Who holds the key to hiking Eaton Canyon?

33788-James at Gate 10-16-09.JPG

The city of Pasadena limits snake way up into Eaton Canyon for the water rights. Once you step off the Altadena curb from Pinecrest into the canyon to hike up to Mt. Wilson or just to Henninger or Idlehour on the old Toll Road, you’re in Pas for at least a little while … if you can get through, that is.

The key to the hiking highway has long been given to Pinecrest neighbors irate at the noise non-Sierra Club types — the kids who party and sometimes graffiti the rocks at the Eaton falls — can make down in the canyon.

The sometimes persnickety neighbors can close down that gate pretty early. I remember leaving my hiking party behind to run down the trail for half a mile to force them to keep it open well before sunset so we could get out of there without having to hike all the way down to the Nature Center.

Attorney and hiking activist Paul Ayers, whose son is pictured above at the gate in question, asks these questions:

On Friday, my fourth grader James had the day off so we decided to go hiking. After finding that Pasadena had closed the lower Arroyo Seco we wandered over to Eaton because James wanted a walk by “a stream”. Out of habit I swung by the Pinecrest gate and… found it opened; hikers were parking and walking down to the falls, up the Toll Road, etc. James and I went down the road and up to the falls and had a fine time; I have attached a photo of James at the gate. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that no one, including a county fire fighter I met at the gate, had any rational explanation as to when the gate openings began, what the open hours were, etc. Most troubling was the fire fighter’s statement that the gate was “unlocked by a neighbor who has a key”. And the signage on the gates still says the City of Pasadena has no responsibility for the gate and if it is locked when you’re inside, tough luck.

Pasadena Water & Power owns the land at the access point. That entity according to letters I have seen signed by Mayor Bogaard, was responsible for the closure. The closure was in many ways irrational. There was nothing particularly unsafe in Eaton after the rains stopped in 2005 and if safety was the issue [which Mayor Bogaard stated it was] why did access to the “unsafe area” from the Nature Center and other Eaton Canyon access points remain unfettered? Given the lack of logic of the City’s position it is no wonder that the trail community came to believe that safety was not the issue, but rather that the Pinecrest “neighbors” simply didn’t like the great unwashed in their neighborhood. This may not be the case but when a government spreads bullsh*t all kinds of plants grow.

Be that as it may, now that the repairs are completed and the Toll Road is passable and safe it seems reasonable that some kind of rational approach to access through the Pinecrest gate be established. In my opinion this would involve some accountable governmental entity controlling and scheduling gate openings, not the “neighbors”.

85 thoughts on “Who holds the key to hiking Eaton Canyon?

  1. I agree totally – the gate should be opened and shut at predictable and reasonable times, like the barrier on Chaney Trail road that’s controlled by the Altadena sheriff.

  2. How can anyone argue with Larry’s assertion to make the government the final arbiter in this situation ?

    After all, the government is so effective in everything else it does. From getting the H1N1 flu vaccinations to all of us in a timely manner, to facillitating those short lines at the DMV, to balancing the state budget, to…oh, wait.

    This is not a winning hand.

    Never mind.

    I nominate Larry Wilson to be the final arbiter in this situation. Let’s make him the gate keeper—literally.

    And as Larry wrote recently, he’s for good stuff, and he opposes bad stuff.

    That’s the kind of guy I want to be the gate keeper.

    Give. Larry. The. Keys.

    Besides, if there’s anyone who knows how to deal with “the great unwashed,” it’s Larry Wilson.
    After all, he wouldn’t even allow his child to attend any of the Pasadena public schools, and certainly not Muir High School.
    Instead, Larry sent his child to expensive private schools.

    You tell ‘em, Larry !

  3. The Mt Wilson Toll Road is a public trail, and it seems out of place that a property owner at the trailhead should be acting as a gatekeeper. I’ve been trapped by that gate upon returning down the trail after work, and all I can say about that is that I wasn’t happy. Trails ought to be a right of way, and if you buy a house at a trailhead you should expect to have to put up with the inevitable rif-raf that goes with it. Otherwise, every trailhead would be closed… with razor wire and security cams. I’d like to see that gate stay open.

  4. I, my sister, and two other unrelated hikers got stranded there tonight just after it got dark. If the skinniest one of us hadn’t been able to squeeze under the gate and go to someones home to call the police to come open it, we would have had to hike in the DARK to the nature center to get out. Hike in the dark??? That’s the reason we there at the gate at dark. We didn’t want to hike in the dark. It’s dangerous. If it had been a moonless night it would have been pitch black. I don’t care what reasons somebody has for not wanting people entering after dark. Preventing people from exiting is just downright wrong. I can’t believe this is legal to do this. There is a huge potential liability issue here. Until a one-way gate that allows people to exit can be installed this gate needs to stay open. Does somebody need to get injured trying to hike to the Nature Center in the dark or get frost bite sleeping by the gate till morning before it’s understood why this is just so wrong. Who on earth signed off on this? And who is doing the actual locking and not even caring if they’re trapping people.

  5. I was there with my mom. And the gate closed many many hours before sunset. Closer to 4 hours before sunset. We were trapped. We had to walk to the Nature Center, at which point I ran back to the gate to get the car. What the hell?

