For experienced hikers and readers who have always wanted to trek through the San Gabriels but aren’t sure how to start, the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy has planned three docent-led hikes in the month of May. No reservations are required.
Some precautions and rules of the road for those who participate:
1. Wear long clothes. Long-sleeve shirts, long pants, boots if you have them, high socks. Poison oak and stinging/biting insects are ubiquitous in the foothills, and at times snakes, as well.
2. Bring water, enough to last for the duration of the hike, and carry it in a day pack or holster to keep hands free.
3. Put on sunblock and perhaps insect repellent.
4. Wearing a hat provides additional protection from the sun.
5. Dogs are not allowed because some sections of the trails are narrow.
6. All hikers will be required to sign a waiver at the trailhead.
Here’s the info:
- May 14, 9 a.m.: Hike to the east ridge of Rubio Canyon with Paul Ayers. Meet at the intersection of Loma Alta Drive and Camp Huntington Drive, just east of the bridge (click here for directions).
Local rail historian and trail expert Paul Ayers will lead a hike along an unimproved tractor road to a plateau on the east wall of Rubio Canyon, from which he will discuss the landmarks visible below: the right-of-way of the Mount Lowe Railway, the Great Incline and various Echo Mountain sites. This is a moderate uphill hike of about 1.5 miles each way with an 800 foot gain.
- May 21, 8 a.m.: Bird-watching and native plant hike along the Edison Trail with Kathi Ellsworth and Lyle Hatridge. Meet at the intersection of Loma Alta Drive and Camp Huntington Drive, just east of the bridge (click here for directions).
Learn about birds and native plants in Rubio Canyon with Kathi Ellsworth of the Pasadena Audubon Society and AFC docent Lyle Hatridge. Many bird species have been observed in the Altadena foothills, including the red-shouldered and red-tailed hawk, the merlin, the wrentit, the northern mockingbird, the California thrasher, the California quail and the mourning dove. Remember to bring binoculars. The trail is about a mile each way with a 500 foot elevation gain.
- May 28, 9 a.m.: Hike the Rubio rail trail with Michele Zack.Meet at the trailhead off Rubio Vista Drive (click here for directions).
Join local historian Michele Zack on a trail following the former route of the Mount Lowe Railway, which brought nearly 5 million people up the canyon between 1893 and 1938. The trail is one mile each way. It is demanding at points, with several high narrow steps near a sheer drop and a scramble over rocks in the creek near the end.
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