After nearly five years of waiting and work, the Mt. Wilson Toll Road has finally re-opened, restoring one of our favorite local hikes. Here’s the story in the Los Angeles Times. In honor of the occasion, we’re featuring the hike as it appeared in the first edition of Hometown Pasadena, updated with the news.
Mt. Wilson Toll Road to Henninger Flats, Altadena
5.4 miles round-trip, moderate
One of the San Gabriels’ best local hikes was compromised by a huge slide in the rainy season of ’04-’05, but now it’s back, several years later than expected. To hike it, enter Eaton Canyon through the Pinecrest gate, walk down into the canyon and head up the clearly visible, newly restored dirt road. From here head on up to Henninger Flats, site of the L.A. County Experimental Forestry Nursery. The nursery produces tree seedlings (Monterey pine, cedar, Sequoia, knobcone pine) to reforest the San Gabriels after fires. There’s a visitor’s center, campground, water and picnic areas set among fine old trees. This is a fire-road hike, not a trail, and it gets a lot of sun, so it’s best in the cooler months or early on summer mornings. On a clear day, you’ll see forever!
Driving directions: Go north on Altadena Drive from either the 210 Freeway or your Pasadena location. Turn right on Crescent. Turn right again on Pinecrest. You’ll see the gate to the trail entrance on the right; park on a side street.
Hiking directions: From the Pinecrest Gate, walk down into the canyon, across the bridge, and up the Mt. Wilson Toll Road 2.7 miles to Henninger Flats.