  6. Me and my Father got stuck there one evening and it wasn’t even dark yet. Fortunately we knew that the old man who closes the gate is always hiding back down his driveway in his yard. If you bang on the gate really hard, he will eventually walk out from his yard (while taking his time) and then lecture you about coming out before sunset. When my Father asked the man his name, the old man was about to walk away because he felt threatened. Then my Father threatened to call the Sheriff and the old man decided to open the gate for us. There really needs something to be done about this because I often volunteer at the nature center and there have been several mountain lion sightings since the fires and packs of coyotes. I have an African American friend who came out well before sunset once, and the gate was locked and the man was sitting outside of it in a lawn chair and he refused to let him out and forced him to go all the way around through the rest of the park. Also, what are you going to do once you’re at the nature center? Walk back up Altadena drive with speeding cars grazing your side? I mean come on. The residents are racisist, snooty, and selfish. They don’t own the mountains and the gate should stay open. It’s the only gate in the whole forest with RAZOR WIRE and CAMERAS. We really need to do something about this because they’re our mountains too and we should have equal access to them.

  7. The number one priority ought to be given to your home, its valuable assets and your family and if you are ready to face the challenge of fighting against these culprits then the home security system serves as the best solution.

  8. Appeared in other boots on the status of various length that is short, general or continuous wear them you do not accept detached pair of jeans, you can certainly continue to wear boots scored twice, followed by reducing the edge blur it! Therefore, go to the adventurous, do not adhere to the norms. Cypriots entertainment in addition to expansion of their existing tight to prevent the spring chicken or female garb. short space vulgar attacks on the responsibility of snow boots kids just go shopping or shop, eat some of the Internet Shopping can cache your burly wealth.

  9. The nature of the theory that blue is blood will you also be part of the exclusive inner circle stronger. These boots and Fake Replica Handbags are so beautiful and unusual in the soft, brown suede folded reach all the way up to the knees.

  10. I was very delighted to find this web page.I wished to say thank you to you with regard to this excellent examine!!! I certainly enjoyed each tiny little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to examine out new items you post.

  11. Today, all the girls also want your favorite celebrity Knockoff Handbags will be worn. Celebrity fashion inspired handbags are fashionable today. It is easy to understand why. Well, good luck! What we see is that the Chanel quilted bag Rihanna is currently the most cost $ 2,000 to $ 2,500.

  12. Sorry for the huge review, but Im really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if its the right choice for you.

  13. They have bombed big money to get the big designer Cheap Vintage Handbags. If you ever go shopping smart, you bought a bag of traditional search, which should survive the test of time. In fact, there is no reason why it should not be able to pass their bags with their children, provided they are well maintained.

  14. Honestly, the easiest way is to get a webcam (can have more than one)and download the program ORB.Its FREE. Then all you have to do is be connected to the internet, go on to the website, log-in, and you get live video. I actualy to this so i can see my dog.

  15. This really is wonderful. We’re sitting here in our hotel room in Killarney studying all of these opinions. A few of them are good while some don’t try to make very much sense in the slightest degree. We are on holiday and yet I wasn’t able to help myself away from looking around this web site in spite of my hotel room right here in Killarney bills net usage allowance on an hourly basis.family hotel deals killarney,5 star hotels killarney kerry

  16. I wanted to say that it’s wonderful to know that someone else also pointed out this as I had trouble finding the same information somewhere else. This was the first place that told me the answer. Many thanks. My best regards, Pam.

  17. Fake Designers Handbags and purses are not insignificant matter of the media. If your purse or wallet is a personal secret, but the material for your purse, wallet or purse will certainly use the attention of the viewer. Since we have a portfolio that is unique?

  18. I dont usually answer to posts but I will in this situation. Intriguing article. Where did you got all the material from? Anyhow thank you for this great article! My kind regards, Alesha.

  19. Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

  20. If one is safe in the event of death of the other taxes, and where fashion trends change every season. If you are a person, focuses on fashion, or just someone to keep the pace with the latest trends and here is some fashion Cheap Replica Handbags trends are going to be costume jewelry and accessories. Color is one of the fashion trends this fall is the most important rich and bold.

  21. Today, more and more replica Designer Luxury Handbags are made by the developing countries becoming more widespread on the market. The people are very clever in the use of their hard earned money. Although the elements in order to meet their demands, whether real or replicas does not weigh much. Of all the replicas of luxury handbags, Hermes handbags are known for their high quality and superior craftsmanship known.

  22. As the largest Internet portal to the world of auctions, eBay is a good place to find more customers for his pockets. Fashion Replica Handbags from an online auction is different from the auction in person or by one, however, the traditional location of e-commerce. Here are three things to consider when deciding on selling handbags on eBay.

  23. Hey, my group is just establishing our first web site, searching and figuring out what is needed. This blog stuck out right away. Im fired up about this, and adore the design of your site. Can you let me know what theme it is?

  24. Could not be published any better. Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He continually kept talking about this. I will send this post to him. Fairly sure he will have a excellent read. Thanks a lot for discussing! With regards, Patricia.

  25. If you are buying something, you want to ensure that only buy things that are considered of great value for money. After all, do not blow hard-earned money to something that at the end is a lot of cost to buy long-term. This includes the purchase of things that wear out in no time to buy, or even something that meets your requirements, because it seems too cheap! Unique Handbags with these tips to buy decent replica, should be able to pick up something that others sure that you are applauding.

  26. Many thanks for the marvelous blog posting! I found your post very interesting, I believe you are a excellent writer. I added your blog to my bookmarks and will return in the futureto your blog. Keep up that exciting job, have a great daytime!

  27. If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>