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Mt Disappointment is anything but. This climb is absolutely breathtaking, and must-do if you’re into getting off the beaten path and away from cars.
As we were, you’re probably wondering about the name of the mountain. The peak is called “Mt. Disappointment” because in 1894, surveyors climbed to the top of the peak thinking it was the highest in the western San Gabriels, so they could measure the surrounding peaks in the area.
Disappointingly, they found out that San Gabriel Peak (pictured) directly next was slightly higher.
The climb starts off the west side of the Mt.Wilson-Red Box Road, which takes you 4 more miles to the summit of Mt. Wilson, another great and scenic climb. There’s a gravel spot to park for the trailhead right at the start:
Some of the best views of the ocean you’ll find in the San Gabriels
There’s a brief flat section right before beginning the final push to the summit. Use this part to rest for the next section!!! The profile is not wrong - there really is a full ¼ of a mile that averages 17%. We’ve done this climb 3 times and it hasn’t beaten us yet, but it’s come close…
After a quarter mile of agonizing pain (or walking, no shame in that here!), you reach an amazing 360 degree view at the top, but it’s less fun due to an annoying high-pitched ringing sound coming from the radio receivers. Bring earplugs if you want to hang out here and soak in the views for a while.
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