Much like any other hike starts, five Twitter friends, who had only met each other once, headed out into the San Gabriel Mountains for a fateful day that culminated in 10 miles of hiking, 3000 feet of elevation gain and loss and the summiting of five total peaks. The guys were Zac, Jeff, Pete, Derek and myself and the peaks were San Gabriel, Mt Disappointment, Mt Deception, Mt Lowe and Mt Markham. I took a ton of pictures so I am going to make this blog a little more image focused since others have already written about the hike itself and you can find those links at the end.
Peak 1 – San Gabriel
This peak (what we are walking to in the above picture) was the one we set out to conquer first and in that it was the tallest and had the most elevation gain. It started off with a really awesome old tunnel straight through the side of the rock.
The switchbacks up it were surrounded by burned trees and the first evidence of the nasty poodle brush.
When we reached the saddle we pushed ahead to the summit for our first peak of the day and our first group shot.
Peak 2 – Mt. Disappointment
This peak was only about half a mile from the first and just forced us to head back down to the saddle than up to the peak itself.
It was nothing to write home about as the name implies but it completed peak 2 of the day and had some old buildings on top of it.
When on the summit of Mt Disappointment we realized we could go to peak 3 or back to the other two near where we started. I was tired (least in shape of the group) but we headed to peak 3.
Peak 3 – Mt. Deception
This peak just had us walking the cement road until we had some scrambling and elevation gain near the end to get up to the top. The loose rock made this part not as fun on the way down but it provided some nice views, like this one looking on to peak 4 and 5.
On to the next one…
Peak 4 – Mt. Markham
From there we headed back up to the San Gabriel saddle then down the backside to where the trail originally forked. Here we headed up to the smaller saddle between Markham and Lowe.
We decided to take down the hard one, Markham, first and this was probably a good idea as it was pretty difficult and required some class 2 scrambling to get up the ridgeline (you can see two people in the above picture to show the size and the elevation). On the top there was a cool rock cylinder that was a welcomed picture opportunity after such a grueling half mile.
The way down on this one was not very fun.
Peak 5 – Mt Lowe
When reaching the saddle again we all realized we couldn’t stop here, we needed to hit the 5th peak. Only two long switchbacks later we were lounging on the welcomed bench, enjoying both the view and our accomplishments.
You can see San Gabriel behind us in the group picture and Mt Disappointment behind that with the telephone wires you can barely make out.
Lastly, Zac got an epic picture that I didn’t even see while we were hiking. Can we just admire the sheer amount of caterpillars in this shot?
All in all I was super thankful of my hiking partners as they helped to push me up the last summit and I have to admit, spending a day hiking and talking with some like minded bloggers is not a bad way to spend a Saturday! Make sure to check out their posts and subscribe to their blogs as well.
- 10.4 miles round trip
- ~3000 feet of elevation
- Need Adventure Pass to park
- Trail Map