Wrightwood’s Blue Ridge Trail hike, located just three miles west of this scenic mountain village, is a good place to get some shade and maybe even a little cooler weather, this time of year. The trail runs between Big Pines and Blue Ridge Campground, traversing richly forested mountainsides. Total elevation gain is only 1,100′ in the two miles spent under the canopy of expansive white fir, black oaks, Jeffrey, ponderosa and sugar pine. Starting at 6,800′ , the trailhead is located just across Highway 2 from the old Big Pines Lodge. There’s also a U.S. Forest Service information station here, which incidentally, is closed for the meantime due to Covid cutbacks throughout the Forest Service. Park in the paved lot adjacent to the restrooms. Walk down a worn trail through the brush that’ll cross the Mountain High West parking lot’s exit road. Look for the brown painted trail sign.
Halfway up the trail is, true to its’ name, the Half Way rest. It’s a nice log bench indicating that you’re only a mile from Blue Ridge Campground and a mile from where you began. You’ll pass by some gentle draws along the mountainside where glades of gentle green squaw currant, dogwood and willow grow lushly. There’s the smell of moist plants and earth dropping down from these quiet places. The terrain is gentle, especially for the San Gabriel mountains. Take the time to breathe all this beauty in. Return the way you came.