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Monrovia Peak

17 April 1966

By: Ben Neffson

At about 8:30 a.m., Tom Amneus, Monroe Levy, and I started from the Chantry Flats Ranger Station for a hike to Monrovia Peak. (To my knowledge, the last time this peak was scheduled was in 1960.) Neglected for years, the trail, or part of it, was again to come under "maintained" status. As a matter of fact, a conversation with the ranger on duty elicited the information that approximately the first 1/4 to 1/2 mile of the trail was now in the process of being reworked.

From the ranger station we dropped down to the floor of Santa Anita Canyon and proceeded north along the stream bed to a point where we could pick up the trail. From this point on, it was only Tom's unique ability at route finding that permitted us to bring the trip to a successful conclusion. We found the trail, the first 1/4 mile or so bearing the fresh evidence of recent labor. Beyond this, however, it had been neglected for more than six years. It was in very poor shape, mostly overgrown, sometimes all but impassable, and, at times, non-existent; years of neglect and heavy rains having destroyed complete sections. Approximately, a total of one hour was spent in trying to relocate the trail after it would suddenly disappear with eroded parts of the mountain. Except for the rework at the beginning of the trail, part of the growth obstructing it for the first two miles or so was poison oak. The overgrowth, mostly wild lilac, was considerable and made upright walking difficult, if not impossible. At times the going resembled cross-country bushwacking; at least it was as enervating. Some relief was experienced when the trail intersected an old fire road which made easier going for about a half mile or less. However, after this we had the comparative simplicity of the ups and downs of firebreaks to Monrovia Peak (passing Rankin Peak on the way).

Tom was the first to reach the peak, Monroe came up about ten minutes later, and I staggered up about ten minutes after that. Time permitted only about a fifteen minute rest after lunch on the peak, and it was somewhat after 2 p.m. when we started back, arriving at our car just before it got dark. Although the round trip was just about 16 miles, trail conditions made this an arduous all day hike. If the entire trail is reworked, it should become a pleasant (but not easy) trip.

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