Route: Via Eaton Canyon and up the Mt. Wilson Toll Road
Distance: 7-8 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 1500′
Difficulty: Moderate, 5 on a scale of 1-10
Duration: 3 to 4 hrs. including a short break
Dogs: OK, must be on leash
Parking: Use Eaton Canyon parking lot. There is overflow parking just after you enter. Or park on Altadena Dr. No Adventure Pass needed.
Please note we will hike up Eaton Canyon but our ultimate destination is Henninger Flats.
You Should Have: 2+ liters water, snacks, layered clothing, hiking shoes/boots, sunglasses, sunscreen.
I call this the ‘decent’ hike. Decent trail, decent views, decent work-out. The people are decent too, although once when I was at Henninger Flats the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. was looking for an escaped convict up there– but that was four years ago, so I guess they’ve caught up with him by now.
Here’s the history lesson: Henninger Flats is a small hanging basin 2,600 feet (792.5 m) above sea level in the San Gabriel Mountains in the Angeles National Forest. It was part of the Mount Wilson Toll Road. The trailhead to reach the flats is at the top end of Eaton Canyon in Pasadena, California. Around 1880, William K Henninger settled in a small basin above Altadena. Henninger was a gold prospector. The area was originally purchased by Peter Stiel through the Homestead Act. Stiel’s friend Henninger was squatting in the area since 1884. (Hey, that’s what friends are for—). Henninger married a Baja California Indian named Teresa, and they had a son and three daughters. Henninger built a house and a cistern in the flats for water storage and farmed the area. In 1892 Henninger, T. P. Lukens and R. J. Busch started the very first experimental reforestation in California at Henninger Flats. Henninger died in 1894, and after the property was passed down a generation or so, it was sold for $76,600 as part of the Mount Wilson Toll Road. In 1903, Lukens established a nursery at Henninger Flats. Since 1928, the flats have been used as a high elevation forest nursery by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
From Wikipedia–accuracy not guaranteed.
See you on the trail!