"San Gabriel Mountains--What could be better than spending a summer day here


By The Editor


We cannot stay away from the San Gabriel mountains, they keep calling us back. So once again on a splendid summer day we were back among them.

Short of hiking to the top of one of San Gabriel's peaks the best views of the full range can be seen from Blue Ridge which traverses the east rim. It is a view that this Writer has never tired of through several decades in every season of the year. It offers easy access since Highway 2 climbs from Wrightwood to its crest and follows it for some distance before moving west toward Vincent Gap. Since Holiday Hill Ski Resort is located on Blue Ridge the views are accessable during the winter as well as other seasons.

From Inspiration point where Highway 2 crests the ridge Highway 2 continues to Grassy Point Visitor Center and picnic grounds. Just before reaching Inspiration Point there is an unimproved road that follows the ridge line for some miles past the ski runs, a campground then following the ridge to a second campground called Guffy. Also from Inspiration Point there is a fine view of the peaks as well as San Gabriel Canyon, far below, which divides the range.

Grassy Hollow is one of our favorites in the San Gabriel Range since it offers wondrous views. The Pacific Crest Trail, that extends from the borders of Mexico to Canada, passes through here.

On the opposite side Pine Mountain towers above showing a remarkable huge cliff of bare hard rock. And still higher the upper rims of Mt. Baldy. Move a few steps further and there is Iron Mountain, equally impressive. Far below the outline of San Gabriel canyon. On the other side of that canyon a full line of mountains dominated by Mount Baden Powell.

The others in that line, all trod by this Writer at some time, have names like Mt. Burnham, Throop Peak, Mt. Hawkins and Mt. Islip.

We did all this on a summer day where the temperature reached 100 degrees in the San Fernando Valley while we sat in perfect comfort in the shade of a giant fur tree at Grassy Hollow enjoying our roast beef sandwiches, potato salad and sweet cantaloupe.

It was also the perfect time to reminisce about some of the hikes and adventures we had in these mountains, hiking in summer and skiing in winter through five decades. And remembering some of the people we shared these experiences with who are no longer with us.

Highway 2 was delightful, without cars or people on this day, giving us time to stop whenever there was something to see. Thanks to a most welcome wet winter the trees and ground cover bushes were still lush and plants like elderberries were just beginning to blossom and some wild flowers still blooming.

As we descended west on Highway 2 we came to a closed portion of the highway due to construction and were directed to a detour that took us to Big Tujunga Creek. Here too there were memories of hikes to Strawberry peak and Mt. Lukens and happy days spent at some of the campgrounds.

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Last Update:8/18/19

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