Explore san gabriel - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
1 day ago

I definitely got lost. From the parking, make sure you go south and you will see a gate. I started up the trail next to the parking that said Islip Saddle and that was the wrong hike!

The trail starts out well marked but soon many trails lead off in all directions. They should have more signs to keep you on track. Other than that it’s a beautiful area and a lot of fun. I’m glad I had this app to keep us on the right trail

Short, easy-ish loop through Devil's Punchbowl, when you don't have time to go 7 miles to Devil's Chair. This short loop woild be gre as t for kids.

hiking
9 days ago

One of the best hikes I’ve been on in a while.

hiking
10 days ago

The views on the way up and especially at the top are simply outstanding. Overall this is a much easier hike than C2C, but the long steep ascent is total murder on the legs. Quads in particular get hit quite hard. Hiking poles would probably help give the legs a break. Going back down is a little tricky in spots, due to the loose sand and rocks, but nothing careful foot placement (and grabbing on to surrounding brush) can't solve. On a Sunday I saw lots of people of varying fitness levels at the summit, so this is a doable hike as long as you do it at a pace that's right for you. In terms of water, for me 5 liters was perfect.

hiking
14 days ago

I did this hike first thing in the morning with my two dogs. I like to go counterclockwise and end my hike at the ranger station. Saw deer at the beginning of the hike.

Luckily, we went when it was not too hot. Still, 3 liters only took me to the summit which had beautiful views. They were all the better because so few go up there. (the proof being the impeccable ammo can register and lightly beaten trail)

Loved it! We say a deer family! Very close too!

hiking
24 days ago

Yesterday was a beautiful day on this mountain! We parked in one of the turnoffs; there was only 1 other car when we started around 11:30am. Then, we started on the fire road (through the closed yellow gate) and followed the sign for Little Jimmy Campground to get on the trail. Fairly easy most of the way. The last .8 miles was the hardest part but very doable. I loved the views! We could see LA and Catalina Island through the clouds. The rock building at the top used to be a fire lookout station. Our final mileage was 6.6. Took us 3.5 hours out and back.

hiking
25 days ago

I recently moved back to California and needed to re-introduced myself to elevation hiking. This was my first hike in 7 years! The hike was amazing! The beginning and the end of the hike was a lot of elevation gain. There were many people on the trail but still worth the hike. The view from the top was amazing. On one side of the mountain one can see the LA basin and on the other side, the high desert. The only downside of this hike was using the outhouse at Little Jimmy Campground. The camp must have been full during the weekend because the outhouse was RIPE.

one exciting trail

Awesome hike. Really great for beginners who want to challenge themselves, and/or good for seasonal hikers who want a semi moderate hike to get back into shape for the winter season. Moderate incline at the beginning and end of the hike. Took me about two hours with one rest break at the top of the mountain. Mostly shades until you get towards the top.

Short and fun. 1 blowdown and not well marked by the creek bed. Pretty simple though.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a hard hike, but very doable for the seasoned hiker. I don't recommend it to the casual hiker.

It's not exceptionally difficult in terms of stats (I recorded 9 miles with gain 3,400 feet elevation gain). What really makes it difficult is that it's a "rollercoaster hike" (up, down, up, down, up, down -- in that order). Also, the scramble to the summit gains about 1,000 feet in under a mile. It's one of the steepest scrambles I've done outside of Smith Mountain.

I saved about a quarter mile by parking at the small paved area south of the main lot on the right hand side (west side) of the highway.

hiking
1 month ago

Great short hike, offered a little bit of challenge with some incline coming back out of the punch bowl but that only added to the value of the hike for me. Interesting views and and rock formations. The loop took about an hour to hike.

hiking
2 months ago

If I could give this trail 10 stars, I would! Awesome views, well kept trail, a good workout...the list goes on! LOVED IT

Top 3 favorite hikes in LA

10/15/2016 -Ross Mountain (7402 ft / 2256 m).
From Vincent Gap (6,593’) up to Baden-Powell (9,399’), Down to Ross, then back up 2300’ to Baden, & finally down to parking lot to ice cold brewskies.
Okie & myself we’re the only party on Ross. This is when we first met Michael & Scouty which we have had many hiking adventures since then.

