Mount Gleason Trail is a 5.7 mile out and back trail located near Palmdale, California that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and trail running.
The Pacific Crest Trail itself may not be closed, but Mt. Gleason Road (3N17) is closed where it meets Angeles Forest Highway at Mill Creek Summit. Many people use Mt. Gleason Road to access the Mt. Gleason trailhead near Nike Missile Site LA-04, so the closure adds several miles (one-way) if you take the PCT from Angeles Forest Highway. U.S. Forest Service News Release ANF-11-FY2014 dated May 20, 2014, says "[s]ome forest areas will remain closed for reasons of public safety or further work needed on trails. They include ... Santa Clarita Divide Road (FS3N17) ... ." This is consistent with what I saw on a sign at the closed gate. So the area is closed to vehicles but not hikers it seems.
I noted a review from 4 months ago advising this trail is closed????This is NOT what the local Ranger Station in Acton told me October 2016. In fact, I specifically went into the office and asked about this trail. They ASSured me it was open .... I even got a map and they reconfirmed.
The Forestry Dept. can screw their brains back in and give people correct information! I knew there was a problem when I walked into the Ranger station and 3 people sitting around doing nothing. They were OUT of maps and had not $$ for change. Oh and also they don't take debit/credit cards or checks. CASH only. Wonder how much of that see's the till.
*************Attention this area is Closed to the public due to the Sand Fire read below************
We hiked Mount Gleason from Mill Creek Summit on Los Angeles Forest Hwy on September 10 2016.
It was a clear day with a nice breeze.
Hiked up the Mount Gleason Fire road, stopping at the burned down correctional facility and the memorial for the two firefighters that perished fighting the Station fire back in 2009.
This used to be a very pretty hike before the station fire decimated the forest, it's pretty much 95% exposed all the way up, so it's not recommended on a hot day.
We noticed some new growth coming back, but it would take decades to for this forest to recover to it's former beauty.
Once we made it to the top of mount Gleason,were there are still some trees that survived the fire, we descended on the north slope and connected to PCT down to Messenger Flat campground where we had lunch and rested, the campground has quite a few trees left and is nice and shady, I noticed some new paint on the bathroom buildings, and new trash cans. Seems that parks service is getting the campground ready to re-open again. i could see one water pipe that was capped close, so there is no source of water as yet.
A we were getting ready to leave, we saw the white ranger's SUV approaching, the lady ranger got out of the car and greeted us, and after a few pleasantries she told us that this whole area is closed to the public (from Mill Creek summit) due to the Sand fire, which is still technically not over yet. That answers why we did not see any other hikers on the trail. She also said that they were getting ready to re open the road at Mill Creek and the Campground just before the Sand Fire happened, so now it's being delayed for the time being.
We headed back up on the service fire road toward mt Gleason and down the paved road, we took PCT for a few miles and rejoined the asphalt road about 4 miles from the parking lot.
All together it was a 22 miles hike with a 4000 thousand feet elevation gain. It took us a little over 10 hours to complete, including several stops and a 45 minutes lunch.
The views from the top were pretty amazing, we could see Mount Wilson, Strawberry peak, Mt Lukens, Acton, Lancaster and more, it helped that the wind was blowing off all the smog.
Nice and local hiking to Acton. Desert and some arid forest. Regrowth from the Station Fire of vegetation now about 3 to 4 feet. Some small valley's were missed and some large pine, oak and redwood remain and are making a comeback.
Good day hike in winter or spring. Would be too hot with west facing trails to hike in summer.
The Pacific Coast trail and Gleason Rd is open for hiking only.
Hiking Mount Gleason was more than a stroll in the park... this nearly 20 mile round trip to the top was an emotional journey through beauty and sad fire destroyed wilderness, fire destroyed fire base camps and a memorial where two firefighters lost their lives battling the 2009 Angeles National Forest fire ... continue review by reading my article on hiking Mount Gleason..