Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mount Lee- Hollywood Sign

Photos: To view all of the pictures from this hike click here to go to the photo gallery
Videos: To view videos from this hike click here to go to YouTube

Date:
January 16, 3012

Nearest City:
Hollywood, CA

Driving Directions:
From the 101 Freeway Exit Gower St. Make a right on North Beachwood Drive and then a right onto Franklin Ave. In 0.2 mile turn Left onto Canyon Drive. Follow this road through a neighborhood and into the Griffith Park Park at the last parking lot before the locked gate. Trail starts at gate.

Hours:
Sunrise to sunset

Difficulty:
Easy- Moderate

Why?
This trail is very easy as the trail is a fire road, however there is a steady incline for most of the trail.

Elevation:
1098 ft. Gain

Seasons:
Year around, This trail is also very exposed to the sun so make sure to check weather conditions before leaving the house and in the hotter months of the year always carry enough water and a hat.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
None

Cell Service:
T-Mobile- I had good to spotty service for all of the trail.

Trails:
Hollywood Sign Trail- 6.5 miles round trip

Trail Conditions:
The trails to the Hollywood sign are in great shape, very easy to follow. I was sad to see trash in bushes along the trail. Please carry out what you take in with you, including picking up your dogs waist.

Trail Directions:
From the parking area head past the gate and follow the fire road as it climbs up and out of the canyon. Make sure to stay on the main fire road all the way to the paved road. Take a left to get below the Hollywood Sign and head right up above the sign. Once done head back the way you came.

Other Activities:
Mountain Bike
Horse Back Riding
Trail Running
Walking
Hiking

Links:
Griffith Park
Weather.com
Facebook
YouTube
Knot the Ordinary (Store)

Jessie's Thoughts:
This is a great hike for families with young children. I was born and raised in southern California, an hours drive away from Hollywood and have never been to see the sign. There are tons of trails and access points so you are able to choose how long or short you want the trail to be. The trail is a fire road for most of it then turns into an old paved road leading up to the top and down to the bottom of the sign.

Map:


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Stoddard Peak

Photos: To view all of the pictures from this hike click here to go to the photo gallery
Videos: To view videos from this hike click here to go to YouTube

Date:
January 9, 2012

Nearest City:
Mt. Baldy Village, CA

Driving Directions: 
From the 210 Freeway Exit Base Line Rd., make a Right on Padua Ave. follow for 1.8 miles and make a Right onto Mt. Baldy Rd. Drive 6.1 miles and turn Right onto Barrett Stoddard Truck Trail and park in the dirt lot before the building.

Hours:
Sunrise - Sunset

Difficulty:
Easy- Moderate

Why?
This trail is very easy to follow, but has an incline the whole way to the top.

Elevation:
1,200 ft Gain


Seasons:
September- May


Parking/ Entrance Fee:
An adventure pass is required to park at this trailhead. They can be bought online or at the Mt. Baldy Lodge in Mt. Baldy Village and at the information center just past the lodge.

Cell Service:
T-Mobile- None

Trails:
Stoddard Peak Trail- 6 miles round trip

Trail Condition:
This trial is in great shape, little to no trash and extremely easy to follow. The trial is a fire road for almost the whole way, but keep in mind that the trail leading to the peaks from the flat is a little hard to spot.

Trail Directions:
From the parking area head past the small building that is fenced off. Head over the bridge and continue up the fire road. The road goes past some houses and then past a gate. In a little while the trail will go through a large open area to the right of the trail, and shortly after this the fire road will come to another large opening area, once at this flat start looking for the trail to the right of the trail. Here the fire road turns into a trail and leads off over the flat, head up the small hard to spot trail on the right up to the first false summit. Follow the trail over this summit and over the next one till you reach the real and final summit of Stoddard Peak. There is a small metal triangle sign at the top and just beyond that under a large pile of rocks is a register. Sign your name and head back down the way you came. For added fun once at the parking lot cross past the barrier of rocks and follow along the old paved road thats eroding and soon the sounds of falling water will hit your ear. At the over look, look down and you will see a waterfall. We back tracked and walked down the river bed to the top of the fall. On our next trip we will find a rout to the bottom.

