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  1. #1
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    Mount Wilson toll road access

    I've been wanting to ride up to Mnt. Wilson on the toll road, does anyone know if there is a way to get up there? I tried last year and where I think the trail head was there we're "no tresspassing signs" and there was a massive land slide. I wonder if there is another way to access and if there it is ok to even be on the toll road. Is there another trail head?

    thanks.
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  2. #2
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    The Toll Road is closed at the bottom, and the park (Eaton Canyon Park) at the bottom is closed to bikes. You have no idea how stinky and disgusting a trail can be until you try to hike up the alternative route, which is the equestrian trail from Eaton Canyon up to the Toll Road - endless piles of road apples in a trail of ankle-deep loose silt and poop. You could ride up Mt. Lowe Road, more "backcountry" feeling than the Toll Road, and turn right when you hit Red Box-Wilson Road at Eaton Saddle. Skyline Park is about 4 miles (I think) from Eaton Saddle. Or ride up Mt. Lowe Road to Idlehour Trail and cross over to Toll Road, but that would add lots of climbing both directions.

  3. #3
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    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottR1
    The Toll Road is closed at the bottom, and the park (Eaton Canyon Park) at the bottom is closed to bikes. You have no idea how stinky and disgusting a trail can be until you try to hike up the alternative route, which is the equestrian trail from Eaton Canyon up to the Toll Road - endless piles of road apples in a trail of ankle-deep loose silt and poop. You could ride up Mt. Lowe Road, more "backcountry" feeling than the Toll Road, and turn right when you hit Red Box-Wilson Road at Eaton Saddle. Skyline Park is about 4 miles (I think) from Eaton Saddle. Or ride up Mt. Lowe Road to Idlehour Trail and cross over to Toll Road, but that would add lots of climbing both directions.
    I actually want the climbing, that's really what I am hoping for. The reason I was looking towards the motorway is becuase when it comes to the return trip, I'm not comfortable with technical single tracks or drops. So I prefer a fireroad descent. If the scenery is not to spectacular, that's ok with me too. I just want to get up there on the mountain bike. I will check out your directions and see if I can plan something out.
    thanks again.
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  4. #4
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    You can start at Lower Merrill and just climb up Mt Lowe trail all the way to the top. At the fence turn right and ride the street for about 2mi and you will be at the observation station.
    I ran it a month ago and it was about 12-13mi one way

  5. #5
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    Hasn't that been closed for a long time!?

    I have ridden up that several times & it is one of the tuffest climbs in the L.A. Basin...Mt Lukens from Haines canyon is a bear also if you like fire road climbs!..that decent is VERY fun because no one really uses that road so you can rip down it!
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  6. #6
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    If ya like fire road climbs.........
    http://www.socalmtb.com/socal/trails...m?list=reviews

    I wrote this in 03...I can't believe it was that long ago! ::...go on a clear winter day & dress warm...I remember one year I got to the top & a little snow was on the backside at the top..but what a view!

    #10
    Now I Remember why! - This ride to the top of Mt Lukens is TUFF! It has been at least 5 years since I did this ride & prior to that 10! Man now that I am older it has become tuffer..plus I ain't been riding as much!...Anyhow the rode has degraded to VERY LOOSE sections & in some sections it is almost single track! I have ridden up most of the fire roads in LA/San Gabriel area & this is by far one of the STEEPER PROLONGED rides around! No wonder no one writes up this one! Once you have taken the punishment it takes 5 years for you to forget how tuff it is!....ya gotta conquor this mountain if ya haven't yet!...Also the view is insanely beautiful!
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    Matt Westlake a 44 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized E-mail:this user
    Posted on 10/01/03
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  7. #7
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    Lukens is long!!!!

    i just love that everytime it seems like u are almost at the top it gets a little steeper for your enjoyment.

  8. #8
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    Lower Eaton Canyon is off limits to bikes. And they are not going to fix the Toll Road ever again. It's toast- in terms of a mt biking venue. Hikers only, for now and into the decades to come.

    Yea- i loved it's cardio appeal, but there is lots else it's near equal. Fire roading? Go do Brown
    Mt road. Or grit your teeth and ride up Chaney Trail. Cardio does not get any better than that....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGW12
    Hasn't that been closed for a long time!?

    I have ridden up that several times & it is one of the tuffest climbs in the L.A. Basin...Mt Lukens from Haines canyon is a bear also if you like fire road climbs!..that decent is VERY fun because no one really uses that road so you can rip down it!

