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Mt. Hillyer Trail from Horse Flats Campground is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Wilson, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.2 mi Elevation gain 557 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Camping Hiking Horseback riding Mountain biking Walking Views Wild flowers Wildlife
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Getting There

It has been reported that the campground is closed due to COVID 19. This is a very easy hike, and a summit that small children can attain. It is a strolling trail through some chaparral near the trailhead, but that changes quickly. It becomes a boulder strewn forest in no time. This is prime mountain biking country, and the trail is a bit worn and wide in places. If you do bring small children on a busy day, watch out for bikers. This is also bear country, with lots of current ursine activity, so be wary of them as well. It is important to make noise to avoid unexpected encounters. If you blink, you might miss the top, but once you are near you will have great views of Big Tujunga Canyon to the West, Twin Peaks and Mt. Waterman to the East, Pacifico staring you in the face to the north.

Angeles National Forest (626)574-1613

Take the Angeles Crest Highway East from La Canada to Three points. There is no sign for this, but it is approximately 1.5 miles from the restaurant and 5 miles east of Chilao. The sign for the road says Santa Clara Division Camps, Sulphur Springs, and PCT parking. The closer sign says Bandido campground, and Horse Flats campground. Follow the road for two and a half miles to the turn off to Horse Flats Campground. Drive to the east end of the loop road and park near the trailhead. This is where the Silver Moccasin trail meets the Mt. Hillyer trail. It should be very easy to find.

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Reviews (61)
Photos (238)
Recordings (56)
Completed (195)
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Mike Crandall
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HikingGreat!
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John Cortes
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John Cortes
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Hiking
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Aaron Moreno
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Hiking

This is definitely moderate.

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Jennifer Power
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
HikingFeeNo shadeRockyWashed out

What a beauty, but you do work for the view. I would rate the hike moderate for kids. Lots of sandy washed out areas, but doable for sure. If you start at the campground you will run into a number of folks bouldering, once you pass the boulder area its gets really quiet and lovely. Gradual uphill hike for about 2 miles then flat then downhill. Last portion is on the road which was a bummer. Campground closed so you have to walk to trailhead about .7 miles. My 6 and 9 year old made it all the way. Bring at least a liter of water for each person as it gets warm and sunny in the afternoon. Please purchase a Forest Adventure Pass $5 to park which can be found at the gas station in La Canada before you head up.

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Ellecina Eck
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HikingRocky
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Mike Lebrun
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Great hike! Beautiful boulders, well maintained trail, and minimal traffic. We opted to park at the northeast corner of the trail and head south, so the first mile or so was all paved through campgrounds (still a fairly nice and easy walk). The rest of the loop is really lovely.

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Timber Hoy
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Hiking

Horse Flats Campground was still closed when we went today, so our recording starts from where we parked at the gate.

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Brian Tiffany
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HikingBlowdown

Traveled the Silver Moccasin trail westbound from 3 points to Horse Flats campground. From here we chose to travel clockwise on this trail through a beautiful forested and boulder strewn mountain with great views of the surrounding area. Very cold morning with temps in the 30’s, saw no other hikers this day.

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Julie Jenkins
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Hiking

Nice workout. incline.... scouts were doing trail matienence. Campgrounds looked cool. Went w a camping group and we car camped at Chilao Little Pines .... new members welcome.... meetup.com/thousand-oaks-camping-hyking-addict/ Gonna pack into Buckhorn in a few weeks which is the other campground in that area....

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Jasmin O
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HikingClosedSnow

Tried to come mid January 2020 and it was closed due to being snowed in. Surrounding area looked beautiful. Will try to visit again in a month or so, hopefully opened up by then.

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Mitchell Edwards
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HikingBugs

Great easy trail loop, beautiful back country, hike fantastic rock formations, elevation about 5700 ft

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Jenn L
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Hiking

Would recommend parking at the Rosenita Saddle trailhead, as there’s a $12 fee for the campground.

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Colin Van Gorder
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Hiking

This is a fun hike. Great rock formations and views. The down side for hikers is the bikes have cut deep grooves into the trail making hiking more difficult. Shade is limited so during the summer and early fall it would be best to start early in the day. It will also allow for hiking another trail on the same day as we did. Having a head net is helpful as flies are a factor at this time of year.

