Explore the most popular hiking trails in San Gabriel Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

If you are going to go back down the boulder hopping route, from the top careful and go slow as it is easily to make a wrong turn and end up on the edge of a cliff and a very steep drop. It is easy to get confused when approaching and descending from the top of the peak.

hiking
18 days ago

Did this on may 1st with fog, fog, fog: no views. But wonderfully quiet and cool. Took side trips to Echo Mountain, Muir Peak and Mt Lowe for a combined 17 mi hike. very nice. The actual trail is well maintained, well indicated and not all that hard.
All the historical signs and indicators made the trail a tad too domesticated for my taste.

I took this route back in 2009 and had fond memories and wanted to do it again so I took my 25 year old daughter on the hike as part of our preparation to summit Half Dome in Yosemite this summer.

This route was as pleasant and interesting as I remembered. I enjoy the climb to the ruins at Mt. Lowe and the the level walk back into Castle Canyon and then the sharp ascent to the top. I like the lookout and “telescopes” up there. Then, continuing on the loop comes the shady and level section through the trees before the descent.

As you make your way down the mountain the sense of how high you have climbed is impressive. Great views! We were out on the trail about 6.5 hours, moving 5.5. 11.6 miles.

This is a great hike and some fun bouldering stuff to do along the way. Watch out for a sharp left at the actual Colby Canyon...I had a really fun misadventure all the way up that canyon where it becomes really steep and slippery/fragmented.
Gorgeous views all throughout and stunning from the top. Highly recommend!

worth all the effort!

Colby canyon is an excellent and quite enjoyable hike up to the spur. Then, things take a 180. Be sure to follow the ridge line UP to the east as opposed to following the strawberry spur trail that meanders to the N/NE.
If you enjoy navigating and boulder hopping, you’ll find this section quiet enjoyable. The trail is over grown at times until the class 3 face of strawberry’s West face. Gives a good sense that you’re out there, away from the crowds, getting a good taste of the wild San Gabriel Mountains.
The last class 3 climb to the summit was very fun but I regret one thing: bringing my 2 year old Australian cattle dog. He snagged a nail on one of the rocks on the way up. I would NOT recommend any dogs at this point unless you intend to carry him.
Made our way down with an obligatory facial dunk (and paw soak) in the multiple creek crossings towards the end of the trail. Another great day in the San Gabe’s.

Fun hike did it just under 5 hrs. Got to trailhead at 7am and wasn’t too crowded but on the way down lots of people to dodge around. Did Muir Peak while at Inspiration- easy side trip and worth the view / quietness

Great day hike and a good one to use to train for Vivian Creek. Hit it on a clear day and you can see for miles.

Fun hike. We’re pretty experienced, fit hikers and it took us 5 and a half hours (including stopping to explore the ruins and taking a lunch break at Inspiration Point). Pretty hazy, but still enjoyed the view.

Fun route to get down to cooper canyon. The first part of the trail can be either the road or the PCT. I recommend taking the PCT the whole way.

I hiked his trail just after a snow melt and the stream was flowing heavy. The smell of spring was very strong in the air and there were clouds streaming over the mountain tops and a constant cool breeze. Couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Amazing views. Great hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Lots of changing scenery in the canyon and plenty of exercise on the switchbacks up to the ridge. Really nice ridge walk until you hit the fire road and then a steady circling incline up to Josephine Peak. Beautiful views of Angeles. Will definitely be back to Colby to try Strawberry Peak.

great views, lots of climbs

Hiked 3/5/18 After a fresh snowfall I decided to do this trail. However I did this as a loop. Ascending the Islip Ridge trail, and then descended via Windy Gap Trail (which I highly recommend). I can’t say for sure how strenuous this is without snow, but it was pretty intense as this was my first real snow hike. Poles and Crampons were a definite must as the last couple miles were completely covered. The views were amazing and the sky was so clear I could see all the way past Catalina to San Clemente!

Brilliant views. Rewarding hike

So fun and one of the best views of LA from uptop.

I love this set of trails. Sam Merill Trail starts at the intersection of Lake Ave and Alta Loma Dr, straight up Lake Ave from the 210 about 5 miles. Its all street parking, i've never had an issue finding a spot neary even at 9am. Just look at the signs, some say No Parking, some have times.

The first 2.5 miles is steep and can get hot with almost no shade so start early. You hit the old site of Echo Mountain Hotel and the Mount Lowe Railway at 2.5 miles and there's an amazing view of DTLA and Catalina from there. At this point there are several trails that branch off. Continue another 2.5 miles on the Inspiration Point Trail. This portion is awesome. There is alot of shade, it goes by a creek, it starts to look foresty, and you get a glimpse of a cool cave which I have yet to try to get to. Once at the top, the views are breathtaking! There are several points of interest to look out at, there are benches to have a snack, and shade. The view is amazing and without driving into the mountains.

For this route, you take the trail over the back side of Inspiration Point where it is all shade for the first few miles down. Here you will likely see deer roaming. Also beware this portion is highly traveled by mountain bikers, listen for their bell warning and let them pass by quickly. Eventually you will arrive back at the top of Echo Mountain. From here continue down the Sam Merill Trail you came up originally for 2.5 more miles. Most of this trail is narrow and has steep drop offs, it can get congested. The lower portion is highly traveled by runners. Overall it is still excellent, especially with the ease of getting there.

on Upper Bear Creek

backpacking
3 months ago

Fun backpacking adventure. Finding campground is difficult, we ended up setting up camp at a flat along the river. Lots of rock hopping on the way out.

Beautiful views of Catalina Island and Strawberry Peak, very fun hike.

Overall a good hike. The first half is very repetitive and offers a great view, but just a single one. On the way back, more cover, more vegetation and quite a few deer. San Nicolas Island was visible from the top - 125km away! Finished the hike after sunset, the night view over LA is breathtaking.

Very beautiful views the whole way and a fun scramble right at the end, worth the effort!

It was a difficult trail but every steps we took worth the spectacular view.

Trail was pretty difficult but it was a great workout and the views were beautiful

hiking
5 months ago

Nice trail,gorgeous views. Watch out for bikers from Echo mountain to Inspiration point.

walking
5 months ago

Walked 3 miles in. Beautiful sounds from the river throughout the walk. Would have been perfect with a bike.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike, close to town but get you high into the mountains for great views to Catalina to the Rose Bowl. It can be hot on warm day but quickly climbs into the cooler mountains. Plenty of parking, even on weekends. Our hike to Inspiration Point stops by the site of Echo Mountain and the Mount Lowe Railway where you can see the remains of the machinery for the incline and foundations of the resort. Ring the bell on Echo Mountain and shout into the Megaphone and hear your echo come back from the nearby mountains.

My dog rates this 6/5

Tough as hell. Lots of rock climbing, but so worth it once at the top.

I think we accidentally ended up on the "mountaineers route" that Carola mentions below--but it seemed like the only route up. The last .25-.5 miles is a steep but fun scramble. Nothing too dangerous, but not for those afraid of heights. Bring bugspray, the bugs were a nuisance.

My GPS put this at closer to 7miles and 3000ft.

Definitely go in the morning. Breaking right to go up was super nice!

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