Courtney and I hike Mount Wilson

I talked my daughter, Courtney Feller, into hiking Timber Peak. Once she finished that hike, she realized how much fun it would be to do the Six Pack of Peaks. A couple of weeks later, the two of us started up our first peak, Mount Wilson, which is way above Pasadena. The going was pretty light, as Wilson is a 4,740-ft elevation gain, but with no snow at the top.

We also did things the proper way by starting at Sierra Madre, which is at the bottom of the mountain. A lot of people start halfway up at Chantry Flats, but if you’re gonna climb a mountain, you might as well do it the right way.

Courtney was huffing and puffing about a mile into it. She clearly wasn’t acclimatized yet, so we had to take quite a few breaks.

Fortunately, she found her groove two miles in and the rest of the way up wasn’t too difficult. At the top of the trail, we came to the fire road which leads to the last section of trail near the summit. By that point, Courtney was dog-tired and sick of hiking. The heat and bugs didn’t help. Not what I’d call the most pleasant hike we’ve ever done.

We pressed on and found ourselves under a deep blue sky. That’s a good sign you’re close to the summit. This was encouragement enough for Courtney, and we made the summit.

Mount Wilson’s summit is a bit anticlimactic: You find an abandoned snack bar at the top. We got lucky that day and someone had hot coffee on a table with an appeal to donate to the observatory. We had coffee, trail mix, and a sandwich, and then it was back down the mountain.

On the way down, we each took a 5-Hour Energy, which I’ve found is like the miracle way to get down a mountain. Going up a mountain is one thing, but down can seem like drudgery. A little caffeine in your system goes a long way. We reached the bottom and high-fived at the car, which is something we do for a round trip. It was a tough day of hiking, but boy was it fun.

Elevation Profile

Trail Map

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