Jones Peak

A shorter peak in the San Gabriel Mountains beginning in the the town of Sierra Madre.  Despite the lower elevation and relatively short distance of 7 1/2 miles, I had to earn it this week.  The trail basically switchbacks all the way up to the peak and it’s a tough climb.  The descent is no picnic either.  All in all, another great day of hiking.

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5   I parked at Bailey Canyon Park, just a couple of miles drive from the 210 Freeway.  From the parking lot I went west past the trail sign.  I followed the trail around the edge of the park and through a turnstile.  Then I went to the right and followed the paved road for a short distance.  Photo 4 – I believe Jones Peak is the high point on the right.  Photo 5 – A pyramid shaped structure seen from the paved road.

6   The paved road ended and I ventured into Bailey Canyon on a dirt trail.

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Along the way there are a couple of side attractions off the main trail.  The first is a 1/4 mile hike to a waterfall.  The trail is a little rugged and has some vibrant, mature-looking poison oak.

9     11   The waterfall was completely dry on this day.

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12     13     14   I returned to the main trail and began the climb.  Below the trail, right next to Bailey Canyon Park, is a monastery.  After more climbing I passed one bench, and then a second and third right next to each other.  The plaque in photo 3 is affixed to one of the benches.

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The views really opened up at his point.

19     20     22   The second side trip, the ruins of an old cabin, is just a few yards off of the main trail.  There is a plaque affixed to what’s left of one of the walls.  You have to have seen the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” to get the joke, and remember the name of the canyon is Bailey Canyon.

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I rested here for a couple minutes.

23     24     25   As I rose in elevation the switchbacks got tighter and steeper.

26     27     28   I came to a junction, one trail going up to the left and one to the right.  The steep hill going up to the left goes on all the way to Mount Wilson, and several other peaks before that.  Also, just at the top of the first hill is a turn-off to the right for a connector trail that leads down to the lower part of Mount Wilson Trail.  To the right is a steep but short climb to the top of Jones Peak.

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Photo 1 – On top of Jones Peak, some peaks to the east.  Photos 2 and 3 – There is a massive mountain range in the distance.  Photo 4 – View to the southwest

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Directly below is Santa Anita Park, famous for horse racing, shown on zoom.

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To the north, the trail runs along that first ridge and eventually up to a peak with several antennae.  I believe this peak is Mount Harvard.

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I headed down again along the same route.  Photo 4 – The trail below

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Photo 2 – Odd plant with fuzzy, green pods

43   Now way down at the bottom again, I passed this bridge earlier in the day.  There is a trail sign and I thought maybe it circled back to Bailey Canyon Park.  After exploring the area I found it doesn’t, but it was still worth checking out.

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This little nature trail loop is in a shady and beautiful area.

48   Now back on the paved road, I passed a debris dam.  Great but tough day.

 

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