Hiking San Gabriel Peak
Los Angeles › San Gabriel Peak Trailhead
Added by Mark Garcia
- Distance: 3 miles roundtrip
- Elevation gain: 1,061 feet
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Highest peak in the Front Range of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
- A short hike to the summit and very close to other notable peaks
- Amazing drive on CA-2 through Angeles National Forest
- Dog friendly (on leash)
At 6,000 feet, San Gabriel Peak gives you one of the best views of the Los Angeles basin on the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
As you pass through Muller Tunnel, the trail will be littered with rocks and boulders. A little over 100 feet in, the road will fork in three directions – take the trail next to the old water tank, which will take you all the way to San Gabriel Peak. As the switchbacks get shorter and steeper, you'll notice plenty of burnt manzanita trees hugging the trails, a result of the Station Fire back in 2009.
A mile from the summit, there is another fork in the road. Keep right to the summit, whereas the left trail will take you to Mt. Disappointment, an old Nike Missile Site which makes a great addition to this short hike. As the trail gets steeper, the view gets better – the best scenery will greet you as you make the bend around the north side of the mountain. From there, you can see CA-2 Highway snaking through the side of Angeles Crest Forest. The summit is fairly exposed, giving an open view of the surrounding peaks and the Los Angeles Basin.
Getting there: From La-Canada Flintridge, take CA-2 North to Angeles National Forest - the drive alone is beautiful. About 12 miles in, turn right on Mount Wilson Road, then continue on to Red Box Ranger Station. The trailhead doesn't start here, but begins a quarter of a mile in, at a dirt parking lot. Parking is easy and is rarely full.
- Hiking shoes
- Pants (poodle dog bush are everywhere!)
- A hat and sunscreen
- Food to enjoy at the summit
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Good hike...trail a bit degraded
My fiancee and I did this hike a few weeks ago (early Sept '16). The trail is steep and has narrow switchbacks in a way that is appropriately challenging for the first half mile. After that, it hugs against the mountainside, but the trail degrades significantly. In a few areas you can see that slides have wiped out parts of the trail and you have to be careful with your footing or risk a nasty fall. The view is stunning and the vertical will make you break a nice sweat, but personally I'll wait until the park service repairs the trail before venturing up there again. But there are a other great trails in the area and the drive is indeed gorgeous!
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