and it is in great condition. I rode to Mile 5.7 where you get your first glimpse of the antennae atop Mt Wilson. I recommend y'all take advantage.
Conditions are great except for the killer mosquitos. BE SURE TO TAKE BUG SPRAY if you venture past Henninger Flats. I showered myself w/ "Off" (except for face) and they were trying to bite my head off.
Ride distance: 5.7 miles up Elevation change: 3,000?
MIZNAX from the Heights, now stuck in Fullerton.
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road/Henninger-I road the toll road yesterday up to Henninger Flats.
It is in the best condition I've seen it within the past
year. Most rock slides that were creeping steedily
over have been removed and the trail is extremely
flat and has basically no ruts to speak of. The
terrain remains loose. One thing to look out for.
When decending from Henninger flats you come to
the the first sharp 'U-turn' and there is no barrier.
The remainder of the road down has a slight birm
that runs along the cliffside of the trail. For some
reason, on the very top U-turn, it looks like they just
pushed all the rocks/dirt/debris right off the cliff,
leaving nothing there! It's a little misleading when
you are decending because it seems like the trail
could keep going, but actually there's just a huge
cliff you would fly off. I know this trail very well, and
it still took me a second to adjust my eyes and
slow down. Other than that, there's smooth sailing
all the way to the bottom. Enjoy!
Ride rating: Novice
Ride distance: 2.7 Elevation change: 1500?
- Trail UpdateAPRIL FOOL JOKE-The below message is false...in Fact Pat Abbott could not make it to the top without stopping! Too bad he is not man enough to ride anymore!
Matt W a 43 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized Enduro-Spynergy Disks from Santa Clarita
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road-Just rode the trail with my friend, Matt Westlake (who swore he made the ride just last month). Bottom half of trail (first 4 miles) was in great shape. Hard packed and some ruts due to rain. Unfortunately after stopping approximately 30 times for my asthmatic, out of shape "hardcore" mountain biker friend, we had to turn around. The view, even though nowhere near the top, incredible! This is the time of year- no smog and not too hot!! Next week I will tackle again, this time without the handicapped partner. NOTE: If you see a rider on the trail huffing and puffing riding a Specialized M-4, don't slow down!! You may get stuck administering an inhaler and talking about the good old days!!!
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 9 Elevation change: 5000
Singletrack=50% Dirt Road=49% Paved Path=1%
Clifford Blalock a 73 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Raleigh Moto-x from Saugus
- Trail UpdateMt Wilson/sturdivant Trail-go up mt. wilson toll road to summit. head towards museum and look for trail signed sturdivant. it's technical singletrack for many miles downhill. take to a sign that points you to mt. zion/hoegee camp. a little singletrack climbing then lots of technical downhill. right this out to chantry flats. climb road out (0.6 miles) and the trail is finished. right now the road is closed to vehicles until april 15, 2003. therefore, there aren't any hikers in this area and it's an even better time to ride. from chantry flats we rode down the paved road to our vehicle and shuttled the road back to start of mt. wilson toll road. side note: i like this trail because you climb a fireroad (9.5 miles and 4500 feet) and then descend the technical singetrack.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 25 miles Elevation change: 4500
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Trail-This page is for Toll Road reports, not Mt. Wilson Trail reports. Locals recommend avoiding Mt. Wilson Trail on your bike because of the (normally) abundant hikers (and it IS a great hike). If you want singletrack, try Winter Creek or Santa Anita Canyon. Or Gabrielino clockwise from JPL, but be prepared to get run over by downhillers on this route.
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Trail-This was my first time on this trail. I parked on Mira Monte across from Mt. Wilson trail and took the single track UP. It is steep and beautiful. Some rocky sections I had to hike up. I knew I was in trouble when I saw a rope on the side of the trail for hikers. This trail is narrow but well built. I was alone so after about 50 mintues of climbing I decided to call it a day and head back down.Does anybody know where this trail ends. As long as you don't look to your left (over the edge of the cliff) this descent is awesome. With intermediate skills you can clear most of the rock sections. I did not see and snakes, only deer.
