This was my first time going up to Santiago Peak. I found half the fun was driving up the dirt road in an off road vehicle – Jeep Wrangler.
Getting to the start of the trail is a challenge in itself as you have to drive up this bumpy dirt road and I would definitely recommend a high clearance vehicle. I though the trail was not really a trail but a dirt road up to the summit. Even though for some reason today the road up to the summit was open as I believe there was a person working up in the top on the antennas I still parked at Maple Springs and started my hike there. I found the hike fairly easy as it is just a walk up a road although you need to be careful if there is traffic as there was today. I think I was the only person actually hiking it up and I saw a guy on a mountain bike as well but he did not go all the way up. Overall, the views of the ocean and rolling hills are nice and seeing Catalina Island in the distance is a bonus but the trail was a little disappointing as I mentioned it is just a road. I recommend this road for trail runners as the incline is not a lot and one can run up and down without too much effort. Well I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas Day as I did as I had the day off and doing some outdoor hiking and saw a new peak.
Incredibly this was my first time hiking Strawberry Peak. I have hiked so many of the local mountains but this one had eluded me for quite some time.
I found the trail enjoyable with it very easy to follow with some signs pointing you in the right direction. I also found very few hikers as it was a Monday and am sure is much busier on the weekends. The hike and trail is not very difficult but does have a lot of elevation gain at towards the end with a lot of false summits. The view at the summit was great with views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains. I recommend this hike to everyone wanting to good challenge that does not take all day. I happened to finish the whole trail up and down within 4 hours and including the time spent resting and taking pictures. I started around 12:00 noon and finished just past 4:00 pm. According to Runkeeper, it was 7.39 miles and an elevation gain of 1928 feet. I did go off trail to check out some views at times. Overall I was very pleased with this adventure and will likely do it again with some others.
Another Pandemic Social Distancing Hike to Mount San Antonio aka Mount Baldy. I wanted to get some nature outdoor time and decided to head north of my house to the San Gabriel Mountains. I found that driving up Euclid all the way, I can get to Mount Baldy Road. Anyway, I started this hike around 10:30 am and finished around 2:40 pm. This is one of the most popular mountains of the Six Pack of Peaks because it is the highest in the LA Area. Although I know a lot of people prefer others because Mt. Baldy is very bare with very little trees mostly when you get to the higher elevation and close to the summit. Although there are other more scenic summits, I enjoy this one because you truly do get a 360 degree view of all the surrounding mountains. You also get a good steep climb and workout which many enjoy doing some trail running for their training for races. I tend to be very slow going up but speed up with a jog on the way down. I enjoyed this hike and here are some of the pictures I took on this day.
Mount Baden-Powell – June 29, 2020 (Pandemic Edition)
I decided to do a quick Day Hike at Mount Baden-Powell. The day was perfect in that it was not cold or hot and just perfect weather.
I had previously tried going to do this hike earlier in the year but the road to the trailhead was closed due to snow. I went alone as to social distance and started around 12:30 pm and finished around 4:00 pm. It was about 3.5 hours round trip hike with about 7.32 miles in distance and an elevation gain of about 2789 feet according to my Runkeeper stats. This is a pretty popular peak but on this particular day (Monday) there was not too many people. I think most people work on Mondays but I have had Sundays and Mondays off this year so Mondays work out well for me. Anyways, it is another one of the 6 pack of peaks completed after the first wave of the Pandemic and the reopening of a lot of trails. Check out some of the beautiful scenery in the pictures I took this day.
It started out with a last minute call asking to go on hike to Ontario Peak. I explained I had done that peak already this year and would prefer to do Cucamonga Peak instead. The day started with a light rain here in the City of Chino where I live and I actually thought to myself, should I cancel? I decided not to as I had checked Summit Weather and it showed it was sunny and windy up on top of the Cucamonga. We started the hike almost at noon time and it is a little late for this hike as it gets dark early but oh well, and decided to go ahead anyways. I have not been hiking much with this Pandemic and I could feel it especially in the last mile to the top. I have lost some speed and endurance. Either way, I was not going to quit and made it to the summit. The weather was a bit chilly and windy up there but fine with a few extra layers. There was an amazing sea of clouds as you will see in the pictures on this post. Total time with time spent on breaks and at the summit was 8:26 minutes but about 7:21 minutes hiking time. The air is clear of smoke and fresh and crisp. I really needed to get back out in nature and this hike although a rough start, was just what I needed.
