By: Gabriele Rau
I wanted to do this peak for a long time. Mark was on a business trip, so I left, even if it was drizzly when I left. I started at 8:15 AM at Chantry Flats, took the scenic trail up to Spruce Grove Campground and then the trail to Newcomb Pass. It was drizzling most of the time, which did not bother me, but my pants got very wet, mainly by brushing against greens and bushes while walking. The woolsocks absorbed the water and my feet got really soggy! At 12:00 I arrived at Newport Pass (6.5 m). One trail leads to Mt. Wilson, the other one comes up as the Silver Mocassin trail. There are 2 Picnic tables at the Pass. One can now see the peak, with a huge Powerstructure on it. The trail to here is beautiful, but long. After wringing out my socks and eating I took the far right trail, an overgrown road, leading to a service road just below a watertank. The service road just gets there in a few hundred yards and one can see the peak is not easy to climb. But the write-up is correct, the west side is easiest. Climb through and over bushes and make the most of the steep green parts. Since it had rained the ground was soft and easy to climb. Just climb up underneath the power cables. There was nothing much there, no can. The Lake one can see is Cogswell Reservoir. It was cloudy and the clouds were hanging in the mountains. I went down, but somehow got too much north, had to traverse in thick wood (saw a deer) and finally made it out the same place I got in. From there the walk back was easy. Everything was still wet, lots of flowers, mainly Canterbury Bells, Larkspur, Paintbrushes, Rockroses and one white poppy-like flower on a bush I did not know. Dogwood and Ceanothus were blooming, the hike was really quite beautiful. And -because of the weather- absolutely no bugs!!! I saw 2 newts (reddish-brown, salamander-like). I hiked down the horse trail, I think it has less up-and-downs, fewer creekcrossings and fewer slippery rocks than the scenic trail. I was down at 4:15, so it took me a full 8 hours to do this hike. The drive took me 1 1/2 h AM and 1 1/4 h PM. I call this a strenuous hike, take your time.
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