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Charlton Flat to Vetter Mountain Trail

Contact Info
701 N. Santa Anita Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91006

Phone:
626-574-5200
Basics
Length:
1.5 miles one-way
Difficulty:
Easy
Time:
1/2 to 1 hr
Trailhead Elevation:
400 feet

Description

In May, 1998, historic Vetter Lookout was reopened. The "Grand Reopening" was well attended, and included speeches, refreshments and a flag raising.

The highlight of the Grand Reopening celebration was when Ramona Merwin - who was the last paid Lookout at Vetter (1955-1980), called the Angeles National Forest Dispatcher to report that Vetter was "Back in service"! Ramona is shown here with her daughter Joyce, granddaughter Julie, and great grandson "Jiggs".

The Lookout is now open most weekends during fire season (and occasionally during the week). The helpful volunteer staff will give you a tour of the tower and answer questions about life in a lookout tower.

Along the trail you will see excellent specimens of Ponderosa, Jeffrey and Sugar Pines, along with Western Red Cedar, oaks, Manzanita and some Coulter Pine near the top. In May and June, look for the exotic and strange snow plant, looking like a large, bright red asparagus spear. They are rare, so please do not touch. Leave them for others to see. Keep an eye out for Western Bluebirds, Stellar’s Jay (bright blue with crested head) and Woodpeckers, which are just a few of the many birds in the area.

Details

Length:
1.5 miles one-way
Difficulty:
Easy
Time:
1/2 to 1 hr
Trailhead Elevation:
400
Useful Map(s):
USGS: Chilao Flat

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

Follow Angeles Crest Highway for 23 miles from its beginning at the 210 Freeway in La Canada to Charlton Flat. Turn onto Charlton Flat picnic area road and go right at the junction a short distance from the highway. Continue down through Charlton Flat to the area near the Forest Service pump house and across from Wolf Tree Nature Trail. A wooden sign on your left indicates the trail to Vetter Mountain. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required to be displayed on your vehicle while it is parked in this area. Cross the gully and follow the trail along a small ravine, crossing the road after 1/2 mile. Continue winding along the ravine to the ridge top, then hike left up the ridge to the fire lookout.


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