Distance: 15 miles
Elevation Gain: 5000
Trail: One way car shuttle
Originally done in 2010, this route has become an annual tradition of the VHC. Fairly high temps as well as patches of snow obstructing portions of the trail leading back down to our cars created some nice butt sliding opportunities (see pic) in 2010. Will we experience similar circumstances this year? Let’s hit the trail and find out.
We’ll meet at the Vincent Gap Parking Lot, then shuttle to the Islip Saddle where we’ll begin our hike and hike one way back to the cars that were left at Vincent Gap. This will take some advance planning because we’ll need space in some cars for the carpooling part.
This route will cover a lot of ground and offer some spectacular views. There will be very few steep uphill’s as the first 2/3 of the hike are up and downs a number of times so it’s not a constant grinding uphill and it ends with a nice long 2800 foot downhill over 4 miles back to the cars.
Ya ready for the repeat?!?!
We’ll keep an eye on conditions and confirm the area is open just prior to this one. While there was some snow in the area, it did not require any special equipment. However, trekking poles and extra water are a good idea. It will be a long day.
Pictures from June, 5, 2010 (http://www.meetup.com/HikeItUp/photos/944611/)
Lord Baden-Powell, was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, and founder of the Boy Scout Movement. After having been educated at Charterhouse School, Baden-Powell served in the British Army from 1876 until 1910 in India and Africa. In 1899, during the Second Boer War in South Africa, Baden-Powell successfully defended the town in the Siege of Mafeking. Several of his military books, written for military reconnaissance and scout training in his African years, were also read by boys. Based on those earlier books, he wrote Scouting for Boys, published in 1908 by Pearson, for youth readership. During writing, he tested his ideas through a camping trip on Brownsea Island with the local Boys’ Brigade and sons of his friends that began on 1 August 1907, which is now seen as the beginning of Scouting.
Mount Baden-Powell is a peak in the San Gabriel Mountains of California. It was officially recognized by the USGS at a dedication ceremony in 1931. Its first designation was East Twin or North Baldy named by C. F. Saunders in 1923.
At 9,407 feet (2,867 m) in elevation, Mount Baden-Powell is the 4th highest peak of the San Gabriel Range, Mount San Antonio or “Old Baldy” being the highest at 10,064 feet (3,068 m). The summit has long been a favorite of hiking excursions either from the Mount Islip Saddle near Little Jimmy Trail Camp, or the Vincent Gap Trail which leads up a moderate to strenuous set of switchbacks from Wrightwood. Mount Baden-Powell is also the high point along the historic 53-mile (85 km) Boy Scout hiking trail, The Silver Moccasin Trail, that connects to this summit to Mount Burnham (less than 1 mile (1.6 km) away), Throop Peak and Mount Hawkins.
Mount Burnham is one of the highest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains. It is named for Frederick Russell Burnham the famous American military scout who taught scoutcraft (then known as woodcraft) to Robert Baden-Powell and became one of the inspirations for the founding of the Boy Scouts. Mount Burnham was officially recognized by the USGS at a dedication ceremony in 1951. Its original designation was (West Twin) “North Baldy Mountain”.
Throop is a 9,138 feet peak in the Angeles National Forest. It is the second highest summit in the group which stretches from Vincent Gap to Islip Saddle This is a beautiful section of the Pacific Crest Trail and the summit offers an impressive 360 degree view, which includes Mt Baldy and Mt Baden-Powell, the Mojave Desert, and on clear days, even the Pacific Ocean. The peak was named for Anne G. Throop, founder of Caltech, formerly called Throop College.
Named for the Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena, founded in 1891 by Amos Gager Throop (1811-1894). Renamed the California Institute of Technology when it was reorganized (1920). Samuel V. Broadwell left a note, signed by himself and three witnesses, in the summit register naming this peak “Mount Throop after my alma mater, Throop, College of Technology” (1916). This was accepted by the USFS and the USGS.
However, an earlier name is still remembered by some. This summit and a neighbor had together once been called North Baldy Mountain. This summit was distinguished as the West Twin. When East Twin was renamed Mt Baden Powell, there was some interest in designating this summit alone as North Baldy Mountain. The USFS thereupon reduced Throop to a subtitle and printed “North Baldy” on its maps (1926-54)–but the name failed to stick.
