OverviewGet 4-5 Peaks instead of 1 without adding any extra mileage (but you will add a bit of vertical).
This route is great for those that want to do a loop up Mount Wilson from the Mount Wilson trailhead instead of just an out and back. It goes by (or to the top of) Harvard, Yale, Hastings, & Jones Peaks as well. Nice way to get multiple peaks in one day instead of just the one you get by doing the out and back.
Thanks to Mountain Impulse for much of the info I used to compile this page, including the quoted areas and getting there section.
Getting ThereThe Mt. Wilson Trail trailhead is located within the city limits of Sierra Madre. From the 210 Freeway, exit Baldwin Ave. and go north. When you come to a traffic light where you have to go either right or left, go left to the next light and that is Baldwin Ave. Take a right and continue up Baldwin Ave. through the downtown area of Sierra Madre. Approximately ¾’s of a mile from the downtown plaza, take a right on Mira Monte. Go down about ½ mile and you will come to a small park on your left. Park anywhere in this area long Mira Monte. (Note: it seems that Sierra Madre police are serious about curbing your vehicle’s wheels). To get to the trail, walk up the paved road that heads north off of Mira Monte next to the park. About ¼ of a mile up the paved road, you will come to the signed start of the trail.
The cut off to the STEEP connector trailI started by going up mount Wilson, but I imagine (due to the steepness) most people will want to go up Jones, Hastings, Yale (optional) and Harvard on the way up and come down the Mount Wilson road. That said, to avoid heat and exposure I would recommend coming down the way I did as you will spend less time in the sun (the Mt. Wilson Trail has a decent bit of shade.)
START by going up the Mt. Wilson Trail from Mt. Wilson Trailhead Park. About just over 1 mile up (by my reckoning) there is a faint trail that breaks off to the left and goes steeply up just after coming around a corner. If you get to where you are passing the Dam, you've gone about a 1/4 mile too far.
Mountain Impulse describes another way to the connector trail this way on the Mt. Yale page:
"A fourth variation would be to start at the Mt. Wilson Trail trailhead in Sierra Madre (one mile east of the Bailey Canyon Trail trailhead). Hike up the Mt. Wilson Trail about 2 miles to the steep “Connector Trail” off to your left near the helipad. Ascend the Connector Trail to the above mentioned northwest ridge coming from Jones Peak."
Alternatively, you can try this: "At 1.5 miles, you will reach First Water Junction, where you go left up the trail. At 2.7 miles, you reach the turn-off for the connector trail that takes you to the ridge north of Jones Peak. The turn-off is intermittently marked by a small wooden sign. Go left off the trail right onto a streambed. After about 100 yards, an obvious dirt trail runs into the streambed on your right. This trail immediately begins switch-backing up a canyon slope devoid of sun cover. Make no mistake. This connector trail is steep, climbing 700 feet in about .7 miles. When the trail reaches the ridge, you will see a wooden sign pointing in the direction from which you came and also pointing to the northwest where the ridge continues to the Mt. Wilson Toll Road. At the sign, go left (south) about .2 miles to Jones Saddle and continue up an additional .1 miles to the summit."
The rest of the way to the topOnce you've found the steep connector trail that heads straight up the ridge (easily visible on the ridge from the cities of Arcadia and Sierra Madre), it's pretty straightforward from there and hard to get lost IMO. You will come to Jones Peak first, then steeply down the North side and up to Hastings, then steeply down and then after a while you'll come to the ridiculously steep downhill and uphill that finally connect you to the Mt. Wilson Toll Road. At this point, you can choose to go up Mt. Yale if you so desire and come down the other side back on to the toll road. If you choose not to go up mount Yale, head left (east) around Mount Yale and proceed all the way around the base of Mount Harvard as well (on the SE side of Mount Yale is a trail sign and a break off to head down to the Mount Wilson Trail which you could do if you've had enough for the day). Continue up the toll road until you are between Mount Harvard and Mount Wilson (straight ahead of you and up). As you reach the trail junction, you can go left to the top of Mount Harvard, or right to the top of Mount Wilson. Once you have done one or both, you can come back down and head down the Mount Wilson trail. It's pretty straightforward once you get on the Mt. Wilson trail and virtually impossible to get lost. My GPS had total round trip about the same mileage as doing the Mt. Wilson trail out and back---about 14 miles.
Reverse route - Up Mount Wilson, Down Harvard, Yale, Hasting, and JonesIf you want to do the reverse route, go up the Mount Wilson trail all the way to the top of Mount Wilson, then come back down and do Harvard (you have to get a little creative to get to the highest point avoiding the communications towers). Come back down Harvard to where the Harvard road intersects the Mt. Wilson Road and the toll road. Head East down the toll road all the way around Mt. Harvard until you are heading West (you can see Yale SW of here) and continue down the toll road towards Yale (do Yale if you feel so inclined---I did not as it looked like a pain in the neck to go up this side and down the other). You will continue around Yale until you are on the south side and just after a huge pile up of big rocks (rock slide), you will see the ridiculously steep trail that connects you to the ridge that Hastings and Jones are on. Once you get on the ridge, it's a pretty straight (& steep)shot all the way down until you connect back to the Mount Wilson trail between a mile and two miles from the trailhead.
External LinksThere is a lot of good info on these peaks and the approaches to them on the pages of:
I hope this helps others who want to bag multiple peaks without adding mileage to the Mount Wilson trip.