Travel · USA

The Extreme Weather Change While Traveling from Mojave Desert to The Inspiration Point in San Gabriel Mountains, California.

I am sorry I was not writing here for a long time, but I was traveling in California and then catching up with my garden and other things. There was and still is a lot to do in the garden in May, June and later in the growing season.

Anyway, I have traveled for about 2 weeks mostly at the beginning of May and I went with my husband to visit my cousins who lives a few hours drive from Los Angeles in Lancaster area in the Western Mojave Desert.  During the first week we were exploring the region in a few hours drive radius and in the next week we went to see Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. It was an amazing trip and I will tell you more about what we have seen in my next posts, as time permits me to write them.

One of the views from Western Mojave Desert in Lancaster area with beautiful and very characteristic to this region Joshua tree. San Gabriel Mountains are visible in the background. The weather was like that when we have left going to this mountains - sunny and warm with a blue sky.
One of the views from the Western Mojave Desert in Lancaster area with beautiful and very characteristic to this region Joshua tree. San Gabriel Mountains are visible in the background. The weather was like that when we have left the desert going to this mountains – sunny and warm with a blue sky.

I thought I will start my California’s story by telling you you about our trip to the San Gabriel Mountains. If where you are right now is as hot as in the Greater Toronto Area where I am, perhaps it will help you to feel cooler when you look at some of the pictures.

The San Gabriel Mountains are located north from Los Angeles and are running approximately from west to east. This is a very high and rugged mountain range and lies between the Los Angeles Basin and the Mojave Desert. It is surrounded by beautiful Angeles National Forest. The famous San Andreas Fault runs at their northern border. The highest peak of the San Gabriel Mountains is Mount San Antonio, also called Mount Baldy and it is 3,068 m (10,064 feet).

It took us just about 1/2 hour to drive from my cousin’s home in Lancaster to the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains.  We were driving from the Western Mojave Desert side and originally have planned to go for a short hike, but then because of the weather, we have decided to drive instead across to the other side of the mountains to Pasadena and then make a circle to come home.

Another view on Mojave desert close to city of Lancaster, California. San Gabriel mountains are in the background.
Another view on Mojave Desert close to city of Lancaster, California. San Gabriel mountains are in the background.

How We Got There, More About Where It Is Located and What You Can See From There In Good Weather.

When we were approaching the mountains, it was a very nice weather and about 20-22 C, as you can see in the two above photographs, but once we have started climbing up the mountains in our car via Big Pines Highway then Angeles Crescent Highway (State Road 2) on this very winding road with many blind curves, the weather have slowly changed. The mist came over the mountains and the road and the temperature become much cooler. We could still see the road in front of us at least 50 meters and there was a very low traffic, so we continued going up.

We have finally stopped after about 1 hour drive when we have reached the place beside the road called Inspiration Point.

Inspiration Point is not a mountain peak, but part of the Blue Ridge and it is located in a small saddle when Highway 2 crosses from the North side of the mountains to the other side. Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) crosses Highway 2 at Inspiration Point.

This place is well know for great views of the San Gabriel River Basin, as well as some of the biggest mountains in the area like Pine Ridge, Blue Ridge, Mount Baldy, Iron Mountain, and Mount Baden Powell. If you like hiking, you can start from taking there a small hike like Lightning Ridge Nature Trail. This trail goes around the top of Inspiration Point and provides many incredible views in good weather on a clear day.

Exploring Mist Covered Inspiration Point in the San Gabriel Mountains.

We got out of the car to explore the area, but were quite surprised it was so cold, well below 0 C. In fact many trees were covered with frost and some have even ice hanging from their branches and needles, as you can see in a few pictures below. The mist was still quite thick in front of us and unfortunately we could not see the obscured by it mountains at all. I have later discovered while doing a research on the Intent, that they are normally very well visible from this place in a good weather and the views are spectacular, as I have mentioned above.

Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California, USA. May, 2018.
Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California, USA. May, 2018.

 

Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California.
Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California.

 

This map was on display at the Inspiration Point and here you can see where this Inspiration Point is located.
This map was on display at the Inspiration Point and here you can see where this Inspiration Point is located.

As you can see, Inspiration Point beside the Angeles Crescent Highway is located well over 2,000 meters above sea level, exactly at 2,249.424 m (7,380 feet). It is not rare to see snow at this height, even at this time of the year, but the strange thing was that, as I have mentioned, the weather at the bottom of the mountains on this day was quite warm and sunny.

Forest covered with mist at Inspiration Point in San Gabriel Mountains, California.
Forest covered with mist at the Inspiration Point in San Gabriel Mountains, California.

Another thing that has surprised us was the fact that there were so many big trees growing at this height. I used to hike in high Tatra Mountains in Poland and have also visited some other mountains, but I have never seen trees growing at this high altitude. In fact even shrubs would have a hard time to grow at this level in Tatras, which are located in much colder climate than most of the California. Obviously the warm climate of this state  helps them to grow there.

One of the trees covered with frost and ice at the Inspiration Point in San Gabriel Mountains, California. May, 2018.
One of the trees covered with frost and ice at the Inspiration Point in the San Gabriel Mountains, California. May, 2018.

Here you can see a close up of one of the ice-covered trees. My husband enjoyed the view and was quite well prepared for the possible very cold weather, which can happen in the mountains at this altitude at any time.

