Explore the most popular birding trails in Mount Wilson Trail Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We did the loop counter clockwise. The Jones Peak 'scratch' trail was very difficult for us to follow coming down from the peak. We lost it and ended up at the bottom of a steep wash. Sierra Madre Fire Department helicopter rescued us.

Hiked it a week and a half ago for first time. Normally go through Chantry. We liked this trail. Nice tough trail that is a decent training hike for Grand canyon. Definitely go when it's overcast and cool or get an early morning start. Pretty exposed until upper parts of trail. Got to see the 3 bears that live in the area, which was a neat surprise.

This hike was beautiful and mostly incline. Saw a deer on the way up at the beginning of the hike. Went the first day of spring so it was overcast. Would go here again!

26 days ago

Not for the casual hiker. The total elevation gain is more then climbing Mt Whitney (on much lower altitude, of course). This is a Very Serious Workout. Incredibly varied landscape with great views. Up to Manzanita Ridge (3,400 ft climb) is a good workout. The section across Mt Zion was a bit less crowded then the rest. The climb to Wilson from Sturtevant Camp is another 2,400 ft up but generally pretty. Mt Wilson proper is build up, but at least there are restrooms and there is a working bottle fill station next to the cafe (cafe currently closed because of fires nearby). The unmaintained part section after you more or less jump off the toll road is exposed but was wonderfully quiet (overgrown: long pants required). Will probably do this again.

The first half is a steady incline and you're exposed to a lot of sun. The second half is a much steeper incline and can get quite chilly and breezy. If you want a nice conditioning hike, this is it. Careful along those rocky edges up in the second half. Can be challenging for this who don't like heights.

Didn't get to finish it because I came too late. But it's a decent hike, but a bit narrow in the trails at times. I would not personally bring my dog who is a but rambunctious. Plenty of street parking.

I love this trail and hike it repeatedly. Almost all uphill on the way and when you get around the front to the backside of the mountains you find tranquility.

I recently did this hike with my dog during the week and started at 5:30 am. Owls hooting in the dark. The forest eventually was waking up with birds chirping. It was amazing. I would recommend. We got to orchard camp and had it to ourselves. It is a great run down.

Great hike. Some parts are pretty exposed so be sure to prepare for that if you have dogs with ya

Definitely all incline awesome hike.Make sure to pack lots of water and a snack. We did 5.15 miles roundtrip. I enjoyed this hike. Some parts of the trail have very little space to walk with no barriers. Be mindful and share the space by letting fast walkers pass you. I hope this helps. Happy Hikings!!

This was a very challenging trail -- up the side of a mountain on a narrow path with steep ascent and deadly drop-off on one side.

We made it to Orchard Camp but I'm sorry to report that the ~500 year old majestic oak tree in the camp had just fallen, on Christmas Day 2017, before we got there. We met a couple at the camp who had passed the tree (intact) early in the day, reached Wilson Peak, then on their return saw the tree was destroyed. Sad.

Here's a picture of the fractured trunk: https://photos.app.goo.gl/2jdoIBm97ZGoYr8E2

Only the lowest portion of the trail is heavily trafficked. Also, once you go off the toll road toward Hastings the trail is not maintained so therefore steep and somewhat brushy. It is also exposed. This route would be really hot in the summer but is fine for all but the hottest months.


Awesome hike.

Non stop incline. Nothing much to look at. It was pretty hard for me.

go early morning or late afternoon to avoid heat. trail faces Eastern exposure with minimal shade. Can stop at the falls halfway up for rest and shade.

This is one good tough climb
Stair master in the wilderness

From Jones peak down to Mt Wilson trail can be very steep on some loose gravel. I had to stop on the way down to work around some of the steep grades for my dog.

Left early in the morning (near sunrise) to avoid heat and crowds. Had my Aussie come along as the path is pretty dog friendly. Orchid Camp is a great resting place. Shade and places to explore.

A lot of 'calf burning' incline at start for about 2 miles and will slightly decline half way. I hiked during summer mid day so if you're physically fit and don't mind the heat, go for it!

10 months ago

Trails is a mess... Lots of fallen trees and huge boulders blocking the trail. Still ok to go around, but not really fun. Bugs are insane right now, got stung multiple times by wasps, mosquitos and bees.

Whole trail shaded in the afternoon

This was our conditioning hike with the Long Beach/South Bay Wilderness Travel Course thru the Sierra Club. It's a long and strenuous hike up to the Mt Wilson observatory. The first half of the hike is mellow with good views of the canyon. The second half of the hike is a constant climb that seems to never end. There's a snack bar at the observatory but it's only open during the summer months. Bring plenty of water and snacks for the trail. When we were there the water source at the top was turned off. Get to the trail head early and remember to be respectful of the residences in the area. Stay quiet. I recommend this hike for anyone looking for a good workout.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Very scenic trail well maintained. There was lots of shade during the 2nd half and the climb is fairly good for about 2 miles.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This is a scenic but heavily trafficked hike that ascends on the west side of Little Santa Anita Canyon. I made it to Orchard Camp and would've gone further had it not been too late in the day. Next time I'm going to go all the way to Wilson.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Decent trail to Orchard Camp, half way point to Mt. Wilson (roughly both in elevation and length) not super scenic but nice and shaded. Parts of it are next to a "water fall". Went on 1/15/17/, a day and a half after ~3 weeks of on and off rain, and the trail is still in great condition, relatively dry, small bit of mud runoff, no problems. Decently tough hike, due to steady, gradual elevation.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Nice trail, Well Marked, Good Shape, CLEAN lots of Fun. JUST CROWDED, Trail runners, Hikers, Bikers, Casual Hikers to Die hard hikers. The Higher up you go it thins out a Little, The 1st 1.5 miles is Okay at best, definitely a workout, The second 1.5 is VERY nice, shady, water, wildlife, at that point you are half way to Mt Wilson, Next time I will go all the way! I can only imagine how much nicer it gets. This trail is a GREAT work out and people uses it as a Gym, its Close to home so its Okay. All is Good with the trail just gave it a three due to the Human activity

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

On Saturday July 23, 2016 at 5:30 am I started my hike around 7:am I arrived at ORCHID CAMP. it was very quiet and I was tired because of pain in my leg muscles I decided to rest and eat some boiled eggs I had with me. It took about 5 minutes and I saw a hiker and talked to him and he said is continuing his hiking. I looked at the path was uphill and I decided to go back, as soon as I got to the big fallen tree around 75 feet away there was a big BROWN BEAR looking at me, The bear started coming toward me I was scared did not know what to do but I decided to yell and scream at him. I was lucky because the way the area was located my voice was echoed and seemed I am very large and raised my walking stick. at one point I was thinking this is it and I am going to be eaten by the BROWN BEAR. because of my voice was echoed that saved me and the bear went to the upper path hid behind the bushes. I decided to come back and all the way I told all the other hikers about my encounter with the BROWN BEAR. On the way back I was making more noise than before because I was alone.

My biggest lesson was do not ever go alone in the hike again and be prepared in case of it happens again.

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