Other Activities:
Mountain Bike
Walking
Trail Running
Hiking
Fishing

Links:
Weather.com
Facebook
YouTube
Knot the Ordinary (Store)
Adventure Pass


Jessie's Thoughts:
This short and easy hike was a lot of fun. Most of the hike is on a well kept fire road untill you reach the flat and take a hard to find trail up past two false summits to the final summit. Once up on the ridge line go slow and watch your step when climbing around the large boulders and make sure to find the register just past the metal sign at the summit.

Map:


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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mount Lukens via Crescenta View Trail

Photos: To view all of the pictures from this hike click here to go to the photo gallery
Videos: To view videos from this hike click here to go to YouTube


Date:
January 2, 2012

Nearest City:
La Crescenta- Montrose, CA 

Driving Directions: 
3429 Markridge Road, La Crescenta, CA 91214
-Take the 210 Freeway toward La Crescenta-Montrose and Exit Pennsylvania Ave. take a slight Right onto Pennsylvania Ave. In 0.4 mile turn Left onto Foothill Blvd. and go 0.3 mile and make a Right onto New York Ave. Follow for 1 mile and turn Right at the large sign for Deukmejian Wilderness Park. No parking fees or permits needed to park just follow the road a short distance to a paved parking lot on the right and a dirt lot on the left, park in one of the two. Come early parking goes fast even on weekdays! When we arrived just after the park opened we were the 3rd car in both lots 6 hours later every spot was taken. Check out Google Maps for the exact location of where you will be parking.

Hours:
Sunrise - Sunset

Difficulty:
Strenuous

Why?
The trail is all uphill and some may find the climb to the top strenuous. 

Elevation:
Park Entry- 2159 ft.

Seasons:
Year around. Always check current weather conditions before leaving the house. This trail has little shade so a hat may be required on hot days.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
None

Cell Service:
T-Mobile- I had no service this whole trail. 

Trails:
Crescenta View Trail to Mount Lukens- 6.5 miles round trip

Trail Condition:
The trail is easy to follow for the most part but we found that on our way back all the "short cut" trails that had us stumped for a few seconds on our way up were far more confusing and at times down right frustrating. Please try your best to stay on the true trail and let these false trails grow over. 

Trail Directions:
From the parking area head to the far side of the parking lot past the large building and up some stairs. Soon the paved trail will become dirt, at the first two junctions stay right and cross the creek. Continue along the trail on the other side of the dry creek and soon the trail will start its climb up to the top. We found that there were a lot of false trails along the rout to the top and a few of them had us confused for a few seconds. Please stay off these false trails and let them grow over. After a while the trail will flatten to reveal a small wall of rocks in the shape of a ring, this is a wind break for campers, don't knock over or take rocks from it. After a short brake continue up the trail as it climbs further up toward the top. My best advice for navigating the sometimes confusing false trails is to just head toward the top and the antennas. Soon the trail will break from its relentless climb through think brush and endless switchbacks to reveal an open ridge line to an overlook of the valley and mountains below. 

Head out to the overlook and rest your feet while taking in the amazing views. When rested head back to the trail junction and follow the trail leading up a short way to another ridge line. Once there go left and continue along the fire road to the top.

Other Activities:
Mountain Bikes
Trail Running
Walking
Hiking
Backpacking

Links:
 
Jessie's Thoughts: 
I enjoyed this trail only for the amazing views and great work out other than that do the Rim of the Valley trail. It gives you everything this trail does without the fear of falling off the dangerous trail or getting lost with the many "short cut" trails. I don't recommend this trail at all it should be closed use one of the many other trails leading to the summit. 

Maps:


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