When it was raining two weeks ago, and most people were indoors—dry, and warm—I chose to venture into the cold, wet outdoors—and it was worth it!
My friend and I hiked in the rain through Eaton Canyon to Idlehour Campground. We parked at Eaton Canyon’s Visitor Center and hiked down the standard Eaton Canyon Trail to Mount Wilson Toll Road. Hiking in rain can be tricky on some small trails, but the Mount Wilson Toll Road is wide and well defined. We hiked a few miles past the well-known Henniger Flats campground and another .75 of a mile to the Idlehour trailhead.
The Idlehour trail is beautiful. We passed a series of small waterfalls and Manzanita trees, which turn a vivid red-brown when wet. Farther on, the trail turned and provided a view of the rolling green hills of upper Eaton Canyon and Mount Harvard. After about a mile and a half of hiking downhill, the rain stopped; we arrived at Idlehour Campground.
Idlehour is a lesser-known campground in the San Gabriel Valley. Nestled in a vibrant, natural canyon setting adjacent to a trustworthy water source, this secluded campground provides an escape from the loud, crowded Los Angeles metropolitan area only a few miles away. A few fire pits for cooking and some perfect places for pitching a tent make this spot ideal for backpacking, but the natural setting itself is worth the trip; Idlehour looks more like Yosemite than Southern California.
After a 20-minute break, we returned the way we came, enjoying the view all the way back to the car. A coworker of mine once said, “There is no such thing as bad weather – just ill-equipped hikers.”
Because our rain gear kept us dry and warm, my friend and I braved the uncharacteristic weather and were rewarded with a hike truly worth writing about.