    I love the Mnt. Lukens climb! I live right near Apperson school in Sunland. When I switch to my Mnt bike from my road bike, I do Mnt. Lukens most of the time because it's a great work out for a small amount of time. I can just leave from my drive way and ride on Apperson street up about .5-1 mile to Haines Canyon. And you're right not alot of people do that climb so if you wanna rip coming down, you can. Of course I'm not one of those guys, I'm to scared and not skilled enough.
    If I'm not climbing, I'm not riding.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGW12
    If ya like fire road climbs.........
    http://www.socalmtb.com/socal/trails...m?list=reviews

    I wrote this in 03...I can't believe it was that long ago! ::...go on a clear winter day & dress warm...I remember one year I got to the top & a little snow was on the backside at the top..but what a view!

    #10
    Now I Remember why! - This ride to the top of Mt Lukens is TUFF! It has been at least 5 years since I did this ride & prior to that 10! Man now that I am older it has become tuffer..plus I ain't been riding as much!...Anyhow the rode has degraded to VERY LOOSE sections & in some sections it is almost single track! I have ridden up most of the fire roads in LA/San Gabriel area & this is by far one of the STEEPER PROLONGED rides around! No wonder no one writes up this one! Once you have taken the punishment it takes 5 years for you to forget how tuff it is!....ya gotta conquor this mountain if ya haven't yet!...Also the view is insanely beautiful!
    Ride rating: Intermediate
    Singletrack=.05% Truck Trail=95%
    Matt Westlake a 44 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Specialized E-mail:this user
    Posted on 10/01/03
    Thanks for the link, I aggree this climb is not for beginners. On a clear day, you do get treated to a fantastic view, you can see the big ships out on the water, Catalina, Cleveland National Forest mountains (Orange County). I did this climb about 30 times this year so I did see snow a couple times already after the cold rains. I also was up there on the Sunday the fires started all over Southern Cal and the Santa Anas were blowing hard. A couple of times I wondered if I was gonna get blown off the mountain and thought of turning back. It was intense head winds all the way.
    I also did this a couple of times when it was near 100 degrees. I think the worst thing when doing this ride in the summer is that about the 1st mile there is a ton of knats that swarm around your face, and I mean so many that I try to climb with one hand on the bars and one hand swatting them away. Once you cross the gate and go about 100 yards the knats are gone. But just the beginning is enought to make me wanna skip it.

    I really use this as a training course. It takes me about 15 minutes from my house to get to the first white gate (trail head). I usually time trial this climb to either a maker I layed out somewhere past the middle, or to the top if I have the time. On Tuesdays and Thursdays after work (before the time change), I only had an hour so I race to my marker from my drive way where I start the clock. Then if I do it on a weekend, the clock starts at the first white gate and go to the top. I think the fastest I've done it from the first gate was 1hr 10-15 mins. Can't remember exactly but I do know I fueled properly the day before, no head winds, the weather was very cool, and I must have been firing on all cylinders. That last years winter (2006).

    Back to the Mount Wilson climb, I'm really mostly a roadie and every Sunday morning I ride the road to Mnt. Wilson and back home which is about 3.5 hrs for me. My brothers only mountain bike so I would love to do the climb on the mountain bike with my brothers also, even though I know I would have to drive to the trail head.

    sorry for the long post.
    If I'm not climbing, I'm not riding.

  11. #11
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    wow you know the trail well! I grew up in La Crescenta & when I was a young boy we would fish for catfish, gold carp & bluegill in the Haines Canyon Resevior! I remember one time we caught like 25 little catfish & brought them over to Two Strike Park in La Crescenta!

    Then when we got older we would drive our cars to the top before people started sueing the world for their own foolish choices! I remember going to parties at the launch pads up there. Bands would set up on those things & we would rock! Watched fireworks from up there 2 different years..but they were so far away it wasn't that good just fun to be up there!...When I got motorcycles rode them up that thing....I even grew some um green shrubbs up in those hills.. well it was a long time ago & I grew up! heh-heh

    ........Then I grew up moved to Santa Clarita got into mountain bikes & hit Haines Canyon...a-waaay back before suspension hit the masses! We did a big loop one time where we parked in Little T by the baseball diamond area...rode up the fire road to the Haines Canyon road then up Haines & dropped down the backside into Little T. Again this was before suspension & it was even a little overgrown then I remember ripping clothes on that decent. I think the trail is long gone now!

    Anyhow I now live in South Carolina where there are no mountains!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!! Why did I do it!

    Saving grace is I have found one crazy "you gotta do this ride" once in your life mountain bike park!...I have been back 5 times....it is like riding a rollercoaster & feels like it is all downhill even though you pedal.....it is really weird! It was built on 2005 by mountain bikers for mountain bikers..CRAZY FUN!! http://trails.mtbr.com/cat/united-st...9_4576crx.aspx

    Anyhow Haines brings back lots of memories for me!
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  12. #12
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    Lukens is on our regular OTB ride calendar, and we're doing the Lukens-Grizzly loop tomorrow night (but only to the griz saddle and down). It is a demanding climb, and cold at this time of year...

