Mt Wilson via Little Santa Anita Canyon


Locations: Sierra Madre, Ca

Distance: 4 miles (full trail is 13.6 miles)

Difficulty: Moderate/Hard





This weekend was a rainy one in Southern California which means not one but two hikes need to be done apparently. Saturday we stayed close to home and hiked in Red Rock Canyon State Park which I posted about on my instagram.  Sunday however we ventured out a little further and did a Mt Wilson Trail hike.

When I woke up at 5 a.m. and checked the forecast and saw it was supposed to rain most of the day and wasn’t sure what that rainfall would look like,  I was tempted to crawl back in bed and call it; instead I conferred with my hiking crew D3 and D4 to which they both voted yes without second thought. I strongly suggest whenever feasible to take into incredible consideration the thoughts and opinions of kids on matters. As an adult I sometimes feel like I have to much life in me and I hesitate, overthink and sometimes talk myself out of stuff. Kids however are still full of curiosity and unbridled wild abandon and just want to live in and experience the moment.

I am very grateful for the youthful zeal of my daughters because this hike already has me planning my next trip back. We went into this hike without any real plan or set amount of time or miles we wanted to accomplish.

I liked a few things about the start of this trail first that parking was on the streets of a neighborhood so it was fairly easy to find parking (this may have also been a result of rain and it being Superbowl Sunday). Second there is a little park on the corner that has a restroom that was fairly well kept. Lastly I really liked that this hike could potentially be 4 hikes depending on distance you feel like traveling.

We only made it a little past  First Water to make our hike 4 miles roundtrip. The 1.3 miles to first water is a pretty decent uphill climb.  That with the fact that the rain was pretty steady and consistent is why we decided not to  venture further this day.

As soon as we started our climb I made a deal with the girls I told them we would hike up until we hit 2 miles or hit a point that made us say “Wow this is what we came to see today.” which is exactly what happened when we reached First Water.

The whole hike up was so pretty don’t get me wrong but the fog in this forest like setting with a rushing stream…I must say it was love at first sight.

I would like to try this trail at least 2 more times to make it to Manzanita Ridge  which would be about a 10 mile hike round trip, then again to hike all the way to Mt Wilson which would be about 13.6 miles round-trip.

Have you hiked this trail before? If so what was your favorite part? Any tips or suggestions for conquering the  longer hikes?


For more information about this Mt Wilson Trail you can find it at


~Happy Hiking

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