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.

hiking
14 days ago

Only went 3 miles in to the saddle at Smith Mtn. 1st mile is a bit steep & hovers over the road. Keep going. It's worth it. Lots of birds, a skunk, and few people. Have gone the other direction from West Fork as well. Love it!

Did this hike over two days, the descent down to the river can be tricky, especially with a big pack, as much of the trail is washed out. Didn’t see anyone else for the duration. Saw some bear tracks. Over all good hike.

Only did 7.3 miles total, including the mile from West Fork parking along Cogswell Dam/Devil's Canyon Truck Trail. Really glad I looked at the elevation profile & realized there's a few miles before the hard part. 18 river crossings along the way. A few different microbiomes. Great campground area & other places to stop for a snack, a rest, or just to take in the view. One of our favorites.

If I were just rating the views, I'd give his trail 5 stars. The view from the top is stellar! The hike itself was scenic also, with several small deep canyon waterfalls, cascades, and shifting views of the L.A. basin and the ocean as you ascend the mountain. It misses 5 stars because I know I happened to take this hike on the perfect day. On most days in the San Gabriels, there would be no water flowing in this canyon, and the sun exposure once you leave the canyon would be unbearable.

did this hike a couple days ago and wow, beautiful views. well maintained trail & easy to follow at junctions. you can make the tail into a longer loop if you go down the east side to the PCT also.

there was little snow coverage, but i'm sure they'll change soon. patchy snow at 7,000ft & trail coverage the last half mile

There's a spring running at the beginning of the trail that you'll pass a few times. Easy fill up if treated. Easy to follow trail to Strawberry Saddle, head left at junction to a dirt road you can follow to the summit.

One of my favorite hikes, did it roundtrip from the first West Fork parking, went up Bear Creek, past the turnoff aways, then back down to continue the trail up to the saddle, climbed Smith Mt., then on to Hwy. 39 and ran that back to my vehicle. Almost 20 miles total.

,Hardest peak yet for me!!!

What a great trail! A bit hard to follow but thanks to all trails we followed it perfectly!
Steep inclines about 1.5 Miles before twin peaks summit. Running behind on time so we skipped the waterman peak. Will definitely be returning here!

backpacking
4 months ago

This has become my go to site. Beautiful hike and over night backpacking. Every time I have gone shared the site with at most 2 more groups and sites are spaced out far enough you really don’t get overlap at all. Be aware of the trail when it turns off the main creek it can be easy to miss, you want to go up the hill before the creek splits. From the fork there is no way to miss the spot. Trail can be tricky in spots depending on the water and time of year. In the winter there can be high water and tricky crossings with rock hopping and once we had to use a fallen tree to cross in the early spring.

Went July 19th about 1030 in the morning. Would have started a litter earlier but helped out two girls with the van. If they read this I really hope you made it home. Started on the trail went about 1.1 miles then turned around. Next time probably (next week Tuesday or Wednesday) early morning like around 5 or 6. The heat was intense. No shade but over great trail. Will update later.

backpacking
5 months ago

Great hike. No water source until about mile 5. Trail can be hard to follow at times. Lots of rock hopping. We only saw one other group of backpackers the whole time. In July the mosquitos were prevalent at night. Overall a fun overnight trip about 45 mins from a main town.

hiking
5 months ago

A short but steep hike with spectacular views, some of the best in the range. Also lightly trafficked -- you'll likely have it to yourself. Highly recommended, but do another hike in the area to make the drive worthwhile. Nearby Mount Waterman, Winston Peak, and Mount Akawie are good options.

This is a challenge with a weighted pack or without. Bring plenty of water if you’re not out and back before noon, at 80 degrees it’s still hot with little to no shade after the first mile. I went through 3Liters plus two water bottles. After the first 2 miles there’s a concrete structure that’s excellent for shade and food before rock climbing with no shade, except a couple small trees or hiding behind a rock.
Very lightly trafficked, 3 other single hikers the day I went. Out of the 4 of us only 2 went up to strawberry peak, the other 2 made it up the first rock scramble and turned back. The second rock scramble is NOT well marked, which is acceptable going up, but coming back down check the map for your location. I got off in a rock slide area, noticing after I went to step down and one slid out from under my foot. I’m not a fan of heights and was calmly scared since I was alone, but I was able to get over to the trail after checking this app for its location vs mine.
I’m not sure I’d come back to this alone, but having experienced it once the climb should be more manageable. This was my first time in almost a year with a pack on, which caught me off guard with the weight and climbing. Hiking Project by REI classifies the rock scramble as a level 3. Enjoy! Make sure someone knows your location on this one because it’s not an easy 6 Miles.

This trail should be rated extremely dangerous between Heaton flats and Easy Fork (aka Alison mine trail) and furthermore life threatening. Truly I feel it should be removed as to not allow others to put their lives in this much danger.
There are no clear trail markers and the trail has been mostly washed out. Wrong turns may honestly be your last and almost was for quite a few of us.
This should not even be a trail on all trails as I think many avid backpackers would be risking their lives by taking this trail.
Perhaps this was once luxurious. Now, it is one the most dangerous experiences I have ever had in my life.
Also, good luck if you get stuck like we did- there’s no signal or way for anyone to get you help or off the mountain side.

I’m unbelievably thankful that I had the people with me that I did- or I would not be here to tell the story.

