...route description of a truly amazingly beautiful area. Thanks, Guido
I agree. Thanks, Guido.
Very good, thorough report. You seem to be an expert on the San Gabriel Mountains so here is an issue that has bothered me repeatedly. I use the Mt Wilson trail quite often during the winter & spring and occasionally I have been suddenly surprised by descending mountain bikers. I have yet to encounter any mountain biker going UP so that my guess is that most of them are dropped of by car at the top. These bikers are very inconsiderate to hikers (I experienced several close misses because they barrel down at full speed!!!) and can do a lot of damage to the superbly maintained trail.
Are these bikers legally allowed on this trail? There is a sign at the Manzanita Ridge that routes the bikers to the Winter Trail. Please clarify how to deal with this annoyance.
I don't know for sure the answer to your question, but I will find out. My suspicion is bikes are not allowed on that trail. Generally, the bike route to Mt. Wilson -which I have done a few times on a bike--is via the toll road.
I to have had bad experiences and near misses with bikers zooming down a trail without warning. I yell at them to give warning when they round a corner they can't see around. Most have been apologetic, but some not. I especially lecture when they are on a trail they shouldn't be on. For example, I encounter them on the Echo Mtn trail (Lower Sam Merrill) from Lake Ave. They are only allowed on the Middle Sam Merrill Trail and then need to connect with the Sunset/Lowe Fire Road.
It is a problem. It's probaby the worst on the lower El Prieto Canyon Trail because this is a technically challenging bike trail that attracts the dare-devils. And you're right. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A BIKER GO UP THE EL PRIETO TRAIL, ONLY DOWN. I don't think that's sporting.
As for damage to the trail, that is true. But in all fairness, where they are allowed, horses can chew up the turf as well and then there the hikers who will cut switchbacks.
I'm afraid there's no good answer except that I do confront these guys (usually guys) when they're out of line. Especially when they're on a trail they should not be on, they need to be reminded of that although it is likely they saw the "No Bikes" and just ignored it.
This is a beautiful trail, and quite a good challenging one too. I have a friend who I took on this trail for his very first hike, and he has been my hiking companion ever since (returning to Big Iron 3 times and soon a fourth).
They day we went was very foggy, even more than the sunflower picture. When we got to the summit, and went to the Eagle Lookout, we could see literally nothing but grey. And we walked through fast-moving clouds as we went down. It was pretty cool.
I can't wait to go back there, though it's a pity the fire has destroyed part of a really pretty area. Great article!
Thanks Scott. It is a steep beautiful trail. One of the best. I to like to take new hikers or infrequent hikers on this one because the deep cut canyons are so awesome at such a relatively low elevation.