Friday, March 6, 2015

Mormon Battalion Mountain

Hiked: 3/6/2015
Distance: 1.5 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 2350'
Elevation Gain: 350'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.28
Round trip time: 45 minutes
Recommended water: 0 oz.
Parking/Fees: $8 Glen Helen Regional Park
Difficulty: Easy

As I was coming down from Mt. San Antonio, my calf felt like it loosened up. Since I had some extra time, I checked for a nearby small peak and found Mormon Battalion Mountain at the tail end of Lytle Creek Ridge near Ranch Cucamonga. There were multiple ways up, but perhaps the least controversial way was from Glen Helen Regional Park. I tapped the address into my phone and paid the unexpected $8 parking fee (per vehicle). I think it was $10 if you wanted to fish. The San Manuel Amphitheater is in the park and there was a small waterpark there as well (closed for the winter).

I drove down Glen Helen Park road and veered toward the based of the mountain until I hit a locked a fence. I parked on a small dirt road there. The fence only goes a short distance right of the road and there was a use trail that went around it. Then, I hiked down the road until I found a gully with a wide trail heading up to a saddle. From the saddle, it was short climb to a series of three bumps, with the middle one being the obvious high point and summit. There were several metal markers just off the road at the actual high point. Since this area sits near the Cajon Pass, the wind was blasting on top. My best guess is 50-60 mph. It whipped the loose straps from my pack against my head and back and I had to hold my hat or lose it. I checked out all the bumps, then reversed course and was back in my car in 45 minutes. Not much of a hike, but my only consolation after giving up on the Mt. San Antonio winter attempt.

The fence ahead and Mormon Battalion Mountain in the background

Start of the trail up the gully

Summit in view from the saddle

Summit marker (one of several)

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