Last Wednesday [11.12.14], I didn’t have work. I must say, it’s really nice to have a weekday off once in awhile. I’ve been trying to hike more lately since summer is over and the weather is getting more chilly. & when I have an entire day free, I like to schedule in some outdoors time. Check out the highlights and photos from my hike
My coworker and I hiked Jone’s Peak at Bailey Canyon Park in the Sierra Madre mountains. This is probably the most intense hike I’ve done in awhile. I want to start hiking trails with higher elevation, to give me more of a challenge. I want to push myself and I know not many are down to embark on this journey with me. To start with, there was a bear warning sign at the parking lot which made me nervous. It doesn’t help that I saw two foxes at the beginning of the trail either. I must have stood there frozen in fear for 5-10 minutes before my coworker had to come back and convince me to move on. I have never felt so terrified from hiking! I can deal with the tough trails and heights (oh dear goodness I’m scared of heights along narrow edges as well)… but wildlife animals will put a lot of fear if me.
⇒ Lost for an hour: We ended up in the Live Oak Nature Trail because another blog mislead us there. So if you go, note that you will not pass a bridge.
⇒ We were in the clouds!! 😀 I was excited about that cause I’ve never gone that high before when it’s cold so being in the clouds was a first for me. It was freezing at the top though, just at 64° but my hands were numb and I couldn’t feel my fingers. I brought pants with me also so I put those on before heading down.
⇒ View from top: breathtaking, like any other peak views. 360° view of San Gabriel area. Mt. Harvard & Mt. Wilson to the Northwest.
⇒ Jones Peak elevation is 3,386 ft. I read from other reviews that the elevation gain is about 2,200 ft, but we started fairly close to ground level that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was actually the 3,386 ft elevation gain. Regardless, it’s still a lot.
⇒ Time: 1hr 40mins going up (yes, we’re that out of shape/ not used to the elevation); 1hr 30 mins coming down. Including getting lost, enjoying the view up top, and the actual hike, we were there from 8am-12:20pm.
⇒ Trail: 6.5 – 7 miles. LOTS of switchbacks. Gets old and repetitive, but you have a view of the city most of the way.
⇒ It was a cloudy day when we went, but on a sunny day, I imagine there to be barely any shade.
⇒ There’s a “cabin” maybe 2/3 of the way up. Look at this picture and tell me if it looks like a cabin…… I sense it’s just what is left of it. Well after that, elevation gain gets much higher, much faster.
⇒ The last stretch up is steep, very steep. Real hiking shoes help a lot. You make a hard right to get to this point, if you don’t know about it, you will likely dismiss it or miss it altogether. We saw it, questioned it, and kept going on the obvious trail. This was wrong. We started to hike the an unauthorized trail leading to the Mt. Wilson trail, leading to Mt. Harvard. It didn’t took long before we realized it and turned back.
⇒ The bear and foxes: I was freaked out almost the entire way up. Since it was a weekday, we didn’t see any other hikers until an hour later or so. I didn’t know if it was a fox, a wolf, a coyote or what. A little after passing the cabin, another hiker told us the bear sign is because the bears didn’t have water due to the drought we’ve been having so they had to come down for water. But since we recently had rain, I was less worried about them.
**I’ve been thinking lately that I should get more hiking gear… maybe one of those camelbak water backpacks… a first aid kit… a pocket knife… compass… map… water purifier… maybe even a flare. =P I don’t know. But if any hikers have any recommendations, please let me know!
One last thought: I hope to attempt and succeed Mt. Wilson by the end of the year… now that would be something to be proud of. I’m hoping if I write this down, it’ll motivate me more to actually do it. If you have any tips on this as well, please let me know.