Day Hike to Mt. Hillyer, San Gabriel Mountains

When: Saturday September 26, 1992. Meet at the trailhead at 10:00 AM. We should return to the cars about 3:00 PM. There is no limit to the number of participants.

Leader: Bruce Corning. Work phone: (310) 333-3568. Home phone: (310) 376-8259. E-mail: BCorn:LAX1B:Xerox.

What: This trip is an easy-to-moderate hike up to one of the summits in the central San Gabriel Mountains, Mt. Hillyer. Most of the trip is in high chaparral, with a sparse Jeffery pine forest on the mountain itself. This is an ideal hike for beginners in good condition.

After 1 mile we will pass through Horse Flats Campground, which is open most of the year to RV's and tent campers. Tables and fire boxes are available, but no water. After that we will go for a pleasant stroll through the pines and past some large boulders to the long summit of Mt. Hillyer. We will eat lunch and relax under the shade of the Jeffrey pines.

100 years ago bandidos such as the legendary Tiburcio Vasquez escaped from the law in this area. On the summit we will see the rolling hills and ravines which they used to hide their stolen horses. We can also see Mt. Pacifico and Waterman Mountain, two of the major peaks in the San Gabriels.

Distance, elevation gain: 6 miles round trip, 1000 ft. elevation gain. The summit is at 6162 ft. elevation. Rated moderate because of a few short steep sections just below the summit.

Bring: 2 liters water, lunch, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, ten essentials, a goodie to share. It might be breezy so bring a jacket and long pants. Lug soled boots are suggested but not mandatory.

Weather: Early autumn in the San Gabriels is generally sunny and pleasantly cool. Temperatures should be in the 60s to low 70s. Mountain tops are generally breezy. Bad weather cancels the hike.

Driving directions: From the Foothill (210) freeway in La Canada-Flintridge, take the Angeles Crest Highway exit. Follow Angeles Crest Highway for 26 miles to the Chilao Visitor Center turnoff on your left. Do NOT follow Chilao Road; the proper turnoff is about 3/4 miles farther. If you pass the Newcombe Ranch Inn, turn around and backtrack 1/4 mile. Follow this narrow road about 1/2 mile past the Visitor Center and past the picnic ground until you see a sign reading "Silver Moccasin Trail." There are two turnouts in the road which allow about 12 cars total to park. I encourage carpooling because of the limited parking. Allow 1.5 hours driving time from the South Bay area.

Topo map: Chilao Flat 7.5 min. quad.

Miscellaneous: This is fire season in Southern California. If there is a fire anywhere within about a 20-mile radius of Chilao Flat, then the hike will be cancelled. Participants will be notified. Pay attention to the news, and call the leader if there is any doubt.

This is rattlesnake country, but pay them respect and we won't get in trouble.

Dogs are allowed but must be leashed. Well-behaved children are welcome as well but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

A pay telephone, restrooms, and water are available at the Visitor Center. However, it has recently come to my attention that the water supply may be contaminated with a bacteria which causes severe diarrhea, so I suggest bringing your own water from home.