Distance: 8.7 miles
Time: 3 hours 40 minutes including about 30 minutes’ total stops
Elevation gain: not much
Difficulty: fitness-wise, easy; terrain-wise, easy; navigation-wise, easy 🙂
Drive: 45 minutes (30 miles) from central Pasadena, via the 210, the 2, and the 3

For our first hike after July in Britain, we wanted something easy and close to home to help us acclimatise. It occurred to me that although we’d done the stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail east from Mill Creek picnic site to Pacifico Mountain a few times, enjoying the circular route we’d created there, we’d never crossed the road and gone west. So that’s what we did here. Sadly there are no obvious circular options in this direction, so once we’d run out of time for the outward leg we just turned round rather anticlimactically and set off back. But it’s a nice gentle stretch with mostly northerly views down over the plains to Palmdale and beyond, and across to the eastern end of Los Padres, and then the occasional southern aspect looking back towards home.

We also found a promising-looking wild-camping spot 2 miles from the road which we may make use of in future. Combining that with getting to Mount Gleason seems like fun.

 

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Crossing the small (and closed) Mount Gleason Road, 2.5 miles from the start/end, in both directions

 

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Summer flowers on the path

 

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Views to the south and the north

 

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Rucksack swap at the exciting endpoint

 

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Beautiful cool hydration/meditation rock

 

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Beautiful warm picnic rock

 

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Mill Creek from near the end

 

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And the camping spot we might try some day

 

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