This incredible ridge line ascent boasts 6,000 feet in five miles. Its difficulty is only matched by its incredible panoramic views of the North Fork San Gabriel River and beyond. While its views are not to be missed, hikers will need to maintain focus on the ascent as Pigeon Ridge is made up of mostly loose dirt, degraded granite, and sharp brush. The only relief is near the 7,000 foot mark, where the hiker will trade chaparral for tall pines. One would be remiss to neglect a long break at the summit of South Mount Hawkins, but to be honest, the entire ascent up to this point is the real treat. See you out there!
After a mile of easy walking, we will make a sharp left turn to catch the ridge. This is where the "fun" begins as we ascend a steep three mile ridge with 4,000 feet of vertical gain. While the majority of this is a wide open fire break, it is long overdue for some maintenance and keeping your footing will require some skill.
At the 7,000 foot mark, we'll have made it to Hawkins Ridge, where we'll leave behind the bulk of our woes. Steep chossy chaparral riddled dirt will be replaced with stable well packed ground and sporadic tall pines for the remainder of our ascent toward South Mount Hawkins. While we'll have taken several breaks to allow our friends to catch up, this will be where we take our packs off for a bite to eat and a beer.
Finally, we'll descend South Hawkins road (FR 3N07.2), toward Crystal Lake Campground where well will find our shuttle vehicles. All in all, a great day out in the woods with some good friends.