Victor and I got out hiking yesterday in the rain. We departed Eaton Canyon Visitor Center around 8:45 AM in the light drizzle. The stream crossings of Eaton Wash were unusually high but easily passable, especially with trekking poles. We took the trail straight to the Mount Wilson Toll Road and began the mildly steep ascent towards Henniger Flat. Our pace stayed at around 2.5 mph and we reached Henniger after about 40 minutes or so on the Toll Road. By now, it was pouring pretty good, but as a friend of mine once told me: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just insufficient gear.” We hung at Henniger for a couple and then ascended another half mile up the Toll Road to the small Idlehour Trailhead.
The Idlehour Trail travels west away from the Toll Road. Because it was raining out, we were treated to countless little waterfalls around the narrow trail. There was also wet manzanita along parts of the trail. Manzanita in and of itself is beautiful but wet manzanita is ridiculous. RIDICULOUS!
After about a mile and a half, we arrived at Idlehour Campground. As we were entering Idlehour, the rain stopped, the clouds opened up, and blue sky and sun abounded. This was my first time at Idlehour and I was stunned by its beauty. Everything was green, canyon formations surrounded us, and multiple 10 foot waterfalls were visible. Absolutely ridiculous. Oh yeah…and full cell phone reception.
We hung out for only a couple minutes and then began our retreat home. Not ten minutes after leaving Idlehour did the rains return. Impeccable timing.
The entire trip took about 6 hours and was about 13 miles long. We kept an average pace of about 2.5 miles per hour or so and the entire hike had an elevation gain of about 3,500 feet. And I burned 3600+ calories. Yay.
Gear wise, I wore ArcTeryx Beta AR hardshell pants with a North Face Mammatus jacket/shell. Underneath my shell layer, I worse an REI midweight OXT baselayer top and REI fleece midlayer. I wore Patagonia Capilene 2 bottoms with Wigwam mountaineering merino wool socks and Keen mid-top Voyageur shoes (non waterproof). I got a bit of precip through the top layer (probably time to Nikwax the NF Mammatus) but otherwise everything else worked out great.
I also ate 10 or so Hammer Gels and 1 package of Watermelon Gu Chomps (new flavor is a winner!) and drank about a liter and a half of water.
All in all, a great day with very fun hiking weather. I will be returning to Idlehour in the future, undoubtedly.