Here you can see close by one of the branches covered with ice at the Inspiration Point in San Gabriel Mountains, California. My husband is well dressed for the occasion and visible in the back.
Here you can see close up of one of the branches covered with ice at the Inspiration Point in the San Gabriel Mountains, California. My husband is well dressed for the occasion and visible in the background.

It is a good idea to always have with you some warm clothing when hiking in the high mountains, as well as warm tea and some good quality chocolate, or other snacks to give you more energy and keep you warm.

Another view at frozen tree, Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California. May, 2018.
One more look at frozen tree, Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California. May, 2018.

 

Here is a different tree also covered with ice, Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California.
Here is a different tree also covered with ice, Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California.

Another view at the Inspiration Point covered with mist. I wished it would lift at one point, so we could see the surrounding mountains. Nevertheless, I think the landscape covered with mist and frozen trees looked quite amazing and unique as well.

Some people who came here before us obviously liked to commemorate their presence there by drawing or writing on the wooden barrier. Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California.
Some people who came here before us obviously liked to commemorate their presence there by drawing or writing on the wooden barrier. Inspiration Point, San Gabriel Mountains, California.

Dream-like landscape at the Inspiration Point was quite impressive, but I also hope to visit this place again to see it at its full splendor in clear weather when the huge mountains surrounding this place will be also visible.

I like this dram-like view of the Inspiration Point, but I hope I will be also able to visit this place again to see it in clear weather, so I could admire the view on the surrounding mountains.
I like this dram-like view of the Inspiration Point, but I hope I will be also able to visit this place again to see it in clear weather, so I could admire the view on the surrounding mountains.

As you can see, beside frost and ice covered trees, there were also many other plants, some of them of a nice rusty-red colour.

The last look at the Inspiration Point before we have returned to our car.
The last look at the Inspiration Point before we have returned to our car.

Another Inspiration Point in San Gabriel Mountains and Other Hikes You Can Take.

Please don’t get confused when traveling to the Inspiration Point since there is also another place called Inspiration Point in San Gabriel Mountains. You can hike to it as described here.

Here is a good list of hikes you can take in the San Gabriel Mountains if you feel like walking and are strong enough. For more information about San Gabriel Mountains, you can also check out this link.

Be Always Well Prepared If You Would Like to Hike in High Mountains.

Remember to always be well prepared when visiting the high mountains and avoid going there in an extreme weather and at night. Check out the weather forecast before you go. Respect the mountains and remember that the weather can change drastically within a short time, so be aware of it as well.  It is best to always travel with a companion and make sure you tell somebody where you are going and when you plan to get back, so in case you won’t they will start searching for you.

I have just read an article about a recent story, where a young woman from Toronto was just lost in Mojave Desert in Joshua National Park, which is located pretty close to Los Angeles. She went alone, got lost and wandered about 2 km away from the trail. Then when trying to find the trail, she has fallen from a slippery rock and has broken several bones in her pelvis and strained her foot. She was lucky she has survived in this rugged and often extremely hot place for about 4 days, when she was finally found.  Her phone was out of the calling range so she could not use it to call for help.

I can only imagine what she went trough while being severely injured, dehydrated, lost in the desert and aware of the fact that nobody knows where she is. I think she was very lucky she was able to survive and now is pretty OK recovering from this trip and her injuries.

I Will Tell You More About My Trip To California Soon.

As I have  mentioned, I plan to write more about my trip to California soon, as my schedule allows it, so stay tuned and subscribe to my blog to get automatic updates.

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – “Place in the World”.

I think this article could work well for the  Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge prompt Place in the World“ . The Inspiration Point is certainly a unique and amazing place and one that I would like to visit again. I think the name works very well for this place since its beauty could certainly inspire us and help to see the life from a new perspective.

By the way, there are no more new Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenges published, but we can still be inspired by their already posted prompts.

The Copyright Info and Subscribing to this Blog.

All photographs presented on this blog are copyrighted by me, Renata Ratajczyk. If you would like to use any of them in your publications or on your website please contact me. I might be adding some of the pictures posted on this blog to my Light Vision website, where you can license images or buy them as prints.  I will be posting more articles soon, so please subscribe to my blog to be notified about future updates. Thank you.

My Other Blog – Vibrant Garden.

I also invite you to visit my other blog – Vibrant Garden where I write about gardening, the most beautiful and interesting gardens I have visited, as well as I highlight some special plants and occasionally essential oils. You can visit my Vibrant Garden blog here.

You May Also Like to Read:

  1. Zarneccy  Cafés in Zakopane – Other Great Place for Desserts in Zakopane, Poland. 
  2. Dolina Chocholowska, Polish Tatra mountains, part 1.
  3. Walking the Trail from Kuznice to Hala Gasienicowa – Part 1 – Tatra Mountains, Poland.
  4. Visiting Beautifully Located Sacro Monte of Varallo, Italy.
  5. Serene Moment in Time – Koscieliska Valley part 3, Tatra Mountains, Poland.
  6. Koscieliska Valley – Part 1, Tatra Mountains, Poland.
  7. Bird Kingdom – an Aviary in Niagara Falls, Canada.
  8. Visiting Parco Civico Villa Ciani, Lugano, Switzerland – on my Vibrant Garden blog.
  9. Lake Garda, Italy.
  10. Gadens of Spiazzi village – an article on my Vibrant Garden blog.
  11. Giardino Sigurtà” in Northern Italy – on my Vibrant Garden blog.
  12. Niagara Parks Botanical Garden – part 1 – on my Vibrant Garden blog.

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