The Front Range of the San Gabriel Mountains. Condor Peak and Fox Benchmark dominate the left side with Waterman Mountain, Twin Peak and Mount San Antonio (Baldy) in the background. Then Strawberry Peak and Mount Lawlor just right of center, San Gabriel Peak, the tell-tale flat-top of Mt. Lowe and Mount Lukens on the far right.
26 DECEMBER 2020 W6/CT-163
The day after Christmas I treated myself to this very enjoyable hike. It is a good hike for a cool winter day. I left the car at 5:45 AM and made the summit just before 8 AM with only a few stops to catch my breath, take a sip of water or snap a quick photo. I saw no one on the entire trip up – rare in the San Gabriel Mountains on a Saturday – and only a few groups on the way down. They mostly seemed to be headed for Oak Springs at the 1.4 mile mark with few venturing further.
The hike is a little over 4 miles and has an elevation gain of about 2,600′ with about 450′ of loss.
It was so pleasant on the summit, I spent a few hours making 26 2m FM contacts with a lot of the usual suspects, and including one with John W6FE in Chula Vista. I had two summit-to-summit contacts, one with W9SSN on Iron Mt. (SC-214) and another with Bret K1BAA on Townsend Peak (SC-161)
There is a very large activation area and I chose a spot well to the south of the actual summit that had a good view of the San Fernando Valley. The ridge is well named as it is covered with the fragrant Yerba Buena shrub. The Tongva and Chumash used this plant medicinally to treat a variety of ailments. There is some Yerba Buena below my pack in the photo above.