Vetter Mountain is a fire lookout offering excellent views in all directions. The lookout is the high point within a relatively hilly area looking over smaller hills and valleys over a long distance. However, it is also lower than most peaks seen further off into the distance. So, the views are simultaneously both expansive and enclosed. The only exception is that on a clear day, the ocean can be seen through a low point in the range east of Mt. Wilson. There is a picnic area on Vetter Mountain as well as several picnic areas along the way leading to it.
View from Vetter Mountain
The shortest route to Vetter Mountain is to take the hike up the road up from the parking area at Charlton Flats.
Road leading up from Charlton Flats parking area.
Another option is to take the Silver Moccasin Trail down to Big Tujunga Creek and up to its junction at Charlton Flats and then proceed to Vetter Mountain.
Silver Moccasin Trail close to junction at Charlton Flats
A car shuttle option would cover all the above mentioned territory but with less miles than completing a round trip using the Silver Moccasin Trail.
View from un-paved road close to Vetter Mountain
On 2-18-12, I hiked a portion of the Silver Moccasin Trail. This hike is mostly through recovering burn areas. Many burned trees stand relatively alone along hilly parts of the landscape with expansive views. I often felt like I was trekking through a memorial simultaneously capturing the respect and admiration for what was and the sadness for what is now lost. With some small patches that appear to have survived with little harm and the forest regenerating itself throughout, this hike offers a nice variety of landscapes to walk through. The trail is maintained and easy to follow throughout. At Charlton Flats however, portions of the trail are closed to all users and continuation is achieved by walking about a half mile along the paved road until it meets up again with the trail at the north end of the picnic areas. See more information and photos here.