Wildwood Canyon Hike

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.

Hel­lo all,

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!

The Good

  • Great work out.
  • Free park­ing.
  • Dog friend­ly (Bring a leash)

The Bad

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.

Tree Spirit

As I cleared the tree-line, I could see the Bur­bank Police Depart­men­t’s fir­ing range and CQC train­ing house.

Burbank Police firing range

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.

Wildwood Canyon hike peak

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.)