Hike to Throop Peak, Mt. Hawkins, and Mt. Burnham

Rate this Adventure Dawson Saddle, California

Looking for a relatively easy mountain to summit? How about several! These 3, Mt Hawkins (8,850'), Mt Burnham (8,997') and Throop Peak (9,138') are all along a ridgeline, connected by the famed Pacific Crest Trail.

The trailhead, or pair of trailheads actually, is at a location on the Angeles Crest Highway (CA-2) called Dawson's Saddle.  There are a couple of parking areas along the side of the highway, and each of the pair of trailheads begins at either end of this parking area.  The trailheads aren't marked, but once parked, it's fairly easy to see them and the switchbacks that rapidly climb above the highway, and once you're underway, both trails quickly connect and you're on your way along the Dawson Saddle Trail.  

Approximately 1.75 miles later, the trail connects to the Pacific Crest Trail.  A Forest Service sign gives you directions and mileages.  Here is where you can make a decision on the day's peak itinerary:  go left (or east) along the PCT for another mile and you'll be at Mt Burnham.  Or, keep going another couple of miles and end up on Mt Baden-Powell.  If you choose Mt Burnham, the trail to the summit isn't much of a trail at all (the PCT circumvents this summit).  You'll see parts of a trail here and there, and footprints everywhere, but in a pinch, just aim for the highest point and climb.  A few hundred feet later and you'll be on the summit.  Mt Baden-Powell looms in front (to the east) and Throop behind you (back to the west).

Back at the fork by Throop, the PCT, heading west, circumvents the summit of Throop Peak.  Close by, and marked by little cairns, is the trail to the summit of Throop Peak, where you'll find the marker telling you that this peak was named in honor of Amos G Throop, the founder of Throop University, which later became California Institute of Technology.  Or, stay on the PCT and about a mile later, you'll be on top of Mt Hawkins, with views towards Los Angeles and the western Angeles National Forest.  You can, if you feel so inclined, continue west and hit several other peaks, valleys, campgrounds...  basically a lot more of the Angeles National Forest! 

Pack List

  • Adventure Pass for parking
  • Plenty of water (water sources are very limited depending on the season)
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Trekking poles
  • the 10 Essentials
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RT Distance 8 Miles
Elevation Gain 2000 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
Scenic

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