There are numerous rises from the earth that humans have decided to name a whole smattering of things. Yet, some mountains remain frustratingly unnamed. I hiked two of them recently, Summit 2760 and Summit 3397, which are accessible just north of Glendora here in SoCal. What did I name them, find out after the jump!
The Trail Up
The toughest part of the hike bar none is the first part. Usually I like to warm up, something gradual, maybe something a little downhill before starting the climb. The Big Dalton Trail
does not allow for any of that, actually giving you the toughest portion of the hike in the first .25 of a mile. It is vertical, a real leg buster (especially on the way down). Its a hike not a climb but yeesh what a hike.
After you slog your way up, you still have about another .50 miles or so to get to the trail junction which will take you to the unnamed peaks. The rest of the way is switchbacks and as much as I have ragged on switchbacks before, this day on this blog, I lovingly embrace them after the previous section of the trail
The trail itself is a singletrack and pretty straight forward.
Once you get to the junction, you continue right/Northeast and work your way up to the unnamed summits. Most of this hiking is on a "fire road" which really should be called Overgrown Central.
This overgrowth contributes to the danger of the trail. There are no grizzly bears or rock slides on this trail but the thing that makes it potential dangerous are the numerous bike riders that bike down the trail
and the overgrowth doesn't help matters. That being said, all the bikers on this trail are great. They all slowed down when they saw me, they all told me how many riders there were behind them, all thanked me for stepping off the trail, etc. No questions, your ears have to be perked up on this trail but I am glad to see that things like courtesy aren't dead in the mountains above Glendale.
As you make your way up the ridegline trail, Summit 2760 peeks its head out to say hello. I decided to name this peak Round-A-Bout Mountain. Why? Well the trail seems to go all over the mountain, tracking North, then South then Snorth, etc. going every which way except gaining the summit. I thought the trail builder was pretty bored and said "another time around the mountain Jeeves!".
What is even more amazing is that after that tracking back and forth, the summit of Round-A-Bout is accessible by a little use trail that is pretty easy to miss.
(here is the turn off, a hint or 3, this is a left turn off from the trail, there is a scramble trail that comes up from the right about 300 yards before this turn off and there is a man made drainage ditch also on the right just before turn off).
Then it is a straight scramble up to the summit, the wild and woolly summit of Round-A-Bout.
This summit is the real winner of the hike. Why? Because as you approach it and summit it, the whole Angeles National Forest comes into view with awesome looks at Baldy and the rest of the high peaks here in SoCal.
For these reasons and more, I hereby name the mountain Sentinel, the one who watches over the rest of the range.
Sentinel also requires a bushwhack to its summit. First you reach a lookout point and look for the barbwire fencing.
Then you make your way up the grass-laden hillside
until you reach the grass-laden summit.
There are no summit discs on either Sentinel or Round-A-Bout but who cares when you have views like this!
It was kinda rough and woolly on this summit as well so I decided to take my snack break down the mountain. Still Sentinel is one of my favorites just for the views alone.
If you do this hike, I recommend earlier in the morning, you will get nice shade when the trail is on the North facing part of the mountains, do not do it in Summer, it could get brutal out there in high heat.
The indispensable trail guide for this hike is once again through Dan, check out the page here: http://www.simpsoncity.com/hiking/mystic.html