This is not a trail!!!! The section between Heaton Flats and the mine and to bridge is all but gone!
it’s washed out by stone and is extremely dangerous!! navigating along the ridge mostly cliff and loose rock falling in some spots is certain death
Since the trail is so washed out it’s very very difficult to stay on course
U could never bring enough water in summer do to the time required to navigate the treacherous terain we holed up in Allison mine until the heat subsided and continued navigating the terrain on not more than broken game trails there was also yucca unchecked along the cliff
u had no option but to go through its choke points of yucca!! there was lots of blood! Popped mattresses (painful)
All trails needs to remove this trail as it does not exist the forest service removed it already
Someone could get lost and die on this supposed trail !
AllTrails would be wise to at least rate it as extremely difficult

Has the potential to be very stressful with the poking Yucca plants, lack of shade, significant rock hopping, and scrambling up the West cliff face, Also amazing how you can get turned around, although not lost, and put in a precarious situation so quickly at various point on the trail.

Solutions to the stress are, minimum 3.0 l of water. Wear denim, or mountain pants for Yucca Armor . Keep three points of contact as you travel up rough terrain. Have at least one trekking pole. Use GPS as a hiking guide. Dogs should absolutely wear boots. Keep an eye out for rattlers, although I saw none myself.

I started at 630 am in July, wish I would of started earlier, as the sun can beat down pretty hard on most of the trail.

A very unique trail, fun , w appropriate preparation.

6 months ago

favorite place so far

Pretty sweet trail with great views at the top and just along the trail itself. Only saw a few people on the way up which was pretty awesome. Only issue is there is definitely a lack of signage when trails cross and the last bit of the trail to the peak was a road. Definitely bring sunscreen as there isn't much for shade

fishing
6 months ago

Some good trout fishing along the river, used my mountain bike to ride alongside the river. Main trail is mostly asphalt, great for hiking, biking, and nature walks. There’s a lot of people hiking the first 3-5 miles, afterwards there are very few people, mostly with bikes. I would recommend bringing a buddy or two if your planning to hike/bike the trail deeper due to bears around that area.

If you are looking for a truly challenging and action packed hike that will test your rock scrambling abilities, this is the hike for you. I specifically did the Colby Canyon to Strawberry Peak (Mountaineer's route) to Strawberry Meadows loop.This took my friend and I about 11 miles and 8 hours to complete, exhausting but such a rewarding journey. This is a hike you need to prepare for if you decide to do the mountaineer' route which has you rock scrambling up and up (class 3 rock scramble) at 2 different portions of the trail. The rock segments have arrows and other markings that help guide you up. It is challenging and very doable as the most of the rocks are solid for footing and grabbing onto. To backtrack, there is a small dusty trailhead for the Colby canyon trailhead. Park here and go in 2 miles, you will be starting off in a creek bed then will be ascending upwards towards this small water tower called Josephine/Strawberry saddle. From this point in order to take the mountaineer's route you take the pathway to the right BUT once you get right on it there is a use trail that you should ascend that climbs quickly. If you feel you are lost here, you are probably on the right path. Keep going for .2 or .3 miles and you will come across the the first rock segment. Super fun and definitely felt a little dangerous at times. After this, you keep going forward to the steep face of Strawberry peak where you will encounter the last rock wall climb and this was is rather steep going up. Follow the arrows and red ribbons for the most doable and safer climb up. Absolutely take your time with your footing and grabbing here. There were moments on this rock scramble that felt pretty nerve racking but you just need to keep going up and you will be fine. Once you get to the peak, take a break and check out the little metal box which has notepads. So once you get up here, you can either go back down or what I did to extend my hike was to follow the pathway to east which goes towards Mount Lawlor and you want to take sharp left to start heading towards Strawberry meadows. This hike is amazing because there are so many layers to it. You find yourself going through a forest area, hiking along several switchbacks, and dodging tons of spanish bayonets.

One of the most difficult short hikes I've done. Definitely great conditioning for longer hikes. Very fun scramble to the actual peak after completing the main part of the trail, but definitely not recommended to those not fond of heights. Bring a lot of water, our group took 5 hours of continuous hiking under essentially no coverage from the sun to reach the peak and back. Recommend early start if going during warmer months.

This is a nice trail that leads down to a creek. There was water but it was a trickle. Enough to refill my bottle. This trail is more moderate than easy. I would say it is easy for those in better shape and those who hike more often. I did this trail because it was rated easy and I wanted to work on ascending. This was not easy and can be somewhat steep in some places. It was a beautiful hike with fragrant spring blooms. I gave it 4 stars because some people use part of the trail to walk their dogs and leave doggie bags along the trail. Also, bring your own toilet paper as the vaulted toilet at Cooper Canyon didn't have any available.

hiking
7 months ago

I had often wondered if were possible to hike across the Western Ridge of Mt. Waterman during the many times I have hiked this trail, so I decided today would be the day I found out. A couple of days prior I noticed a fellow user had posted tracks of just what I intended to do giving me confidence this could be done. Starting out around 6:30 am from 3 points I arrived at the summit of Waterman just after 9 am. After a short break I headed off to the west down the ridge, much to my surprise there is actually a pretty decent use trail that follows the ridge all the way down to the saddle about 1.5 miles from the trailhead. This is a seldom used trail so I did lose it from time to time but it is pretty straightforward which way to go. Upon reaching the saddle I took the steep trail down to the north connecting with the PCT in about .5 miles. It was nice discovering this portion of the mountain I had not previously seen. A portion of my track recording is missing as I must of hit the pause button while taking a photo. If you decide to take this route make sure you are comfortable with off trail travel and have a map and compass or GPS unit with Topo maps installed as this is a trail you will likely not see another hiker. Enjoy and be safe.

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.

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!

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 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.

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.

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