Mount Wilson Loop via Sturtevant trail
9 reviews Angeles National Forest #68 hike out of 461 in
5 hrs 12 min
This is a moderate loop trail to Mount Wilson in Angeles National Forest.
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Mt. Wilson Loop Via Sturtevant Trail, Mt Wilson Trail, Lower Winter Creek Trail
This is my third ascent of Mt. Wilson, and my second completion of this round trip loop. The descent to the valley on the paved road was uneventful.At the bottom, I observed that the creek in the canyon was nearly empty, so I skipped the side trip to the base of Sturtevant Falls. I took the lower section of the Gabrielino Trail, and observing the falls from above, I hadn't missed much. As we are in a drought currently, the falls were only a trickle. I followed the trail to Spruce Grove Camp. I have passed through this camp several times on various hikes and used the tables and bathroom facilities, but today it seemed to be in a state of neglect. One pit toilet had a padlock on it, and the other was so filthy that people had relieved themselves on the ground outside and left their TP as evidence of the act. Some of the tables were collapsed as well. I hope they fix the place up, with summer coming there will be many people coming to stay and won't be able to in the condition it's in.Just past the Spruce Grove camp, I took the Sturtevant Trail and began the ascent of Mt. Wilson. This is a very steep and precarious 3 mile section of trail, and it looked to be in much worse condition than I remember it being the last two times I hiked on it. On the switchbacks, there were sections with fallen trees across the trail, and parts where so much of the edges had eroded that there were only a few inches of firm ground to put your feet on. As I ascended the last mile and a half to the summit, I found that the side of the mountain that the trail is on faces the sun at the time of day I was on it (2PM-3PM) and with little shade, it was very hot. Near the summit, I observed a small rattlesnake by the trail. He gave me a warning buzz and moved up the hill, and that was that. At the end of the trail, I took the side trip to Echo Point to take pictures of the scenic view before heading into the Mt. Wilson Observatory complex. I used the restrooms and refilled my water bottles before heading to the Mt. Wilson Trailhead. I descended both on the trail and the toll road, as they join together for a section. After the final separation of the trail and the toll road, I continued to the junction with the Winter Creek Trail, then descended to Hoagee Camp.This section of trail was comparably cool to the hot section of trail I had ascended earlier, due to this part of the trail being on the side with no sun. At the campground, I didn't observe the conditions of the camp as it was getting dark and it was still 2 miles to go to get back to Chantry Flats.The lower Winter Creek trail can be difficult to hike when the creeks are full due to multiple creek crossings. Even with the lack of water I still had to find my footing in some sections with deeper pools to cross. I hiked to the valley floor, then climbed back up the paved road to the parking lot. Today's hike wasn't the best, in fact it was the worst of the three trips I've made on these trails. However, I still found interesting things to see and do, so despite the issues I mention here, I recommend this hike, perhaps in the earlier Spring, as that was the time I hiked here that I really enjoyed the trip.
Mnt. Wilson (7/1/20, 9:08:51AM)
This was an amazing hike. Longest I’ve done and yet the best. I’m doing the 6 peaks challenge. I loved the shade. It was hard going up. Took us 7 hours and 15 min. We hung out at the Sturtevant resort. We also did the waterfall as well as parked down the mountain due to the parking lot being closed. Took us just 3 hours to get down. Left the truck at 9:00 and back about 7:15. Long day. I clocked about 14 miles all together.
Mt Wilson Loop (5/18/17, 6:10:47PM)
Hiked as an overnight trip, camping at Spruce Grove, then up to Mt Wilson in the morning. Returned via the Lower Winter Creek Trail.