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Hike the Inspiration Point to Snowmaking Pond Trail at Wrightwood

The Mountain High area of Wrightwood is known for its skiing, but there’s also a hiking trail there. The Inspiration Point to Snowmaking Pond Trail climbs 610 feet, skirting the edge of the Sheep Mountain Wilderness Area for a roughly 3.5 miles (round-trip). There are a few different routes, including combining trails. The Pacific Crest Trail and the Blue Ridge Truck Trail both leave from the Inspiration Point trailhead. You can take the Pacific Crest Trail from the trailhead to the pond as an out-and-back hike. This version is straightforward with no turns or junctions to worry about, slightly shorter mileage, but a much steeper grade.

For a more gradual incline, take the Blue Ridge Truck Trail all the way to the pond, then the PCT back to the trailhead, as a loop (one caveat here can be snow on the last half-mile to the pond if taking the Blue Ridge Truck trail, due to snowmaking machines and the ski slope; our team cut over to the PCT at that junction to avoid snow). Whichever path you choose, the views are incredible. You’ll see the high desert to the north, and all the way to Catalina Island to the south on clear days.

A little over a mile from the trailhead both Pacific Crest Trail and Blue Ridge Truck Trail meet up at Mountain High Ski Resort … not at the resort itself, but up on the mountain, near ski runs and the chairlift. You might see the resort’s machines making snow. At this junction, use your best judgment; we recommend hopping on the PCT to finish the last half-mile, sparing you a hike across the ski runs (never hike in snow unless properly outfitted for it).

If you came up on the Blue Ridge Truck Trail to this point, look to the right and you’ll see the ski area boundary ropes—the PCT is just on the other side of the rope. Soon after that you’ll reach the pond, really more of a reservoir holding water that the resort uses to make the snow.

While you can’t go near the pond, the fences are lower on the east end and allow for better photos. Once you’re done exploring the pond, choose your route back down the mountain (we took the PCT back down to the ski area and then the Blue Ridge Truck Trail the rest of the way down).

Be sure to check weather, road, and trail conditions before heading out since this area does get snow. Reminder that weather conditions can change rapidly, so be prepared. Inspiration Point trailhead is located in Wrightwood near the Mountain High Ski Resort (map). Adventure Pass required. Dog-friendly!

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