Hiking L.A.

Blogged: February 17, 2007

Mount Lowe (again)

Hiked: January 14, 2007

Friends, hikers, readers of my blog. I have been negligent. I have been a bad blogger. I have hiked three times since you've seen me last, with nary a word written on this blog. I am filled with shame over my inconquerable laziness.

• Length: 3 miles
• Elevation gain/loss: 500'
• Location: San Gabriel Mountains
• Type of Hike: Out and Back

I actually have been quite busy lately, so I have a pseduo-excuse for not blogging. This hike to Mount Lowe took place a mere four days before I left town to attend the Sundance Film Festival. Midway through my 10 days at Sundance, I contracted a fun strain of food poisoning that cleaned out my entire digestive system and left me a tad lethargic. Then, once I returned from Sundance, I had to catch up with my actual life that I had left behind. This meant doing actual work. No more watching three movies a day and hobnobbing with celebrities. This "actual work" also left me with little time to blog. I apologize. This is my attempt at atonement.

So, on to the hiking. On Sunday, January 14, my friends Shanna (whose secret identity is no secret, hence the lack of pseudonym) and Pulitzer (name derived from her fabulous sweater) expressed an interest in hiking. Shanna was short on time, so I suggested we hike up Mt. Lowe. I had done this hike before, and I knew we'd be able to get up and back with enough time to spare.

When you arrive at the trailhead, just across Mt. Wilson road there's a great view of Mount Baldy covered in snow:


It was then I realized how different this hike was in the winter. It was a perfectly clear day, but it was very cold for Southern California. It had even dropped below freezing for a few nights, which might be the first sign of apocalypse. (In a related note, on the day I flew out to Sundance, it snowed in Malibu. Yes, snowed.) So up on the mountain it was even colder.

Of course, Pulitzer, Shanna and I were all bundled up for our hike. As we got going we ended up shedding a lot of our layers, but it never got quite what you'd call "warm." Here's proof:


Snow on the ground only 20 minutes from downtown L.A. Stop the presses!

When I did this hike with BF in the summer, we added an extra two miles or so to the hike by hiking a loop around the front side of Mt. Lowe. I also tortured myself by wearing TeVa sandals. This time, we just did the quick 3-mile hike straight up and back, and I was wearing proper footwear.

Also, this being January, not July, the views from the top were much clearer. It was slightly hazy, but not the "my lungs are black from smog" type of haze, thankfully. Here are a few shots:

View from Mt. Lowe

(That shiny thing in the distance is the Pacific Ocean.)


Some peak spotters (and Shanna using them):


Shanna the Spotter

Mt. Baldy in the distance:


And some info about Mt. Lowe:


The hike was pleasant, chilly, and otherwise uneventful. Just a nice day out. Nothing else to report.


At 8:13 AM, Blogger Shanna said...

It was a fun hike. And pretty!

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I hiked this trail for the first time yesterday 12-28-08. Very pleasant hike. Steep grades in some spots. Last mile up is on the north side of the peak and was all snow. Over a foot deep in some areas. That side of the trail is shaded for most of the day so the snow remains longer. The view at the top was worth every step I took. Very clear day. Saw all the way to Catalina Island and north to Santa Monica Bay. Ocean view was very clear. Summer time it may be a very hot hike as there is little to no shade. Fall and winter appears to be best. Next time will hike to the east over to Strawberry Peak.


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