Anthony a 32 year old Racer riding a Yellow hardtail from Whittier, CA
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Rd+ Winter Creek-ride up mt. wilson toll road to the 7.5 mile marker on right side of road. take the mt. wilson singletrack for about 3/4 mile until a trail junction clearly marked winter creek trail. take this trail for several miles until another junction and turn right (only uphill for 1/2 mile or so). trail ends at TOP of chantry flats parking area.
trail is all singletrack and is 7.5 miles long. good fun stuff.
hop back on road and ride back to car or set up shuttle for pavement ride.
ride total was approx. 19 miles
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 19 miles Elevation change: 4000
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road +sturdivant-ride up to top of observatory and look for trail sign "sturdivant" (sp). take this down and then at a signed trail junction, head to mt. zion summit, then on to hoegees trail to chantry ranger station. is 7 miles of nice technical singletrack. sturdivant is quite technical and trail eases in technical difficulty from zion to chantry, but is still challenging and fun.
did as a partial shuttle. left one car at chantry and one at base of mt. wilson toll road. this shaves about 7 miles of road riding
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 17.3 miles Elevation change: 5000
Singletrack=40% Dirt Road=60%
- Trail UpdateStarted at 2:00pm, Reached top at 4:30pm. Lots of loose rocks in last 4-6 miles.
Ride rating: Novice
Ride distance: 9 miles Elevation change: 4700
Dirt Road=40% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=50%
CK a 35 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant Iguana from Monrovia, CA
- Trail UpdateDon't Drink The Water!-With assurances from the ranger that the water is safe to drink, my roomate still got sick the next day.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 18.50 miles Elevation change: 4,400
Mr. Superlight a mid life year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Superlight w/ Hayes Hydraulic Disc & Atom 80 from Eaton Canyon in Pasadena
- Trail UpdateSkyline Park On Mount Wilson-Hardpack Trail surface conditions! Unbelievable what a few inches of rain could lead to. This is rare.
I hit sections of snow after passing the winter creek trailhead 1.75 miles from Skyline Park, Mount Wilson. It was only ankle deep, neverthless required hiking for the next 3/4 miles. (Few riders turned back) The last mile of this fire road is often snowplowed & is hardpacked. The research facilities on Mt. Harvard was recently upgraded, thus access via the fireroad is now required for motorized vehilcles for their employees.
10 days later, Mt. Wilson is still a winter wonderland. All TRAILS leaving Mt. Wilson are snowed under 3-4 feet of snow.
Georgia State University now has reserch facilities on Skyline Park. Chara " Center for High Angular Research Array "
My descent to Eaton Canyon was fast and fun! The melting snow provided me a very wet descent. Combined my SC Superlights perfect handling traits & Hayes Disc wet advantage I have to say today was one of the funnest days on the trail! "Mr.Superlight" and myself were covered w/ granite mud! oh, happy, happy, joy, joy!
By the way, who are these people who skid on the trail? It's really not kewl :(
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 18.50 miles Elevation change: 4,400'
Mr. Superlight a year old riding a Santa Cruz Superlight from Eaton Canyon in Pasadena
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson/Sam Merrill Loop-Started my ride 12/18, Monday @ 9:00 from the bridge, cruised up to Henniger (2.5 miles), 3 minute break.
Continued on to the 5.5 mile mark (it's a memorial with a cross where some poor guy died a couple of years ago going off the edge on his bike), took another 3 minute breather and stretched the legs.
Continued on, between mile 6-8, it's a bit rough, they have performed some light grading of the top surface to remove big boulders that have slid on the trail from the hillside's, therefore making the trail soft at points but still very rocky at others.
Got to Skyline park @ 11:10am (riding time = 1:57)
Spun in cricles for a minute to rest my legs and proceeded down the paved road in a westerly direction heading towards Hwy. 2, 1.5-2 miles later you will see a toll gate on the left hand side entering you onto Mt. Lowe Fireroad, climbed up to Mueller Tunnel and at the next Platoe, picked up the single track going up to Mt. Lowe Summit, proceeded down Upper Merrill West Trail, back to fireroad and down Middle Merrill to Cobb Estates to Lower Merrill and eventually hit the intersection of Loma Alta and Lake Ave., jumped over to Loma Alta east and 1.5 miles later, was at the trail head of Eaton Canyon/Mt. Wilson Toll Road (or in my case, cruise to the pad nearby).
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 25 miles ? Elevation change: 4700
Singletrack=45% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=45%
JoeTruth a 36 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Ellsworth Truth from Altadena
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road!-I did it! It has been well over 3 years since I last climbed this "Small" dirt road! It kicked my rear! The last time I did it I was in shape! I have only road 2-3 times in the last 2 months! Lets just say my best time was 2 hours from the bottom! It took me an extra 23 minutes!Boy am I out of shape! But the mountain did not beat me this year! Now when I drive the freeways of L.A. & a passenger is with me I can point to the top of the mountain & say I rode to the top of that mountain! All I can say is "YES" I did it! !CAN YOU!
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 9 I think! Elevation change:
Matt Westlake a 41 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized M-4 , FSR from Santa Clarita, CA
- Trail UpdateMt.Wilson- Skyline Park YEAH!!!!-The pavillion is now equipped w/ a Coca-Cola machine! That's the good news! :P The bad news..it's freaking sold out!