    As far as accessing the Toll Road, I've done the walk your bike through Eaton a few times. It's not that bad, just over a mile and only the last climb up to the toll road is tough. Once up on the toll road it's clear sailing to the top, with your choice of routes down, though I'd recommend not coming back down through Eaton... who wants to walk a bike down an ST at the end of a ride?
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  13. #13
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    Bs!

    Quote Originally Posted by RockitJeff
    Lower Eaton Canyon is off limits to bikes. And they are not going to fix the Toll Road ever again. It's toast- in terms of a mt biking venue. Hikers only, for now and into the decades to come.

    Yea- i loved it's cardio appeal, but there is lots else it's near equal. Fire roading? Go do Brown
    Mt road. Or grit your teeth and ride up Chaney Trail. Cardio does not get any better than that....
    You certainly can gain access to the fire road from the south side of the canyon, granted a lot of hike a bike at the bottom through the streambed, but if you hike up a trail to the road yer on yer way.
    [SIZE="2"][SIZE="2"][SIZE="2"]"My people are the people of the dessert!"
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGW12
    wow you know the trail well! I grew up in La Crescenta & when I was a young boy we would fish for catfish, gold carp & bluegill in the Haines Canyon Resevior! I remember one time we caught like 25 little catfish & brought them over to Two Strike Park in La Crescenta!

    Then when we got older we would drive our cars to the top before people started sueing the world for their own foolish choices! I remember going to parties at the launch pads up there. Bands would set up on those things & we would rock! Watched fireworks from up there 2 different years..but they were so far away it wasn't that good just fun to be up there!...When I got motorcycles rode them up that thing....I even grew some um green shrubbs up in those hills.. well it was a long time ago & I grew up! heh-heh

    ........Then I grew up moved to Santa Clarita got into mountain bikes & hit Haines Canyon...a-waaay back before suspension hit the masses! We did a big loop one time where we parked in Little T by the baseball diamond area...rode up the fire road to the Haines Canyon road then up Haines & dropped down the backside into Little T. Again this was before suspension & it was even a little overgrown then I remember ripping clothes on that decent. I think the trail is long gone now!

    Anyhow I now live in South Carolina where there are no mountains!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!! Why did I do it!

    Saving grace is I have found one crazy "you gotta do this ride" once in your life mountain bike park!...I have been back 5 times....it is like riding a rollercoaster & feels like it is all downhill even though you pedal.....it is really weird! It was built on 2005 by mountain bikers for mountain bikers..CRAZY FUN!! http://trails.mtbr.com/cat/united-st...9_4576crx.aspx

    Anyhow Haines brings back lots of memories for me!
    Those sound like great memories! People do still fish the reservoir there. In fact it's rare to not see anyone there. Also you mention the "launch pads" which I think are the large concrete square pads???

    I've always been curious about those, and looked into it one day and found out they are actually anti-aircraft gun sites that we're placed back in WWII. Apprarently enemy aircraft we're expected to fly in low through the mountians. I've seen them all over the Angeles Crest forest.
    If I'm not climbing, I'm not riding.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by oscarc
    Those sound like great memories! People do still fish the reservoir there. In fact it's rare to not see anyone there. Also you mention the "launch pads" which I think are the large concrete square pads???

    I've always been curious about those, and looked into it one day and found out they are actually anti-aircraft gun sites that we're placed back in WWII. Apprarently enemy aircraft we're expected to fly in low through the mountians. I've seen them all over the Angeles Crest forest.
    Ya I have seen that reservoir get trashed by the fires/floods & dry up to nothing for YEARS! I have not been back since 03 & it was dry then!

    Funny about those pads...not many people know about that FACT!!.....

    ALSO I had a cousin that was based deep underground 2000 Feet!. ..at the top of that mountain back in the mid-late 60's!!...

    I never put two & two together till just now & am talking to her about it on the phone as I write this!

    I remembered "Cousin Ricky" coming to visit me when I was like 5....she said he used to drive down the dirt road so he did not have to come down the Crest since Haines was faster to get to our house in La Crescenta.....Im looking for that on line!??..........I would ask the cuz but he passed away ayear or 2 ago!

    Anyone else heard of this...I mean I JUST remembered & called my mom & she said ya Ricky would do just that!
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  16. #16
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    what's it like?

    Quote Originally Posted by tedroy
    You certainly can gain access to the fire road from the south side of the canyon, granted a lot of hike a bike at the bottom through the streambed, but if you hike up a trail to the road yer on yer way.

    The ride past the bridge to Henninger Flats was one of my favorite after work rides. I really miss it. I know the landslide really messed things up but heard you can still ride it (not legally of course). How bad is it?
    I can see myself wrecking and ruining but I can't stop myself...

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