Dawson Saddle to Mt. Lewis is a 0.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Calimesa, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from May until November.
The quintessential San Gabriel Mountains hiking trail: steep, high and dry. A breath-taking, no-nonsense, no-switchback trail that heads straight to the mercifully flattish top. Fabulous views. The ascent is a calf-stretching, knee-aching 45 angle up an even steeper pine-needled, rubble-covered, slippery slope - not for the timid or breathless. Descent in some places required putting my center of gravity behind me and slip sliding down using hands and feet for brakes and navigation.
This is a nice (very) short hike for a couple of reasons; you can check another summit of your personal San Gabriels peaks list, and the summit area abounds with awesome views in all directions if you are willing to do some pleasant exploring to find them.
I have seen reviews of this trail that describe it as an "easy" hike, since it is only a half-mile trail. Nonsense. This trail is not easy. It may be short, but I would liken it to climbing a 500-foot staircase. In other words, steep. The first half of the first half is the very steepest part, and the last third of the trail mellows out a bit, but is still much steeper than most other trail sections I have encountered in the San Gabriel Mountains.
I really enjoyed the summit area of this mountain. Lots of beautiful spots to sit and enjoy the rewards as the sweat dries off of you from the climb to get up there. We found the top of the mountain to be literally covered in the tracks of both Bighorn and deer. We even spotted fresh bear track the day we were up there.