Vetter Mountain 5,909' 5.5 miles RT, (817' +/-), February 11, 2018

Vetter Mountain was one of the first places we hiked to last year when we started our adventures.  We didn’t really know much about hiking at that time, and I think between the two of us we carried only one bottle of water.  I didn’t even own a pair of hiking boots!  We’ve come a long way since that day, and knowing what I know now I can’t believe I had been missing out on these incredible places!  That day kick-started our discovery of all that the great mountains surrounding Los Angeles and beyond have to offer.

After our 15 mile trek to Mount Wilson on Friday, we both wanted to do something easy on the legs. I’d heard the Vetter Mountain Trail (closed the last time we were here due to damage from the 2009 Station Fire) had been cleaned up and re-opened.  I wanted to check it out.  We drove to the beautiful Charlton Flat picnic area then hiked the Vetter Mountain Trail up to the stone foundation of the fire lookout (also burned in the Station Fire).  The area is still recovering, but taking the Vetter Mountain Trail was a nice alternative to the service road which we hiked up the first time.  When we reached the top, there was no one there so we had the views to ourselves and spent some time enjoying the scenery and each other’s company.  On the way down, we took part of the service road and then hopped on the Silver Moccasin trail to return to Charlton Flat.  It was the perfect day!

 Walking through the Charlton Flats picnic area.  It's a very pretty picnic area.  One of these days we're going to fire up one of the grills and have a picnic.

Walking through the Charlton Flats picnic area.  It's a very pretty picnic area.  One of these days we're going to fire up one of the grills and have a picnic.

 The trailhead to the Vetter Mountain Trail is at the end of the road that passes through the picnic area.

The trailhead to the Vetter Mountain Trail is at the end of the road that passes through the picnic area.

 You can see the fire damage here, but look how nicely they've cleaned up the trail.  I'm so grateful for the people who do this work so that people can enjoy hiking through these beautiful places.

You can see the fire damage here, but look how nicely they've cleaned up the trail.  I'm so grateful for the people who do this work so that people can enjoy hiking through these beautiful places.

 My husband going up the Vetter Mountain Trail.

My husband going up the Vetter Mountain Trail.

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 Now the views open up.

Now the views open up.

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 This is where the volunteers usually are.  The fire lookout that once stood at the top burned down in the 2009 Station Fire and this is all the volunteers have as far as shelter when they are here. 

This is where the volunteers usually are.  The fire lookout that once stood at the top burned down in the 2009 Station Fire and this is all the volunteers have as far as shelter when they are here. 

 Steps leading to the stone foundation and where the fire lookout once stood.

Steps leading to the stone foundation and where the fire lookout once stood.

 Looking over towards Mount Baldy.

Looking over towards Mount Baldy.

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 Taking the fire road down.

Taking the fire road down.

 The junction with the Silver Moccasin Trail where we hopped on.

The junction with the Silver Moccasin Trail where we hopped on.

 Silver Moccasin Trail

Silver Moccasin Trail

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 Once back at Charlton Flat, we saw that they had also cleaned up the Wolf Tree Nature Trail.  We took a stroll around the short loop.

Once back at Charlton Flat, we saw that they had also cleaned up the Wolf Tree Nature Trail.  We took a stroll around the short loop.

 The trail is all clear now and you can see some baby pine trees growing back!  Yay!

The trail is all clear now and you can see some baby pine trees growing back!  Yay!

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 There was once a "Wolf Tree" here. It was a Coulter Pine. The sign reads that timber managers referred to dominate trees as "Wolf Trees". This one burned in the fire, but someday the area will recover and hopefully another Wolf Tree will stand.

There was once a "Wolf Tree" here. It was a Coulter Pine. The sign reads that timber managers referred to dominate trees as "Wolf Trees". This one burned in the fire, but someday the area will recover and hopefully another Wolf Tree will stand.