The trail was originally built by Benjamin Davis Wilson, who was the grandfather of General George S. Patton around 1852.
The trail followed an old Indian trail and as legend has it, was used by the Spaniards to hunt for Grizzly Bears.
Ben Wilson wanted to find better wood on the mountain, but was unable to locate any so the trail reverted to a popular tourist attraction for hikers. Hikers would set signal fires at the summit to let other know they had arrived safely.
In 1864 Ben Wilson expanded the trail with the help of Mexican and Chinese laborers.
Orchard Camp is the halfway point to Mount Wilson and while it's three room building not longer exists, a wall and stone steps remain to this day, making a great place to stop and have lunch before returning to the trail head for those not eager to make the 14 mile round trip all the way to the summit of Mount Wilson.
Bring lots of water, no mater what the weather outlook.
In the winter rain is a possibility, make sure to bring rain gear.
The trail is well maintained, but pay attention to your step, a few spots are narrow with very steep drop offs.