Original Publication DATE: 5/29/2011
On the way south I decided to revisit some of my favorite hikes from when I lived in the San Gabriel Mountains and taught outdoor education. The top on the list was the summit of Mount Baden Powell. Because the summit is 9,399 feet, it is within close proximity of the Pacific Ocean (on the rare smog-free day it is visible), and on the edge of the Mojave Desert there is astounding plant diversity meeting and mixing on the flanks of the mountain. Day one of my journey I climbed the peak and day two I dropped into the San Gabriel River valley within the Sheep Mountain Wilderness to enjoy the lower elevations of Baden Powell’s mastiff. Both were amazing hikes–pictures follow.
The Ascent – Mount Baden Powell
The Descent – San Gabriel River Country
The target of this hike was to get to know bigcone Douglas-fir–a conifer endemic to the transverse ranges of southern California. I lived with this tree for over 7 years but did not appreciate its dynamic nature at the time. It is a true survivor and a beautiful tree.
Conifers of the Baden Powell Region within the San Gabriel Mountains (I think this is quite an impressive list):
- Sugar Pine
- Lodgepole pine
- Ponderosa pine
- Jeffrey pine
- Limber pine
- White fir
- Bigcone Douglas-fir
- Sierra juniper (very rare on Devil’s Backbone)
- Coulter pine (lower elevations on edge of Mojave)
- California juniper (lower elevations on edge of Mojave)
- Singleleaf pinyon (lower elevations on edge of Mojave)
AUTHOR: Gambolin’ Man
DATE: 5/30/2011 5:40:25 PM
Michael, looks like a fantastic hike up that big desert mountain and down into the intriguing river valley. Nice photos and post!