california, Camping, Dog, dogs, Family, Hiking, Kids, outdoors, Pets, photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Monday Night Hikes: Henninger Flats

It’s that time again: hiking season, the most wonderful time of the year. Starting in February, we hike up to Henninger Flats campground every Monday evening, weather permitting. With the atmospheric river and mild El Niño weather pattern, we had to miss a few weeks thanks to rains. But the reward has been much more green in the mountains than we typically see so the trail is much less boring, and milder temperatures for the strenuous 2.8 mile uphill torture trek I have mentioned in prior posts.

We begin the hike up to Henninger from the gate on Pinecrest in Altadena, CA. You may also begin at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center, but this adds about 1.2 miles to the hike, each way. Head down to the bridge and rather than going further down under the bridge into the riparian Eaton Canyon, take the Mt. Wilson Toll Road straight up. The trail is a fire road with little shade and only four benches along the trail for breaks and views. But the reward is great. In addition to a great workout, the views of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley are spectacular. The trail is wide enough to be pretty dog-friendly, just be careful on the way down, especially if your pup has a tendency to pull. Kids can also hike this trail. My youngest is now 11, and she’s been hiking up to Henninger for the past three seasons. She may take longer than some of our scouts, but she presses on, makes it up, and is so proud when she does.

The trail comes to Henninger Flats Campground.  This is where we usually stop. There are benches and tables at the campgrounds, so it’s a nice spot for a picnic lunch. It’s also fairly easy hike-in camping on a first-come, first-served basis.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. If you head up on a Monday evening, I might see you there. Happy trails!

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