The view of Popocatépetl from one of the trails going up Iztaccíhuatl today – 03-10-2020.
It is my first time in my life seeing a ash plume just shoot up into the sky multiple times. This was just one of many. It is always amazing to see the force of nature up close and personal. I don’t think anything man made can compare. I still find it amazing that a single volcano 🌋 can wreck havoc on everything and everyone. Studies have shown some of the biggest eruptions caused climate change around the world.
Iztaccíhuatl’s mountain is called “White Woman” (from Nahuatl iztāc “white” and cihuātl “woman”) because it resembles a woman lying on her back, and is often covered with snow — the peak is sometimes nicknamed La Mujer Dormida, “The Sleeping Woman”.
I managed to get to the first peak or Los Pies at about 15,565 feet according to my Runkeeper App. The mountain behind is Popocatépetl which is an active Volcano 🌋 which is constantly pushing ash plumes up to the sky and erupting frequently.
I finally decided to get back to hiking after being sick for about 4 weeks and not having hiked in that time. I decided to do a solo hike on Sunday September 22, 2019. I thought to myself, I can knock out two peaks – Ontario and Cucamonga on this one hike. Along the way, I ran into a few people and we kept passing each other here and there. I made a stop at the famous Saddle and there started talking to two guys and two girls. Jose, Fabian, Debbie, and Karla were all first timers going to Cucamonga. I decided to help lead the way up and ended up skipping Ontario Peak to help these new folks out by guiding them up. Karla was thinking of heading back down from the Saddle and I convinced her to keep going and she was very excited to have finally made it to the summit of Cucamonga Peak. Along the way, I saw a lot of the leaves already turning yellow and at the lower or beginning of the trail, there was a lot of bugs which disappeared as we climbed higher to the colder temperature. I ended up taking a bit longer than usual on this hike mostly due to stopping and waiting for the people I met. They all made it to the top and we had some snacks and took some pictures there. I always enjoy meeting new people on the trails and getting to know what motivates them as well as providing any information or guidance that I can. Hiking is not for everyone but for me it is the best activity I have found to stay active and get rid of personal and work related stress. This hike 12.5 miles and was started at 9:45 am and ended at 5:00 pm with a total of 7 hours and 15 minutes.
When my friend Daniel Guerrero asked if I was free to hike / run on Monday 9/23/2019, I was bit hesitant as I had just completed Cucamonga Peak on Sunday 9/22/2019. I was a bit sore and had been sick for about 4 weeks with a cold/flu and still coughing up a storm. I knew I had to get out there again as I had not been hiking for a while and everyone knows if you stop for a month, it is hard to get started again. I proposed to Daniel, we hike up to Mount Baden-Powell and he found another mountain near there called Ross Mountain. He wanted to hike to this one as well as it was one on his bucket list from a book he carries with him all the time. I was not sure I was going to be able to hike to both peaks but told him if I felt good, I would join him for the second peak. I amazingly enough felt very good Monday and was full of energy so we decided to hit up Ross Mountain after making it to Baden-Powell. I believe I did well all the way to the second peak but going back I started feeling tired and mostly because it was an uphill climb again to Baden-Powell from Ross Mountain. Overall, we climbed about 6,000 feet altogether doing these two peaks. We started at 7:27 am and finished at 3:51 pm or about 8 hours and 24 minutes including all breaks and time spent on both peaks. Overall I enjoyed this as I got to experience a new trail and new peak (Ross) which is not visited by many people. I am looking forward to seeing all the finishers next Sunday at the Six-Pack of Peaks Finisher Party!