Roundtrip: about 6.5 hours if we didn’t get lost. Allot an entire day to this hike though as you probably won’t be able to do much after depending on what kinda shape you are in.
Parking: Free with adventure pass but $5 otherwise.
Chantry Flat parking lot trailhead: 2201-2299 Forest Route 2N40, Sierra Madre, CA 91011 http://www.yelp.com/biz/mt-wilson-trail-sierra-madre?utm_source=ishare
Things to bring:
Wear layers including a rain proof jacket/windbreaker, maybe long sports pants (it could get really cold, especially on the day we went at least)
Trekking poles (these were life saver)
A backpack with
1) a lot of snacks, sunscreen, at least 1 L of water.
2) a sandwich or some sort of savory lunch to eat when you reach the peak.
3) Maybe a pair of gloves if it’s a cold day.
There are multiple ways to get to Mount Wilson but here is how we did it. We started from the parking lot The trail is actually 14 miles round trip but we actually took the wrong turns and ended up doing 20 miles 😦
Park, and walk on concrete road for about 10 minutes until you see a bridge. Then you will see a sign. Again, there are multiple ways to get there. We made a left after crossing the bridge, so we took the Chantry Flat route. (on the map, it’s lower winter creek trail ==> Hoegees camp ==> upper winter creek trail toward Mt Wilson
You will walk for a couple of miles until you see a campsite called Hoggee Camp. You gotta be careful here and look around for sign for Mt Wilson. OTHERWISE, you can end up taking the route back to the parking lot! (The mistake we made).
After about 2 miles of hiking up a bunch of loop-backs, you will see this bench.
Then Continue to follow “mount wilson” (2nd line) until you see….
Follow the direction toward “Altadena”.
In about a mile or so, you will see this fire road. However, look for a small trail with a man made stack of rocks like a “rock arrow” at the entrance. The reason: concrete pavement is a longer route while the narrow trail is a short cut.
Manmade stack of rocks on bottom left. Follow this trail up. (probably 30ish minutes until you reach the top)
After about a mile of hiking uphill, the trail will end up right into the parking lot. They do have nice bathrooms up here and water refill stations and benches to have picnics.
The return trip is much easier if you have the trekking pole you will just breeze through.