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Mount Deception, Mount Disappointment, San Gabriel Peak

5 November 1988

By: Joe Young


Leaders: Joe Young, Brent Washburne

At 8:30AM there were at least five different groups meeting in La Cañada for some hiking. Of the scores of people trying to sort themselves out, eighteen wound up on my hike.

We carpooled to Red Box where we reconvened for the short drive up the Mount Wilson Road (12W24) to its intersection with the fire road to Disappointment. As we started hiking at 9:20 AM some people standing around their cars shouted at us, "Take the trail, it's much nicer than their road!" I had no idea what they were talking about. Later on as these same people passed us in their cars they said, "You should have taken the trail, it's much nicer than the road!" A bit later, one of the cars returned and we asked the driver what they were talking about. The reply was that two weeks earlier a new trail had been opened from just above the Wilson-Disappointment intersection to a point on the Disappointment Road less than 1/4 mile from the saddle between Disappointment and San Gabriel.

With this new information we decided to alter our plans and bag Deception first, where we arrived at 10:30AM. We then proceeded up the road to Disapointment, observing the new trail turnoff along the way. After bagging Disappointment we had lunch at the Disappointment-San Gabriel saddle in the shade. While dense fog covered LA, the weather was bright and warm in the mountains with a few clouds often providing relief from the direct sun rays.

Although the write-up said it would be an easy hike, all of the participants were eager and in good shape, so that when we offered a third peak to be added to the trip, all but two went for it.

We left the saddle at 11:50AM and stood at the summit of San Gabriel at 12:15PM chatting briefly with the trail maintenance party en route. The same JPL trailbuilders who had just finished the aforementioned new route to Disappointment were clipping yucca along the trail to San Gabriel.

We left San Gabriel Peak and walked down to the road to the new trail and descended the 1 1/3 miles to the cars. It is a pleasant, shaded trail, and is shorter by 1 3/4 miles than the old route via the Disappointment Road. We returned to our cars by 1:30PM. My thanks to Brent for assisting.

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