Mt Islip is named for George Islip, a Canadian prospector who moved to Los Angeles in the 1850’s. He first inhabited the abandoned “halfway house” that Wilson constructed (then abandoned) along his lumber hauling trail in Little Santa Anita Canyon. It’s noted that Islip planted a small grove of cherry, apple, pear and plum trees on a sloping bench just behind the hut. Later, mountaineer George Aiken joined him and together they rambled over the mountains, blazing new trails and clearing old Indian paths such as one connecting Barley flats to Charlton Flat They made some money by selling fruit to climbers on their way to “Wilson’s Peak” and by making and shipping wood shingles down to the valley below. As their trees grew to maturity, the site was abandoned and came to be known as “Orchard Camp” a popular overnight campsite. According to Will Thrall, at some time before 1880, Islip became an early area homesteader on the west bank of lower San Gabriel Canyon and often wandered in the mountains near the peak that now bears his name. What is now known as Islip Saddle was the top of a main Indian cross-mountain trail through San Gabriel Canyon connecting the Gabrieleño and the Chemehuevis tribes.
Mount Islip later became a favorite retreat of James Guilford Swinnerton (1875-1974), who drew a very popular comic-strip called “Little Jimmy” for the Hearst syndicate. He became the first Southern California based commercial artist to gain national fame. There is a camp below the summit, where Swinnerton worked through the summers of 1890 to 1910. He painted a cartoon of his character on a tree and titled it “Little Jimmy Camp” (1909). This name was adopted by USFS surveyor Don McLain (1920).
A rock cairn on the summit was built by students led by “Pete” Goodell from Occidental College (1910). This was torn down (1926) to allow for the building of a lookout tower and a rock hut (1927-38).
Mt Hawkins is named by the USFS for Nellie Hawkins, a very popular waitress at the rustic “Squirrel Inn” at nearby Crystal Lake (1901-06). It’s rumored that “she charmed and attracted miners, hunters, campers-just about every mountain man for miles around.” Whatever happened to charming Nellie in later years is a subject for conjecture.
Middle Hawkins is called Middle Hawkins Mountain to note it’s location between Mt. Hawkins and South Mt. Hawkins. Now that’s exciting!!
From I-15, exit at Hwy 138 N. Take this to Hwy 2 (Angeles Crest Hwy), make a left. Take hwy 2 almost 9 miles past Wrightwood to the Vincent Gap Parking area. Park here. You will pass the Big Pines Rd on the way. The parking area is easily identifiable. It’s on the south side of the Angeles Crest Hwy (2) and very large. Restrooms and the trailhead are at the west end of the parking area. This is also where NF-3N36 intersects with the Angeles Crest Hwy.
This location does require a National Forest Adventure Pass for parked vehicles. These passes can be purchased at most ranger stations (if open) in the area of our hike, most sporting goods, convenience stores and gas stations. The cost is $5/day or $30/yr. When buying an annual pass for $30 you can also buy an additional annual pass for $5. Splitting this fee with someone is the most economical way to get the passes. A National Parks Pass can also be used for parking as well and should have come with a rear view mirror hanger.
The Fine Print
PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.
The Farzan Rule: Posted hike times are the time the hike starts or we leave from a posted shuttle location. I’m aware other Meetup groups offer a grace period for late arrivals; we don’t. It’s your responsibility to know the location of the meeting spot and be there and ready to participate at the posted time. If you have any concerns about the directions feel free to contact the organizer of the event, preferably in advance of the event and not at the start time. I’m of the opinion that it’s not fair to delay an event when the majority of attendees have arrived on-time. (so named after a conversation I had with a certain un-named member)
RSVP’s: If you RSVP for an event be responsible and update your RSVP if your plans change. If your plans change at the last second and you’re not able to update your RSVP also let us know. In my opinion a no-show is someone who has no regard for following the guidelines we request from our members and will risk being removed from future events that have a limit.
VHC HIKE RATING SCALE
Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!
1 – A long walk
2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain
3 – 5 mile hike w/up to1000 ft. elevation gain
4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)
5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)
6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)
7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)
8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)
9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)
10 – Use your imagination
Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup events, you are releasing the Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.