One of the best things about living in the Pasadena area is the accessibility to numerous wonderful hiking areas. Last week I took a beautiful hike to Henniger Flats. It took two hours and 30 minutes to drive from Arroyo Vista Inn to the top of Altadena, hike up the toll road to Henniger Flats, run down, and drive home. This is such a short amount of time to feel like you have really had a break from the responsibilities of everyday life, see some amazing views, and get a really good workout. I came back with a clear head and a much better perspective on life.
To get to Henniger Flats, drive up Altadena Drive, bear right at Crescent, and park on Pinecrest. The Mount Wilson Toll Road starts at a gate in the 2200 block of Pinecrest. According to Dan’s Hiking Pages, www.simpsoncity.com, the hike is 5.4 miles round trip with a total change in elevation of 1360 feet. The entire walk has spectacular views of the valleys. Sometimes you can see the ocean in the distance. With the great views comes lack of cover; in the summer the trail is hot and unshaded! The trail is used by bicyclists, hikers, runners, and pet lovers.
At the very bottom of the trail is the Eaton Canyon Nature Center: good for kids and adults. At Henniger Flats is the Los Angeles County Experimental Forestry Nursery. Of course, if you are really energetic, you can continue on the Mount Wilson!
The above photo is a view from Henniger Flats on December 10, 2011. The ocean was visible! Do something nice for yourself: Stay at Arroyo Vista Inn and go for a hike.