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Mary Barraza
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HikingRockySnow

For someone who doesn't do much hiking or exercise this trail wasnt easy. It was a lot of uphill and could get a little tough if you dont have the right shoes on. but the views were worth it. towards the end of winter so there was still some snowy parts. there was a total of 8 people in our party. 2 of which were smaller children. the total hike from start to finish was about 5 hours but we did stop a couple times for breaks and to look at the views. overall good hike but recomend going early if you plan on taking short breaks to admire the scenery as it's a long hike.

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Mike Oswald
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Hiking

Hike was quite nice but pretty easy. Started from the campground near spot #5. Was pretty hot and shade was at a premium. Lots of rock climbers near the top. One had loose dogs which added some excitement for our Boxer. Nice views.... My GF and our dogs liked it for a short stroll and recommend it for beginners for sure.

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Leaa Short
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The direction button here takes you to Google Maps that will have you park in Bandido reservation only campground. This is not where you should park, and the camp does lock the gate early. Parking here added to the hike so we did about 4.5 miles. 1/3 a good climb uphill with good rocking and 1/3 on pavement. Excellent views and a lovely meadow at the top. Trail is mostly DG so it would be q good one for dogs.

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Henry De La Cruz
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Hiking

It was a perfect day for this hike! Hot Hot Hot day down below, so to come up here was a great way to escape. Nice cool breeze, the sun was out. We could tell that it had rained a bit that morning. I've been here before mountain biking but brought my wife and a couple of buds for a hike. They all loved it! We will be coming back soon as my wife is barely getting into hiking. baby steps!

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Stephanie Magnien Rockwell
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Hiking

I got started a little late in the morning on this hike, about 9:40a, on a hot day and since the trail is exposed for a lot of the time it was a little tough. Also, most of the elevation is gained in the first 3/4 of a mile. Once the trail leveled out a bit it was a really enjoyable hike. The views are great. It was difficult to know when I had actually reached the top of Mt. Hillyer so if you start down a big hill, know that you've passed it. There are a couple of other starting points for Mt. Hillyer. Starting at the Chilao Visitor's Center will add a couple of extra miles; starting at the Rosenita will decreases the milage to a bit over a mile RT. I started at Horse Flats Campground and had lunch at one of the campsite's picnic tables afterwards. The campgrounds have bathrooms but they're not for the faint of heart. There's no water at this campground. The Station Fire has given Poodle Dog Bush a great opportunity to thrive on this trail and in many other areas of the Angeles National Forest. The consequences of touching this plant are similar to poison oak so if you don't know what it looks like do a quick internet search before heading out on your next hike. I'm not kidding when I say it is prolific right now. My rough description of Poodle Dog Bush is that it looks similar to a marijuana plant with pretty little purple flowers and has a stinky scent. I posted a photo of it to this hike.

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Rachel Green
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Hiking

We took this trail from near the Chilao Visitor's center (which is closed indefinitely) up the Silver Moccasin trail, heading to the left at Horse Flats campground where there is a great sign indicating Mt. Hillyer. We hiked up past the many interesting boulders. This part of the trail shows no damage at all from the Station Fire. The views up are pretty nice. It's hard to know when you're at the summit and we stopped at a large boulder group to the left of the trail for lunch where you can really get a look at the fire damage, which comes clear up to the top. We kept going past the summit to make a loop down, which was a great thing to do. It was a little longer (maybe an extra mile) but saved us from scrambling down the rocks we scrambled up on the way up. We went left at Santa Clara Divide Road, then right back to the other side of the Horse Flats Campground and back to catch up with the Silver Moccasin trail. We were glad we did the loop. How I love a loop! We started this around 9 AM and it was pretty hot on the way back down, but it was worth it for the cool boulders and to get a look at the burn areas. The trail has had recent maintenance with yellow ribbon trail markers and logs and pine cones arranged to show you the way. Glad the 2 is back in business!

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Hiking Bee
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Andrew Moore
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Eric Luttrell
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Jamie Feldmar
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