30 October 2015

Mt Disappointment, San Gabriel Pk, Mt Markham, and Mt Lowe

Angeles National Forest

Following the previous day's peak bagging in the cold, I thought I would go after a somewhat lower cluster of Hundred Peaks Section listed peaks. Parking at Eaton Saddle for the easier access through the tunnel to the peak trails. There is only one other car, but a group of hikers pop out from the trail to Valley Forge and head off around the corner where I want to go. They are still waiting there as I pass by and so on for a little bit of leap frogging.

Mount Markham
Mount Markham greets everyone as they come around the corner form Eaton Saddle. One of the mountains I am going for, but not the side I will climb.

Mueller Tunnel
Exiting from the Mueller Tunnel.

The Mueller Tunnel is a bit of fun for kids of all ages. At the next saddle, there is a curious bit of animal trail heading toward that steep side of Markham. Here, there are also two trails heading off to the various peaks while the fire road continues slightly downward toward a campground. I am going after San Gabriel and Mount Disappointment first, so start up the steeper trail going north.

eastern view
The view east over Eaton Saddle.

Soon enough, the trail splits again. The bunch of hikers who passed me while I looked down the game trail are now having lunch at the junction. I decide to get the disappointment over with first, and head off left to the developed peak. The trail meets a paved road and I stroll up this past broken street lamps to the top. There is a heliport at the very top and it looks like most people go for the rocks at the south end for the required hang out period on the peak.

Mount Disappointment
The peak of Mount Disappointment rises up ahead, clustered with a few antennas.

Los Angeles
The tall things like the skyscrapers of Los Angeles downtown rise up as dark structures against the misty ground.

I head back down and check out the ruins from the cold war briefly before greeting the other hikers one last time and starting up to the local area high point.

San Gabriel Peak
The Nike missile site and San Gabriel Peak from Mount Disappointment.

Mount Wilson
Mount Wilson, covered with observatories as well as antennas, from San Gabriel Peak. The bulk of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio are again visible rising above the murk.

easterly mountains
Looking out to the distant higher mountains to the east.

Henninger Flat
Down Eaton Canyon, the few fire roads circling Henninger Flat, the lower area with trees, can be seen. The old toll road to Mount Wilson winds its way through the flat.

I head down again to the junction, then down some more to the saddle below. This time, I take the trail going west. This proceeds on a nearly flat course to the saddle between Mount Markham and Mount Lowe. There is no trail up Mount Markham, but the track along its ridge line looks to have plenty of travel. I have to kick away numerous dried and broken pieces of poodledog bush as I go. The area is full of the stuff and some I have passed already is still happy and green and growing. It feels like it is past time for this stuff to be dormant and getting forgotten about again, but it is still here and still quite plentiful.

Mount Markham
Following the well established track up Mount Markham.

Mount Markham
At the top of Mount Markham.

The peak drops off quickly north and south, but the backbone of it goes on for a while in a rather flat way. I follow it along to be sure I have stood at the very top of it. The view changes in subtle ways as I do. Then I leave this one too for one last little peak.

Disappointment and San Gabriel
Looking back at the peaks so far: Mount Disappointment, San Gabriel Peak, and a little of the flank of Mount Markham.

Mount Lowe is a little different from the others since it was part of the areas developed in the 1920s by Professor Lowe. The old metal signs still point the way along the trails and the sighting tubes still point out all the other mountains in the immediate area and San Antonio in the distance. This trail seems longer than the others even though the peak is the shortest.

metal sign
Solder on metal makes one of a few welded signs that mark this last trail. I am using the east trail.

Mount Lowe
At the top of Mount Lowe.

fire roads below
Fire roads and trail below give a much longer route to climb this mountain.

With the last peak planned for climbing climbed, I just follow the same trail back. Following the west trail down before turned out to be quite long.

Mount San Antonio
Mount San Antonio (Baldy) over an Eaton Saddle in the shadow of Mount Markham.

There are more people arriving as I am leaving. It looks like they are getting ready for jogging and other daily exercise routines.

©2015 Valerie Norton
Posted 13 Nov 2015

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