In need of a quick hike to do as part of our Mt Whitney training, and wanting to hike something other than Iron Mountain, Chuck and I conquered Mt. Woodson in mid-June. The hike climbs about 1500 feet in 1.5 miles, so it’s a short but reasonably steep climb.
The trailhead is a couple miles north of the Iron Mountain trailhead on route 67, near the driveway of a fire station. There are helpful signs like the one above that point the way to the trail. After following a short path that parallels the highway, we turned onto the main trail up the mountain (basically a fire road, paved with varying degrees of smoothness), and started winding our way up.
There were more wildflowers than I expected along the trail – maybe because I’m more used to hiking in the fall, when several months of dry heat have toasted all the plants, but I’m always surprised to see wildflowers surviving into June and July in the coastal desert areas.
Mt Woodson is very recognizable from the road, as a boulder-strewn mountain topped by a bank of antennas. The boulders are just as fun to see close-up, except when they look like they might crack and fall on you:
One of the boulders is nearly cubic – evidence of cracks long since cleaved.
Some of my favorite rocks are the ones with the honeycomb-like impressions (fossils or water features?):
After winding our way around the switchbacks (the last few feel the steepest!), we found ourselves at the summit amidst the antennae. After a quick stop at the top, we started back down, retracing the path back to the trailhead.