Here we go again! The six-pack of peaks challenge with 3H Family (Hiking for Health and Happiness). Starting off with Mount Wilson which is not the tallest of the six at 5,712 feet, but don’t be fooled by it. It packs a punch while ascending up the mountain.
We met up at the Chantry Flats parking lot located in Sierra Madre, California at 5:30 am before the area got filled up. The trail is very popular, especially with Sturtevant Falls close by. An Adventure Pass is required to park here.
A total of 54 hikers was accounted for. We welcomed other hiking groups that joined us at this event. They are the 213 FB Hikers, Everyone’s Hike, and Hikescapela. I loved it when hiking groups come together as one. We were a very huge group on the trails at the same time meeting new friends along the way.
Our hike started a little over 6 am heading down on the paved road of Santa Anita Canyon Avenue. The road changed into Gabrieleno Trail after crossing the bridge. Ricardo Cruz, our coordinator, gave some instructions in Spanish which was translated into English by Melevy Sorto. He then showed us the new banner showing our first peak of the six-pack of peaks challenge. And he mentioned that Jesus Carillo, who’s 60+ years old, with his wife Vivian Carillo, were our leads for this hike. The trail then turns to the left, which bypassed Sturtevant Falls and splits the Gabrieleno Trail. We took the right side that heads up further parallel to the Santa Anita Wash and even saw the waterfalls from above.
We had to cross some streams on the way. Some of us got our shoes wet, but they later dried up during the hike. We took a break at the Spruce Grove Campground for a bit before continuing the hike on the trail which splits into two. We took the left trail which is the Sturtevant Trail that led us to a fairly steep ascent through switchbacks. We can feel the pain on our calves and legs on our non-stop very last push to the summit where all the observatories, buildings, and paved roads are. As we set foot near the observatory, Tony Delgado gave each one of us a bookmark with a heartfelt congratulation note on reaching Mt. Wilson peak. While we were waiting for the last hikers of our group to arrive, we took some photos around the area.
We all met at the Mt. Wilson Skyline Park Picnic Site and had our lunch. Hot coffee, tea, and hot water awaited us by depositing money in the donation box. Edward Gallegos, our hiker chef, made special treats for us. He was carrying a 40+ pound backpack filled with food. It was a feast. We thank him for doing that.
Some of us also did the 22 push-up challenge twice. A lot of photos were taken after eating lunch and then some more group photos at the parking lot near the antennas. 3H Family displayed their red banner for the first time.
We started heading down using Mt. Wilson Trail. At the junction of Mt. Wilson Toll Road, we took another group photo and continued the trail to the left side.
We arrived at another junction and continued by using the left way which is the Winter Creek Trail with more switchbacks. There was another junction that splits the trail into two. We took the right one which is the Upper Winter Creek Trail. From above, we could see the parking lot below, but that one was deceiving because it took more than another mile to get back to the Chantry Flats parking lot. As always, we formed a line and congratulate each hiker with a high-five as they finished the hike. Everyone enjoyed the adventure, we sang “Happy Birthday” to Melevy, and we then said our goodbyes. Next stop … Cucamonga Peak.