Orchard Camp via Mt Wilson Trail is a 7.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sierra Madre, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length7.7 miElevation gain2,240 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingMountain bikingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyNo shade
Description
Waypoints (6)
Contact
Tips

FIRE CLOSURE: As of February 2021 there are closures in this park or area due to wildfire. For more information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/angeles/alerts-notices. The first half of the trail to Mount Wilson, an old camp used by Mr Wilson himself. The trail was originally built by Benjamin Davis Wilson, who was the grandfather of General George S. Patton around 1852. The trail followed an old Indian trail and as legend has it, was used by the Spaniards to hunt for Grizzly Bears. Ben Wilson wanted to find better wood on the mountain, but was unable to locate any so the trail reverted to a popular tourist attraction for hikers. Hikers would set signal fires at the summit to let other know they had arrived safely. In 1864 Ben Wilson expanded the trail with the help of Mexican and Chinese laborers. Orchard Camp is the halfway point to Mount Wilson and while it's three room building not longer exists, a wall and stone steps remain to this day, making a great place to stop and have lunch before returning to the trail head for those not eager to make the 14 mile round trip all the way to the summit of Mount Wilson.

Bring lots of water, no mater what the weather outlook. In the winter rain is a possibility, make sure to bring rain gear. The trail is well maintained, but pay attention to your step, a few spots are narrow with very steep drop offs.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (547)
Photos (1,800)
Activities (569)
Completed (1,824)
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P Mac
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Hiking

Good well maintained trail. Great workout.

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Caro Salvatierra
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Hiking

There are dry areas and lushly greenery. You must start early to avoid the heat. Got see a pack of deers!

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Ilisa Whitten
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Hiking

Beautiful!

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Fallon Tepper
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Hiking

This hike kicked my booty. It was a constant incline the whole time. And we went at a roughy time when the sun was out. But glad we made it! There were many people who were conscious about wearing there mask. With the thin paths could make it a little congested when others walked by. But overall great!

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Juan Mac
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Hiking

Awesome trail. Not super hard, it’s just a long gradual incline! I recommend it to anybody trying to train for bigger mountains!

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Ann Hirakawa
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Hiking

Beautiful view awesome steady incline Overall, this is a great conditioning hike with decent mileage.

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Jeremy Phillips
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HikingGreat!

We took this trail because chantry flats is still closed from the fire. The trail is in great condition. Definitely challenging on the way up. From the trailhead to orchard camp, it's a breeze. After that it starts to get difficult. The final 3.5 miles to the top when the sun starts to heat up is no joke. We plodded up slowly taking rests as needed. The way down is a breeze. Bring water. I drank about 2 liters on the way up on a 70-82 degree day. There are two spigots at the top you can use to refill your water. We saw a lot of poodle dog bush on sides of the trail. Most of it had been cleared previously, but if you aren't familiar, its another source of contact dermatitis (like poison oak) only it lasts up to 3 or 4 weeks. Definitely advise hikers to watch for it and steer clear. It grows in previously burned areas. My overall take on this trail is - I like it better than the trail up from Chantry flats. I believe its slightly more vertical climb but only negligibly so.

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Rob Merrell
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Hiking
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Brytani Calzada
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Hiking

Great work out from start to finish. I recorded 7.4 miles round trip. My buddy and I got to the trailhead around 6am, and parking was already filling up quick. To be expected though on a Sunday morning. The trail is very well maintained, so thank you to the volunteers who make it happen. The first 2 miles (give or take) are exposed to the sun, but after that, you make your way into the canyon and have plenty of shade. The trail is a solid moderate incline all the way to Orchard Camp. From there, you have the option to venture up to Mt. Wilson. I always feel like I’m a character in Alice in Wonderland whenever I get to the camp site. The only issue I had was that this trail is heavily trafficked and it is not wide enough for social distancing. A lot of people not wearing masks. Other than that, a great hike/workout.

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Dave E
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Hiking
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Abraham De Los Santos
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Hiking
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Shelli Yuen
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Hiking
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Casey Hatcher
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Hiking
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Angelica Robles
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Fishing
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Anav G
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Hiking

The Trail is well taking care. Views are amazing.

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Claire Jh
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Hiking

Beautifully maintained trail. Well marked, too. First 2.5 miles or so is south facing, so make sure you come prepared for the sun. After First Water junction, the trail snakes back into the canyon, so mostly in the shade until Orchard Camp. Trail is single track and heavily trafficked by hikers, runners and mountain bikers. It’s pretty insane that people bike this trail, but it happens, so stay aware. Crowds thin out after the First Water trail junction. In the last third of the trail, you’ll notice a trail off to the right. Hang a right to check out the view at the “Helipad.” It offers a nice vantage of the surrounding mountains. On parking: if you park on an incline/decline, make sure to turn your tires in the appropriate direction. Otherwise, you may get a ticket! Thanks again to the folks that keep this trail groomed! Very hard work and appreciated!!

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Josh Lingenfelter
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HikingGreat!

Closer to the top. Great workout.

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Owen Rojek
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Walking

Incline from the get go. First 2 miles are pretty exposed. After that, pretty good cover in a lot of places and places to rest of needed.

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Jordan Elizabeth
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Hiking

Great trail and great workout! Pretty decent incline the whole way up, but there are enough level/not as steep parts to catch your breath. Toughest inclines are between miles 4.5-6 (in my opinion). Current conditions: only a few small patches of snow off to the side of the trail for the last 1.5-2 miles, but nothing on the trail. No need for micro spikes at all.

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Josh Lingenfelter
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Hiking
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Moses Z
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Hiking

Not for beginners!! We recommend starting at 6am and parking in front of the little park as indicated. Its residential and nothing happened to my car the whole hike! Steady incline throughout whole trail. Partial shade, make sure to bring plenty of water! trail gets more narrow after half way mark in camp. There was snow!! only on the way up probably from the rain yesterday. Definitely one for the books!

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Carlos Montenegro
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Hiking

It’s a steady climb and rightfully classified as hard

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Helmut Bevensee
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HikingSnow

Nice Hike! Definitely a good workout. Microspikes are recommended for the last couple of miles from the top

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Sammy Albarran
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Hiking

10 RT

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Nitika Yadlapalli
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Hiking
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dong chae
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Hiking
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Curtis Wilson
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Hiking

Its a very hard incline for novice hikers but definitely very fun. Didn’t make it to the top because it started snowing hard

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Todd Bordewick
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Hiking
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Juan Miramontes
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Hiking

Steady incline.

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Andy Pham
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful views - good steady climb - mini waterfalls and shady toward the end

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