Distance: 15 miles round trip on trail and cross-country.
Elevation Gain: 5400' total, 3100' out plus 2200' on return.
Time: 7-10 hours round trip.
Rating: Class 1, very strenuous.

hiking
3 months ago

Had so many pretty views!! A lot of incline but I enjoyed it. At the summit there was a cool notepad you can write notes to people in or sign your name with a little Saying.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. The difficulty rating comes from the fact that you're climbing and descending 3 times and the last mile or so up twin peaks is pretty steep. At this point the trail is pretty loose/sandy/gravelly. I lost the trail for a bit on the way up, but there were cairns (rock stacks) to guide me. Much easier to follow on the way down. It took me about 6.5 hrs including a few longer breaks for lunch and enjoying the views (an awesome amount of great views). Overall the trail is probably 75% shaded which was great!

this hike was tougher than i thought, i even knew while doing it but pushes to summit of Ross, its actually easier going back up Baden-Powell than down the ridge to ross, all scree much more slippery downward but no cliffside exposure so it safe from long falls, it was hell on my feet going down u need to be relatively tough to complete this don't underestimate the difficulty of this hike.

its beautiful a hike i will do again to see where i am physically going forward. u get great views of Baldy and the san antonio ridge, if u going to go Pine mt to baldy or Iron mt to baldy this is a good warm up for that and gives u great views of those routes as well. i really enjoyed this hike i paid for it but the price is well worth any sacrifice.

saw no one after baden powell and was a few days on the registry since, this is a remote route be advised of lack of accessibility let people know where u r. trail is clear difficult to get lost but terrain is harsh easy to twist and ankle fall bang a knee. Would suggest trekking poles and ample supplies plan well.

This was a fun hike. Extremely difficult. keep hydrated and bring sunblock especially if you're doing it in April. make sure you have the right hiking shoes or boots and always keep hydrated

Definitely a nice little ass kicker, although not as tough as I was expecting. We started at 2am and made it to the summit in 5 hours. Think it helped getting most of it out of the way in the dark... Lots of false summits toward the end and not being able to see what lies ahead helped ease the mental aspect. Very exposed so definitely start early to avoid the sun. I think next time will start an hour earlier to do the whole thing before the sun comes up. Brought micro-spikes and it saved us on the way down - provided lots of traction on those rocky slippery sections and we didn't have to slide on our butts like some people talk about. Trekking poles are a must as everyone else stated. 6-7 liters of water seemed to be the perfect amount. Lots of bugs on this trail so cover up and bug spray is a must!

first trail...it was neat...did it with my son impromptu! (and made it!)

Amazing i went hiking here as a kid and just went back today still amazing great hike

Holy crap this trail is STEEP and LOOSE and RELENTLESS. The hardest hike I've done in SoCal so far. Bring trekking poles and a willingness to suffer.

As hard as you’ve heard and then some. The hike up to the summit is not even that bad. I’d say it’s the descent that takes its toll on you physically and psychologically. We started around 4:30am and finished close to 6pm. You ascend wildflower lined ridge trails and then up to false summits of pine. Gorgeous views and trail. But that descent is a beast. Trekking poles are a must! Although there was a guy trail running this beast with only 2L of water and he started after us and finished long before we did. So there are those with magical tendons, otherwise, help your knees and bring your poles. The trail is almost all exposed so if you’re doing this in the summer start in the dark and bring plenty of water. At least 6L worth.

