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On Sunday July 7, Troop 355 will be offering a 10 Mile Hike on the Mt. Wilson Trail. This will count as one of the three 10 mile hikes required for the Hiking Merit Badge.
We will meet at 6:00 am sharp and plan to start the hike no later than 6:15 am. We wil meet at the Richardson House/ Lizzie’s Trail Inn (a historic place) on the corner of Mira Monte and Mt. Wilson Trail in Sierra Madre. You can park in the neighborhood around that area. No Forest Pass is required. We should return to the trail head around 12:30 p.m. — hikers who are being picked up can call a parent on the way down the mountain with a more precise pickup time.
This hike takes us on the Mt. Wilson trail, along Little Santa Anita Canyon. We’ll head up the canyon and past the historic Orchard Camp, and continue upwards until we arrive at Manzanita Ridge. We won’t go all the way to Mt. Wilson–Mr. Moffat is planning a different trip there, probably in the fall. After a brief rest at Manzanita Ridge, we’ll return to the trail head to complete the 10 mile round trip. The elevation gain on the first 5 miles is about 3500 feet, so it’s great training for Philmont too!
This trail is steeped in history. Benjamin Don Benito” Wilson built this trail in 1864 (!) in order to obtain timber. Later, in 1889, this trail was used to bring the individual pieces of the world-famous Harvard telescope up to the top of Mt. Wilson. Half-way up the trail to Mt. Wilson are the remains of Orchard Camp, which was very popular recreational site in the foothills for about 40 years, hosting over 40,000 trail camp visitors in 1911. In the midst of Orchard Camp is one of the oldest living California oaks, thought to be around 1500 years old! As we hike up this trail, it’s amazing to think what our local predecessors accomplished in these foothills.
Remember, if you have only done 5 mile hikes with the troop in the past (like at Kern and CCV), please note that a 10 mile hike is much more demanding. This is a fairly difficult hike – the first 5 miles are all uphill and there are exposed areas and plenty of poison oak to boot. If you are in good hiking condition and want to earn the Hiking MB, or just wish to do a 10 mile hike with the troop, feel free to join us.
Every hiker should bring their 10 essentials. Water (2.5 to 3 liters recommended) and sun protection will be especially important. Bring trail snacks — we’ll probably stop for a bit to rest and eat at Orchard Camp, as well as Manzanita Ridge. Good hiking boots are strongly recommended. Bring your compass (and map if you have one), as we will be working on our navigation skills during the hike.
If you are interested, please shoot me an email so we can get a rough head count. Additional details will be forthcoming.
Troop 355 Hiking MB Counselor
Troop 355 Camping Coordinator”