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Fern Truck Trail to Brown Mountain Road

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Angeles National Forest

Fern Truck Trail to Brown Mountain Road is a 9.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Altadena, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 9.9 mi Elevation gain 3,205 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

This is a very exposed fire road with little to no shade. You can hike this trail but the majority of people using this trail are mountain bikers, so watch out hiking!

Make sure to have an adventure pass for parking!

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

This trail starts at the parking area at the end of Chaney Trail Road.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (31)
Photos (1515)
Recordings (44)
Completed (74)
George MacPherson
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Hiking

It was overall very nice I would advise against the loop as coming down the west side is overgrown and at one part is just sliding strategically. It’s better as an out and back from the east side

View George's Recording
Andrew Schrock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 8, 2019
HikingNo shadeOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

As others have noted, the Brown Mountain trail (East to West across the top of the loop) is HARD and for serious hikers only. Be extremely cautious about the west ascent on that trail in particular. The west ascent to Wella mountain / Brown mountain is incredibly steep (50% grade in parts) and although I was on the GPS marking for the trail, I kept losing it and for most of the ascent was just bushwacking. It turned into an off-trail rock scramble where you're dodging yucca spines, burrs, and clearing out junk your socks every half-hour. After the peak to the east on the Brown mountain trail there is more of a trail and less vegetation to contend with, but more of scree/loose rock. You also go up and down to several smaller peaks. It's all pretty grueling, so just prepare for what you're getting into.

Vincent Sullivan
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Hiking

Great hike, lots of shade and younger siblings were just fine

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Jennifer Meakins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 21, 2019
Hiking

This was a great trail on a cool cloudy day. Be aware that there are mountain bikers who won’t slow down, saw some poison oak off the side, and there were bees on the trail. One got our dog so be on the lookout.

View Jennifer's Recording
Chris Gonzalez
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HikingBugsOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out
View Chris's Recording
Paul G.
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Hiking

Don't be fooled. This is a hard hike. I recorded it at 12.4 miles, not 9.9. The beginning (Fern Truck Trail) and end (Sloan Saddle and down) is east to moderate, but the brown mountain section should be rated hard. There is a lot of steep sections with loose rock. There are also long, steep overgrown sections where staying on the trail is hard. The section across the top of the ridge, though there isn't any elevation gain has a lot of ups and down and is tough going. Otherwise, a beautiful hike. I didn't see anyone else, and there are great views 360 degrees.

R. Glenn Sellar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 15, 2018
Hiking

Dawn Mine Trail has been recently restored to great condition. Made it to Tom Sloane Saddle with no difficulty. From the saddle to Brown Mtn on the east side of the peak is a use trail, rugged but passable. On the west side down to Fern truck trail, though there are discernable use trails in some spots, this is really off-trail hiking. Very rugged, with brush, yuccas, and loose footing. Extremely steep just above the the truck trail. Be sure to take the ridge that runs north at first and then bends to the west, not the ridge that runs south from the peak. This is for experienced hikers who are comfortable with off-trail navigation and hiking.

Nicholas Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 3, 2016
Hiking

Hiking in this area was great fun, lots of water, practically devoid of people and a wide variety of terrain. However I would caution that almost all the trails we tried to follow or find have been eroded beyond recognition. GPS is one of the only ways to keep yourself on track and even with that help we still managed to miss our original trail on the way out which lead us to the top of the first waterfall with no way down. There are obvious trails not appearing on maps that even include posts and other signs of human placed objects only to abruptly stop due to massive landslides and erosion. Workers were clearing the trails maybe only a few miles out from the campground which leaves the rest I'm assuming all the way up to the firebreak road very difficult to navigate. I say I assume because we didn't make it very far past Dawn Mine due to debris and most of our day spent trying to find a trail and failing many times leaving us to slide down dirt hills more times than I care to admit. And good luck finding the small trail near Dawn Mine that leads out of the stream bed and runs the ridge to the East because I don't think it exists anymore. To be sure this area is really fun to hike and I recommend bumming around the area but don't expect to go faster than .8 mph or make it very far.

Alex Tissot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 15, 2015
Camping

I actually went through it on a hike .. Thought it was a great little space to camp out. Rustic old buildings around it and a waterfall.. Minus water because of the drought .. Not far .. Couple different trails to hike.

Sahniah Lambert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 26, 2015
Running

Coming off El Prieto and Angeles Crest trail onto this trail seemed like a let down. This is more of an exposed section of trail with some overgrowth that actually gives a little shade. For runners, take in the early morning or late afternoon, less traffic. I turned on my Salsa and exercise music skipping most of the way down and getting a better workout than just jogging it or running it. I used it as a rest period attaching it to the Grabrielino Trail to the water falls . If you are looking for a rest period on a longer run, here it is....

Chuck Ellsworth
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Hiking
First to Review

Went to the campground, but the trail is closed there. It looks like it should have recovered from the Station fire on 2009 by now. Hiked to the waterfall via Sunrise Trail.

RikRask(Eric Richard Lasko)
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Hiking
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Charles Kiedman
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Hiking
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Kevin Robinson
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Hiking
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Solmaz Atashbarghi
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Hiking
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Diana Hernandez
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Hiking
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Bruce B.
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Hiking
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brandon Lorenzo
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Hiking
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Chien-Chang Chen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 26, 2018
Hiking
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David Phillips
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 10, 2018
Hiking
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