All previous reviews are pretty good, read each one. I will just highlight some things that were not too obvious too me when I read them but realized on the trail. Trail (top 2.5 miles) is hard because the terrain, TRUE. But is not only the angle is the combination of angle and slippery. This trail has a high potential to injuries (coming down)!! I will NOT recommend this for the people thinking to do this as a training for Mt.Whitney or Cactus2Clouds. I done both and I think this hike is harder. Specially if you are training for something that you need a permit (e.g. Whitney), you don't want to miss/waste that permit due to an injury. There are plenty of hikes in the same area that have similar views and elevation, with a much lower risk to an injury. (Exception will be if training to do C2C2C or how to slide down).

Not trail terrain related: How come there is so many mosquito here? Because I went the first weekend of summer, I knew it was going to be hot. After reading how people ran out of liquid, I over packed a lot of water and electrolytes. That just backfired at me! Hiking this during the heat and with lot weight is even less fun. (I consume close to 5L of water and close to 1.5L gatorade). If you really want to try this hike with the best chances to finish it or with the less amount suffering, then try during the fall (I missed the previous review).

Oh almost forgot, thanks to rangers, Sierra club and anyone who maintains this trail and killed and trim some of the yuccas. If you hike this and get poke/cut from the yucca, please take that leave and bend the tip and poke back the plant keeping the tip away. Thanks!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike for a quick outing. Started off of Hwy 2 at the yellow gate. I hiked past Little Jimmy Trail Camp, visited Little Jimmy Spring, moved up to Windy Gap then to the summit of Mount Islip. Fantastic views from the top. Signed the book and returned the same way. I clocked about 6 miles on this route.

Okay folks, this hike is often considered the most challenging trek in all of Southern California and I 100% believe it... my body is still aching all over from it. This is the BEAST of the San Gabriel mountain range. If you are to attempt this 14 mile, 12 hour+ grueling journey you MUST have the following: hiking poles, hiking boots for sure, at least 6/7L of water, try to avoid doing this in the heat or in the summer, and start this trail at 5am or 6am at the latest. I would say this hike is probably 3x more difficult than Mount Baldy. This hike will push your physical and mental limits to the edge. Another thing that makes this hike even crazier is just how steep you have to ascend and descent at different sections, it was literally a never ending rollercoaster ride. I highly recommend wearing long pants and a long sleeve tshirt as you will be dodging enormous yucca plants and overgrown brush all along the trail. It is inevitable that you will get stabbed and fall a few times. This mountain takes no prisoners.

I attempted to summit Iron Mountain on Cinco De Mayo (I guess because I'm crazy lol) and managed to only finish 3/4 of the trail which was brutal in itself (13.1 miles, 10.5 hours). My hiking partner and I only had a few hours of sleep the night before and we started at 9am so we definitely did not set ourselves up realistically for success. Also it was surprisingly warmer than we expected which definitely contributed to exhausting us even more than normal.

I WILL BE BACK TO SLAY THE BEAST!!

This is the same trailhead as Bridge to Nowhere. When you go down the fire road look out for the Heaton Flats sign on your right and the narrow green pathway will set you on your Big Iron journey. Bring an Adventure Pass to place on your car's dashboard and also grab a self issued day permit and keep a copy with you (this can be found at the trailhead).

UPDATE (6/9/18): I officially slayed the beast! Reaching this summit was one of the most exhilarating and intense things I have ever done physically and mentally. The view is breathtaking as you are in the heart of the San Gabriel mountains with 360 degree panoramic views of all the nearby mountain peaks such as Mount Baldy. There is a registry at the top that you can sign and leave your mark which I highly recommend since it's highly unlikely you will want to do this hike ever again or in the near future. It was a pure testament of willpower to reach the top (it felt like eternity to summit). This mountain is NO JOKE and any hiker that plans to attempt this peak must be super prepared. Also the mosquitoes and bugs when you start the last 2.5 miles to the summit start to get real intense. Definitely bring headlamps because you might be hiking in the dark back down the mountain. Another thing, this is the most isolated trail in the San Gabriels so you might be the only hikers the entire day along with just a few others, another reason to be fully prepared because you most likely will not run into any friendly hikers that can help you in case you need anything.

- @justroc @just.trek

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