After a three-month hiatus from hiking, I needed to cap off the year with a hike. And my local Garcia Trial seemed ideal. In both 2012 and 2011 I hiked Garcia Trail on New Years Day, so this time I’ll end my year with it. My wife dropped me off at the trailhead five minutes from our house. There are a couple dozen people lingering around the trailhead. It’s a pleasant 66 degrees and forecasted to hit 73 today.
Over my shoulder to the west I get a view of the mountainside burned by the Madre Fire. The fire started on Sept. 23 and incinerated nearly 300 hundred acres at the month of San Gabriel Canyon. I had some tense hours as a spectator standing near the command center hoping they could contain the inferno quickly. Kudos to the firefighters and their gallant efforts in keeping the fire from consuming the mature chaparral that graces the rugged canyons and ridges above Azusa.
Madre Fire, Azusa – Sept. 24, 2013
View of Madre Fire burn area
Glendora Peak dominates the skyline in front of me. Soon I reach the off-road junction and I decide to veer right unto the narrow use path that climbs the west ridge. It’s a good choice as I enjoy expanding views and solitude (although, I encountered only three people since leaving Azusa Peak). The route gets quite steep as it approaches the summit.
Leave the summit at 12:35 and head east. Within a few minutes I’m back on the dirt road and continue east. I’m loving the scenery and ever-changing views along this rollercoaster route. Soon the Colby Trail area comes into view way down at the base of the mountain to the east.
3:10 - I finally reach a hairpin bend of GMR. The route continues south down the slope. It’s crazy steep with loose footing, dropping about 140 vertical feet in just 0.07 mile. As I’m climbing down a young man tries coaxing a young woman to climb up, but to no avail. I don’t blame her for opting out of this crazy route. It takes me nine minutes to make the descent and arrive at GMR again. I text my wife with my ETA and linger here for a few minutes.
Glendora Community Conservancy for their efforts in maintaining this splendid trail and preserving natural space. I love the warm light of the “golden hour.” The golden leaves of western sycamore speak of changing seasons.
4:02 - Finish hike at the Colby Trail trailhead at the top of Loraine Avenue in Glendora. It’s 68 degrees.
Two weeks after this hike, the Colby Fire incinerated the environs of these trails. Visit my Garcia to Colby Farewell Tour photo album
See Trail Descriptions on Dan's Hiking Pages:
- Garcia Trail to Azusa Peak
- Colby Trail
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