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Great Hikes: Chantry Flats to Mount Wilson

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Los Angeles has more than its fair share of amazing hikes within relatively easy driving distance, but it's not always easy prioritizing which ones you should visit. In an effort to help out, it's time to detail some of the best. Consider this the start of a hike curating system.

The first on the list is one of my favorites, the 12-mile round-trip through the San Gabriel mountains. It begins at Chantry Flats in Arcadia, where hikers can take a one-mile detour in order to check out the amazing Sturtevant Falls. From there, hikers begin the long 4,200-foot elevation climb to the top of the mountain. The trail is dog-friendly, but hikers should be prepared to share the space with horseback riders and mountain bikers.

Beyond nature, the trail is also full of history. The Mount Wilson Observatory, located at the top of the hike, was once one of the most influential scientific spaces in the country. Created in 1904, the observatory was the site of a wide amount of astronomical firsts: astronomers first measured a star here, scientists found evidence that galaxies existed outside of the Milky Way, and the Mount Wilson telescopes made some of the first detailed observations of Mars. The observatory also houses two historic telescopes -- the 60-inch Hale telescope from 1908, and the 100-inch Hooker telescope from 1917, which was the largest in the world until 1948.

For more information about the hike, head on over to this detailed listing.

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