I signed up for HikeTheGeek when I moved down to LA to look for more outdoorsy things to do. They invited me to come on one on July 3, but I was already doing my neon tour, so I decided to go on my own on July 4.
The description made me think twice, though.
Yes, this is an early hike! 8:08am
But, this will be the first hard hike I have done since my recovery for the past half year.
This hike is indeed called the ARSE BURNER.
Bring water! Bring a hat! Bring sun Screen! Bring Great stories to share! Bring an oxygen tank!
- Great work out.
- Free parking.
- Dog friendly (Bring a leash)
I took my wolf on this hike once. Several times he wanted to give up. When we got back to the bottom he actually fell over, and his tongue simply hung out of his mouth.
This is the hike I like to call the ass burner. You will feel this on the hike, after the hike, and maybe a few days later.
It is like walking up stairs for an hour or so, and then walking down stairs for an hour or so.
Great view, real feeling of accomplishment.
I decided to tough it out, though. So I woke up early, filled up my Camelbak and threw it into my backpack along with a Calpico and a Quest bar, and set off. I drove right by Porto’s, which was open but did not have a line yet. On the way up to the park entrance, I noticed that all the fire hydrants along the road were painted purple and someone had stuck googly eyes on them.
By the trailhead is a cool sculpture called “Tree Spirit” which reminded me of a roommate’s art from my house back in San Francisco.
As I cleared the tree-line, I could see the Burbank Police Department’s firing range and CQC training house.
The hike itself is very deceptive. As the warning in the invite description suggested, there is a lot of elevation gain. Every time I crested a hill, I saw that there was either a small flat or a dip before the next climb segment, which I had not even seen before. Very disheartening. Let me tell you right now, when you start, there are three cell towers visible along the top ridge. The top of the hike is next to the leftmost of the three towers.
I started strong, but started taking breaks at every switchback. Grannies with walking sticks and little kids with puppies were passing me up, but I did not care. There was one point where three ravens started circling me, and I thought perhaps I was in trouble. But I forged onward!
When I was almost at the peak, a lady passed me on the way down and then squealed as she met her childhood friend and turned around to go back up with her. The three of us reached the peak together, with the motivational stylings of the one who had already hit the top on her own. She loved saying how satisfying beers and hot dogs would be after this (truth), and that the peak was “just around the corner” (lie).
From the top, there is a beautiful throne from which you gaze over your kingdom.
Sitting there, I had the best Quest bar of my life.
I took my sweet time going back down, letting families with small children pass me by and high-fiving some shirtless hiker bros who lapped me. I sat in the shade at back at the trailhead and enjoyed my cool Calpico, and then drenched my car in sweat as I drove home and promptly passed out.
According to my activity tracker, the total hike was 4.59 miles with 1,854 feet of elevation gain and took me 3:01:22 to complete. (I did take a detour at the top in an attempt to find the Tree of Wisdom, but I took a wrong turn.)