Gilman Peak Trail

MODERATE 12 reviews
#2 of 4 trails in

Gilman Peak Trail is a 9.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Brea, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.

9.2 miles 1596 feet Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

This is a figure 8 loop to Gilman Peak in Chino Hills State Park.

1 month ago

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful day. Parents & 4 kids had a great time!

mountain biking
1 year ago

Took this trail in the summer through the canyon from the park and carried my bike up to the peak. Definitely a tough start, but the views and cool breeze helped at the peak. From there getting down the fire road back to the hwy was easy and fast! Hit 38mph (according to my speedometer which has proven pretty accurate). Nice 10min ride down, just gotta be careful of others coming up on the blind corners. Take water!

2 years ago

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hiking
3 years ago

I found this to be a drab and rather boring hike. There wasn't much to look at (the entire hillside was brown with fox tails) and because we took the advice of someone else on this site and went on an overcast day the view from the peak was limited, although, doing this hike on a summer afternoon without the overcast would SUCK due to the lack of shade on the trail. It was a good workout however. The trailhead was really easy to find and there was a definite trail all the way to the peak.

hiking
3 years ago

Bring water, don't go on a hot day.

This hike is out in the open with little opportunity for shade. Went on an overcast day, and it was perfect. Definitely worth it for the views and work out.

hiking
4 years ago

Lots of animals...saw a big bee swarm, hawks, coyotes, a small cougar, cows, woodpeckers!

hiking
5 years ago

The views are great the hike gives you some good exorcise. Saw some pretty women on the trail too :)

hiking
5 years ago

Came back to conquer it

hiking
5 years ago

For this trail, I found it a little easy particular to the excitement in climbing this trail as well as all the super packed energy i had so it was a perfect trail for me even though I am a beginner. Me and my companions got lost going the wrong way but once we finally figured out where we were using technology to our advantage after an hour or so, we finally got back onto the right track. Once we started the real trail my companions were tired being the beginners we are from getting lost from before. We took breaks at every shading area we found along the way and it was a very hot day. Also to say, a one-way narrow trail that you won't get lost in if you found the right trail unlike us. Until we got to a point where we almost ran out of water still hiking towards the peak. We had to go back down due to the shortage of water and we were a little unprepared for the rations of water. Once we got all the way down and back to our vehicle, we were still a little tired from everything but it was a really nice workout. So to finish off, this trail for us was uncompleted but we will complete it when we are ready. And also when we all got back home, we found out we were about a 1/4-1/2 mile away from finishing the trail to the peak.

hiking
5 years ago

Man, this was a killer. If you're new to hiking and especially not physically ready, get ready for one of the toughest climb. This hike trail was a bit confusing. We ended up going the wrong way right from the beginning. We started at Canyon Carbon Regional Park, and when you start the trail, you must exit to the left onto Carbon Canyon Rd or you'll be hiking the park's trails. Travel down Carbon Canyon Rd. for 1/4 mile, then walk down a hill to Chino Hills State Park. Walk over the bridge and the road splits. Take the left and start climbing. This hike was tough from the get go or maybe it was just me, but it has nice views of the San Gabriel Mountains on one side and a city view on the other. Overall, hard but enjoyable.

hiking
5 years ago

I generally use this loop as a warm-up as I get my body back in shape for spring hikes. If you park at the end of Rimcrest Drive in Yorba Linda (parking allowed starting at 8AM), it's a short warm-up down the Easy Street trail to the main Telegraph Canyon road at the bottom of the canyon, where you turn right and continue for maybe 15 minutes. The Gilman Peak trail is on your left just after the road crosses the creek. There is a fallen sycamore (I think) that you duck under at the beginning of the trail.

The first section is very rutted and irregular right now. My guess is that some horses came through just after some of our big December rains, when the ground was VERY soft, so the trail almost feels more like steps than a footpath. But it's not particularly difficult. You just want to watch your step to not twist an ankle.

The middle section, starting maybe 1/4 of the way up, is where the landscape opens up a bit on both sides and you're walking through head-high brush. At this time of year there's a bit of green at your feet, but the brush is quite dead. The trail itself improves quite a bit from the ruts just described, and you slowly meander through the open hillside.

The final section would be where you take a 90-degree right turn and continue to the top more or less along the ridgeline. You're climbing more steeply now, but it doesn't last too long, and the peak itself is clearly visible ahead and just to your right. I find the entire climb from Telegraph Canyon Road to the peak is about half an hour.

The view at the top can be quite nice, depending on weather, since you're seeing everything from Catalina Island to the San Bernardino mountains with no real obstructions.

For an alternate return, continue to the North Ridge trail/road, and keep right (heading east), then stay right again at Sycamore Trail, and it will put you back on Telegraph Canyon Road where you can turn right (west) and complete your loop.

There's a fair bit of foot and mountain bike traffic on Telegraph Canyon Road, since that's also where you've got the nice sound of the creek (in the winter) and some beautiful oaks scattered along the trail. The Gilman Peak trail is usually pretty quiet. Occasionally you might encounter a mountain biker or two who ignored the no-bicycles signs (although anyone who wants to ride a bike over that lower part of the Gilman Peak trail is nuts!--they just don't know it yet...) The key is to pick a day with appropriate temperature and weather conditions, and don't set your expectations too high for dense growth of trees or lovely waterfalls. But if the air quality is good, I think you'll enjoy the views from the top.