Ride rating: Novice
Ride distance: 18.6 Miles Elevation change: 4,500'
Charles a OLD year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized FSR XC from Pasadena, Calif.
- Trail UpdateWilson Toll Road-BUGS. From where the trees start above Henninger Flats to Mount Wilson-the whole way.. are great swarms of flys and gnat like bugs which fly in front of the face while riding. It requires bug repellent of some kind for these type pests. There are really out in full force!!
On June 6, 2000- the water is fine at the top of Mount Wilson out of the spout and the drinking fountain.
- Trail UpdateContaminated Water On Mt.Wilson-As of 5-9-00 the water is contaminated. Water simply does not pass the Health Departments tolerance for bacteria.
Pls. plan accordingly.
Ride rating: Novice
charles a old year old Cross-Country Rider riding a s-fsr xc from pasadena, Ca
- Trail UpdateTrash!-I just moved to California from Maryland about two months ago. I heard people talking about the Mt. Wilson trail so I thought I would try it. I love climbing, so this trail was perfect. It isn't incredibly difficult, its just really long. Also, in the wooded areas, the bugs were relentless. There was one problem I had. I noticed a lot of trash on the trail (bottles, wrappers, etc.) I hate seeing trash on such nice areas to ride. Please everyone, have a heart for our planet and keep it clean or we will not have anywhere to legally ride!
Ride rating: Intermediate
Jason a 23 year old Racer riding a Trek from North Hollywood, CA
- Trail UpdateMt.Wilson Toll Road............-Henniger Flats campground & Visitors area still does not have drinking water as of4-13-00. If you are continuing on to Mt. Wilson Skyline park, please plan accordingly.
Do a good deed and spank a downhill shuttler :P
Ride rating: Novice
Ride distance: 5-20miles Elevation change: 1400-4500
Charles a old year old Cross-Country Rider riding a fsr xc from Pasadena, Ca
- Trail UpdateSingle Track Trails-Once you climb to the observatory, there are quite a few options on your return path. RIM TRAIL, RATTLESNAKE TRAIL, MT.WILSON TRAIL, MT.LOWE-MIDDLE MERRIL-ECHO MTN TRAIL. It's true, it's a real work out to climb this fire road. 9.25 miles w/ 4'500 feet of climbing, but if choose your return trail and a little road riding back to your car, it's all worth it. Besides, if you choose to ride back via the city of Sierra Madre there are a tons of good places to eat in a country style setting. Don't get discouraged by the whiners below, a bad day on the trail is better than a .... :-)
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: Elevation change: 4,500 +/-
Charles a old year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized FSR stumpjumper XC from Pasadena, Ca
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road-Rode this last night (only to Henninger Flats ) and there is no water there and signs saying don't drink. Could be contaminated (saw same at top of Mt. Wilson about a month ago). Pack plenty h20.
Michael a 49 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a bike from Pasadena
- Trail UpdateJohn-I rode this trail back in the early June. It was blazing hot and I almost had heat stoke by the time I got to the top. Also, the trail had mucho debris and washouts toward the top. To tell you the honest truth, I wasn't too impressed. VERY tough climb considering the conditions but not very pleasurable. I'm usually up for a hard climb but the trail conditions were so jacked-up that it really took to fun out of it. Sorry for the "negative" review.... maybe I'll try it again in better weather. Oh, it was also VERRRRRY buggy. I think I ate a few knats on my way to the summit.
Ride rating: Advanced
John Godden a 46 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GF Paragon from Granada Hills .net
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road-Rode up and back yesterday, 1-Aug-99. I've been doing this ride every few months for the last 2 years. First, some clarifications: the total distance to the top is 9 miles, with Henninger Flats just under 3 miles. Another landmark used as a rest stop by MTBers and runners alike is a saddle at 5 miles. Normally, it's not a difficult ride, just long and continually uphill (but read on!).
