Blue Ridge Trail

In the San Gabriel Mountains near Wrightwood this week.  This trail is pretty typical of the others I have hiked in this area, maybe a little more tame.  I followed Blue Ridge Trail to Blue Ridge Campground, and then a two mile segment of Pacific Crest Trail to Inspiration Point.  Round trip of about eight miles.

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5   I parked across the street from the Big Pines Ranger Station.  There are restrooms near the parking lot – restrooms with modern plumbing instead of composting toilets or port-a pottys.  A rarity near mountain trailheads.  Follow the sign about 50 yards down to the trailhead for Blue Ridge Trail.  Photo 4 – Bamboo(?) near a stream

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The trail rises on a very moderate grade, slowly switchbacking up the mountain.

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As I rose the trail narrowed a bit and there was sometimes a drop off, but nothing severe.  Blue Ridge Trail is two miles long.  At the halfway point sits the bench in photo 2.

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The trail runs right next to Mountain High Ski Resort.  I spotted a ski lift as I climbed.

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After a couple of miles I reached Blue Ridge Campground.  The ski lift sits right next to it.  I walked through the campground to find the PCT.  There was no sign but it’s the only trail on the other side of the campground.  At the front of the campground is a road which runs parallel the trail.  I took the PCT first and then took the road back.

16     17   I noticed a couple of these logs that have wooden wedges pounded into them.  I think it has something to do with the direction they want the tree to fall.

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Beautiful Bark

19   I passed a man-made pond which, I assume, belongs to Mountain High.  You can see another ski lift as well.

20   Finally, the views began to open up.  There are glorious views of Mount Baden-Powell along this hike.

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Close-up on the peak of Mount Baden-Powell

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Photo 2 – I noticed a hillside observatory across the way.  I believe this is known as Ford Observatory.  Photo 3 – Looking down at the road I would return on, with Mount Baldy and Iron Mountain in the background.  Photo 4 – Looking down at Inspiration Point, a viewing area located right off CA-2.

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28   Photo 1 – Another view of Mount Baldy and Iron Mountain  Photo 2 – Close-up of Mount Baldy  Photo 3 – Close-up of Iron Mountain

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33   I reached the Inspiration Point pavilion, my turn around point.  I would sit and eat and enjoy the views of the massive mountains.  Photo 3 – This map showing the mountains from Inspriation Point made a lot more sense to me today.  Photo 4 – Interesting benches at Inspiration Point.  They are tilted to, I assume, make one feel like they are riding up a ski lift.

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35   As I was beginning my hike back I noticed a flyer posted on a pole by the road.  The flyer said someone was torturing and killing dogs and leaving or dumping there bodies in the area.  It included a very graphic picture of one of the dogs.  Being an animal lover, I was outraged and deeply disturbed.  For the remainder of the hike I had trouble thinking of anything else.  I am still having trouble shaking this horrible image from my mind.  If you want more information please do a search on “dogs killed, Phelan, Wrightwood”.

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Photo 1 – A Mountain High mural by the road  Photo 4 – With a mile remaining, I stopped to remember lost friends.

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