Mt. Wilson via Chantry Flats Trip Report

darren on the mt wilson gabrielino trail

By Heather

It’s been a long, rainy winter. That has put a fork in California’s drought, and it put a fork in a lot of my hiking plans over the last few months.

Since the high peaks are still covered in snow, Darren and I decided to make Mt. Wilson (elevation 5,710 feet) the first hike of the 2017 season (there he is above, wearing his brand-new Teton Daypack!). The route from Chantry Flats is a death march, so we girded ourselves for a long, hard day.

Fortunately, the burpees I’ve  been doing at the gym paid off big time. Maybe Darren will disagree, but I feel like we just about glided up that mountain. The hardest part, just after Spruce Grove camp, didn’t feel very hard at all. It was a challenge, but it was not the struggle I was prepared for.

Water and wildlife

Thanks to the aforementioned rain, the forest was greener than I’ve ever seen it and there was rushing water everywhere. There were at least four stream crossings, which are so much fun, especially when you have waterproof boots.

mini waterfall mt. wilson

The only wildlife sighting we had was of this cute boy trolling for treats:

dog at spruce grove campground mt wilson california

dog at spruce grove campground mt wilson california
We tried patting him, but he only wanted food. Nothing else. Okay, then!

Cairn box snacks

For my last birthday, mom gifted me with a four-month subscription to Cairn, which I absolutely loved. Darren also received a subscription for Christmas. We enjoyed both so much, we’re now officially subscribers ourselves! Not a word of that was sponsored, by the way.

Since I haven’t hiked much since getting the boxes, this was my first time trying some of the treats they come with.

hiking trail mix
First up was this trail mix by Play Hard Give Back, which appears to be out of production.

It was all right. The ingredient mix was skewed heavily toward dried bananas and less so the more fun things on the list.

It was disappointing to find only a couple of peanut butter cups and protein bites in the whole bag.

Later on down the mountain, I had some JoJo’s Chocolate Bark, which actually held up decently well for it being a warm day.

The chocolate was really good, but I have issues with some of the claims. Mainly, how can a product that contains sugar also help you kick your sugar cravings? I’m skeptical. But I’m also not very concerned about sugar when I’m hiking, so for that purpose, it was a delightful treat!

chocolate nut bark

The one really hard part on Mt. Wilson, no matter what, is the end of the switchbacks just before the summit. They’re steep and have no shade.

It was a beautiful day at the top – sunny, the perfect temperature and clear views of the San Gabriels for miles and miles.

We had photos taken of us and shot photos for others.

darren heather mt wilson

Darren’s Pop Tarts were the talk of the summit, and there was some debate about whether another hiker’s suggestion of putting a frozen burrito in your pack to enjoy later, thawed and possibly warm, would really work.

I say no, and regardless, it sounds disgusting.