First Water

Nestled within the foothills of the Angeles National Forest, the First Water via Mount Wilson Trail offers a scenic escape for hikers seeking a refreshing change of pace. This moderately challenging, 3.25-mile out-and-back trail unveils a hidden oasis – First Water – a haven of cascading waterfalls, verdant foliage, and a rich historical past.

A Historical Hike|Traces of First Water Camp


The journey to First Water begins at t

A Historical Hike|Traces of First Water Camp
A Historical Hike|Traces of First Water Camp

he Mount Wilson Trailhead, accessible from Lizzie’s Trail Inn in Sierra Madre. The initial stretch follows a paved road, offering a gentle warm-up before transitioning into the dedicated hiking trail. As you delve deeper into the canyon, keep an eye out for remnants of the bygone First Water Camp. Established in the early 20th century, this resort provided a cool escape for Angelenos seeking respite from the city’s heat. Stone foundations and faint pathways whisper tales of a bygone era, adding a touch of intrigue to the hike.

Embracing|Nature’s Embrace Lush Canyon and Cascading Delights

Embracing|Nature's Embrace Lush Canyon and Cascading Delights
Embracing|Nature’s Embrace Lush Canyon and Cascading Delights

The Mount Wilson Trail gradually ascends the canyon wall, offering glimpses of the lush vegetation blanketing the slopes. The air cools as you gain elevation, a welcome change from the sun-drenched landscape below. Be sure to keep your camera handy, as captivating views of the surrounding peaks unfold with each step.

The true magic unfolds after roughly 1.5 miles, where a well-marked turnoff points towards First Water. Here, the trail descends into a shaded sanctuary, enveloped by towering sycamores and vibrant ferns. The gentle murmur of flowing water grows louder, drawing you towards the trail’s namesake – First Water Creek.

A Cascading Spectacle|Unveiling First Water’s Hidden Gems

First Water Creek transforms the landscape into a wonderland of cascading waterfalls. The most prominent, a multi-tiered marvel, provides a refreshing visual and auditory treat. The sound of cascading water blends with the symphony of birdsong, creating a truly rejuvenating atmosphere.

Take a moment to explore the various pools formed by the waterfalls. On a hot day, dipping your toes in the cool water can be an incredibly refreshing experience. Remember to be respectful of the environment and avoid disturbing the delicate ecosystem.

Exploring Further|Orchard Camp and Beyond

For those seeking a slightly longer adventure, the trail continues beyond First Water. A short detour leads to Orchard Camp, another historical remnant of the area’s past. Orchard Camp once served as a rest stop for hikers and horseback riders journeying towards Mount Wilson. Today, the remnants of stone structures and fruit trees offer a glimpse into the area’s rich history.

For the truly adventurous, the Mount Wilson Trail continues its ascent towards the summit of Mount Wilson. This strenuous trek offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Los Angeles basin, a reward for those willing to push their limits.

Planning Your First Water Adventure|Essential Tips

Planning Your First Water Adventure|Essential Tips
Planning Your First Water Adventure|Essential Tips

Before embarking on your First Water adventure, here are some essential tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  • Trail Difficulty: While generally considered moderate, the First Water via Mount Wilson Trail does involve some elevation gain. Be sure to wear proper hiking footwear and clothing suitable for the weather conditions.
  • Sun Protection: The trail offers limited shade, especially during the midday hours. Apply sunscreen liberally and wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  • Hydration: Always carry sufficient water, especially during warmer months. The refreshing First Water Creek might be tempting, but it’s advisable to treat any natural water source before consumption.
  • Respectful Exploration: Leave no trace behind. Pack out all your trash and avoid disturbing the delicate flora and fauna. Be mindful of noise levels, especially during peak hours.
  • Leash Laws: The Mount Wilson Trail is shared by hikers and dogs. Always keep your dog on a leash to ensure the safety of others and to protect wildlife.
  • Seasonal Considerations: The trail is accessible year-round, but spring offers the most vibrant wildflowers. During winter months, be aware of potential rain or snow, which can make the trail slippery.

Beyond the Hike|Exploring the Environs

The First Water via Mount Wilson Trail serves as a gateway to further exploration within the Angeles National Forest. Here are some additional options to consider:

  • Mount Wilson Observatory: For astronomy enthusiasts, a visit to the historic Mount Wilson Observatory is a must. Located at the summit of Mount Wilson, the observatory offers tours and stargazing programs, providing a glimpse into the universe’s wonders.
  • Chantry Flat: For those seeking a more challenging adventure, Chantry Flat offers a network of trails with stunning vistas and opportunities for camping.
  • Eaton Canyon: Located closer to Los Angeles, Eaton Canyon provides a scenic escape with waterfalls

Read More: A Refuge in the Sprawl | Exploring Chino Hills State Park

A Refreshing Escape Continues|Eateries and Local Flavor

A Refreshing Escape Continues|Eateries and Local Flavor
A Refreshing Escape Continues|Eateries and Local Flavor

After your invigorating hike on the First Water Trail, you might find yourself craving a delicious meal or a refreshing beverage. Luckily, the charming town of Sierra Madre offers a variety of options to satiate your appetite and extend your exploration:

  • Lizzie’s Trail Inn: Nestled right next to the Mount Wilson Trailhead, Lizzie’s Trail Inn is a perfect post-hike stop. This historic landmark offers a casual atmosphere with hearty breakfasts, juicy burgers, and refreshing beers – ideal for refueling and reminiscing about your adventure.
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: If you’re looking for a quick caffeine fix or a light snack, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Sierra Madre Boulevard provides a convenient option. Sip on their signature coffee or indulge in a freshly baked pastry – a perfect pick-me-up after your hike.
  • The Winking Dog Bistro: For a more upscale dining experience, The Winking Dog Bistro offers a delightful menu featuring Californian cuisine with seasonal ingredients. Enjoy a leisurely lunch on their outdoor patio, soaking in the charming atmosphere of Sierra Madre.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *