3.9.11 – monrovia canyon trail through overturff trail

Today I hiked a new area that I have read very little about: Monrovia Canyon Trail to Overturff Trail.   Funny name, huh?

I started out about .75 miles below Monrovia Canyon Park.   You can park in the park but you have to pay 5 bucks and the gate is locked at 5pm.   I wasn’t sure how far I was going to go up this trail, so, instead of paying the cashola and risking being locked in… I parked in the neighborhood below.

The majority of this hike is on paved or dirt road.   I went into the park and, when met with a fork in the road for “Canyon Park” or “Trask Scout Reservation,” I elected to go “Canyon Park.”   Wrong move.   It leads to a dead end where there is a cabin retreat center/meeting location.   Nonetheless, it was pretty and I met a cool ranger up there.   I backtracked and elected to go down the other (correct) road.   I passed a cool dam and reached the scout camp after a mile or so.   After the scout camp, the road becomes dirt (no longer paved) and the canyon view gets a bit prettier.   I reached the trail head for Overturff Trail after another little while and ventured down this small, little-known-to-me trail.   Basically Overturff Trail is a 2+ mile trail that traverses aside a creek and goes up…and down…and up….and down… you get the picture.   It doesn’t really cut much distance off from taking the road up but it is a bit more scenic.   However, this trail is bear tracks GALORE!   Also, it’s very very buggy.

On Overturff Trail, I took the opportunity to push my heart rate.   Typically, I attempt to keep my heart rate between 70 and 80% of my max.   However, on this trail, I attempted to push it into the upper 90 percentile for a few minutes at a time (see my garmin link at the bottom of this… if you’re into heart rate stuff, you’ll appreciate the last chart!).   The trail leads up to Deer Park Cabin/Overturff Cabin, which basically is the remnants of a cabin that was once…there.   Not super exciting, honestly.   Here’s where things got a bit interesting though.

Before the cabin, there was a fork in the trail: “cabin” or “restrooms.”   I went to the cabin and then past it, thinking the trail would rejoin the road.   After .4 mile or so, I realized this trail was certainly not much of a trail and found myself in an odd meadow with cool bolders.   And lots and lots of bugs.   A hundred feet or so to my left was a pretty steep mountain.   I heard a big rock fall from that direction and turned to see a cougar falling down the mountain.   It fell probably 10 or 20 feet into a bush and then just stayed in the bush.   Seriously.   Don’t see that every day.

I’d had enough of this not trail and backtracked to the aforementioned fork… and went the “restrooms” route.   After .2 miles or so, I came upon the trail’s end, Monrovia Canyon Trail (the dirt road).   I traveled another half mile or so up this road and, after running through two swarms of bees, I decided I’d had enough.   In case you know this road a bit… the area I stopped was probably a half mile below White Saddle.   I turned around and descended back down the dirt road to the paved road to the neighborhood to my car.

Not a bad hike.   Definitely not LA’s version of Yosemite as far as beauty goes… but a pretty good hike, especially for training.

Duration: 4:16:29
Total Distance: 10.5 miles (without my original wrong turn, would be about 10 miles)
Elevation Gain: 2500 feet
Temperature: low 80’s pretty much the whole way.  Maybe upper 80’s higher up.
Terrain: Paved and dirt road, then fairly well defined dirt trail
GPS log
Calories burned: 3,285

Gear specs:
Backpack: Gregory Z35
Shoes: Salomon Quest 4d boots
Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Contour Elliptical
Water consumed: 2 liters
Electrolyte beverage consumed: 25 oz of Hammer Heed/Perpetuem/Crystal Lite
Food consumed: 6 Hammer Gels
Estimate of calories consumed: 900

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Posted on March 9, 2011, in hiking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hey there, it’s Yair. I just got back from an Echo Mountain / Inspiration Point night hike. Awesome views as you mentioned. (I suggest heading back up there at night.) Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Thanks for the check in, Yair! I’m glad the hike went so well and that you enjoyed your time in california. Hope the rest of your journey goes well…great meeting you! Peace.

  2. Thanks for the TR & pictures. One sight of the mountain lion would’ve been enough for me to call it a day…let alone the bees!

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