The first 3 miles up to Henninger Flats is the steepest sustained grade (but fairly typical of fire roads around here), on a very smooth surface. After Henninger Flats, the surface used to be more typical fire road, just the odd loose patch to look out for when descending - sometimes difficult to spot in the shade under the trees! After the saddle at 5 miles, the trail flattens for half-a-mile and then steepens again, and from this point trail conditions yesterday were intermittently VERY rough for the next 3 miles - loose sand, gravel and rocks that make maintaining forward momentum very tiring. It started to get difficult after El Nino's rains of 1997/8, but now it is much worse - it seems last winter's slide material has just been spread, unevenly, over the surface. Even more discouraging, each time the surface improves, it's only a temporary respite before the next bad patch which is even worse! And then about a mile from the top, the road has been graded for construction traffic and is perfectly hard and smooth - but by this time, after doing battle with the conditions of the previous 3 miles my legs were so tired that I just pedalled up slowly in my lowest gear! On the descent, the first mile is a little treacherous - the surface is so smooth I could easily pick up more speed than I realized and a light dusting of sand and gravel made emergency braking quite exciting! The rough 3 miles was tough going down as well as up - maintaining enough speed to bounce through the loose patches and over the rocks made for a very rough ride, making it difficult to avoid holes quite capable of swallowing a front wheel. After that it was back to the conditions described in earlier postings, a fast fun descent, impossible to stay within the 15mph speed limit but slow down to walking pace for other trail users and say "Hi".
This used to be a good workout for a fit but inexperienced rider, but until the trail packs down to give firmer conditions, riders need to be fit AND skilful!
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 18 miles Elevation change: 4,500ft
Dirt Road=98% Paved Path=2%
John a 50 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Stumpjumper
- Trail UpdateMt. Wilson Toll Road-Rode down on 1-30-99. The first 2 miles from the top are calf deep snow that is not much fun. Check the weather update for trail conditions.
Chimm Chimm a 35 year old Weekend Warrior riding a two wheeler from S. Pas
- Trail UpdateJust some options while climbing this fire road. At approx mile 4.5 to your left is a trail thats called the idlehour trail which leads to Inspiration point / Mount Lowe Fire road. Mile 7.5 to your right is the Winter Creek trail. This will lead you to the Gabrielino Trail and eventually to Chantry Flats. This trail will also connect you to the Mount Wilson Trail which leads to Sierra Madre. [I do not advise mtn bikers to use the Mount Wilson Trail ] Of couse once you get to Mount Wilson, there are numerous Descent Options.
Mount Lowe fire road, to Sam Merril. The Rim Trail....Happy Riding!
Charles a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized FSR Comp from Pasadena
- Trail Updatewell the last guy must be an animal!! this trail is only 10 miles but brutal only because of its relentlessness.if you want more continue on the road to the right of the antenae's that you will see on your left after reaching the observatory and look for the "rattlesnake" trailhead (sweet singletrack) continue straight (not right )at the first fork until the second which is the "redbox road" follow this to the redbox station and go up the paved road to MT WILSON. from here its back down the toll raod for a total of 30+ miles.There is only water at the redbox station though there is plenty along rattlesnake if you have a water filter.
Singletrack=20% Dirt Road=60% Paved Path=20%
atila v a 31 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT RTS from SoCal
- Trail UpdateMount Wilson Toll Road-I read a lot of literature on this trail which intimidated me a little as far as climbing. I was expecting wall like climbs, this trail to me is a moderate climb long but moderate you can easily fall into a good rythim. I ate this trail up and spitted it out way to easy as far as technical and not as steep as advertised!!!! Try it you might surprise yourself and find out that it is steep but not ultrasteep. If I had a suggestion would be to bring cold weather gear at the top it got a little cold......................
Dirt Road=90% Paved Path=1%
Alcapurria a 32 year old Racer riding a Cannondale caad3 custom from california
- Trail UpdateJOKER-From the bottom you will climb 3mls up, straight up. Its a very good climb. Watch out for hikers going up and down aswell as Mtn bikers. Its an awesome view at Hennigers Flats, from there you have another 8 mile climb. The first 6 mile is pretty smooth, alot of switch backs.The last three miles is pretty rough. I did this ride a month ago, its a tough ride with awesome views. But beware bring lots of water and powerbars. Man I tell you when you get to the top, its the most accomplishing ride you have ever done. I forgot to tell you the down hill is awesome, I cant explain it, you just have to ride it. Have fun and be careful!!
Dirt Road=99% Paved Path=1%
Joker a 30 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Rocky Mountain Race Element from Arcadia
- Trail UpdateHenninger Flats-Take the Toll Road which starts at the top of Eaton Canyon (opposite 2270 Pinecrest in Altadena). It is a strong climb (about 1300 ft in 2 1/2 miles) to Henninger Flats, all dirt road. There you will find a good view of the city and a small campground with a water fountain. This section of the Toll Road is heavily used by hikers, so watch out.
- Trail UpdateMT.Wilson Ride-This fire road goes up,up and up to Mt. wilson. It's somewhere around 12 miles. The terrain is smooth and dry,well maintained. There little shade and a lot of sun exposure. It offers some of the best vistas of the San Gabriel Valley. The best part is the downhill, which offers wide turns for speed.
Yves A. a 19 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Univega alpina 800-s