Pine Mountain Trail

HARD 20 reviews
#4 of 17 trails in

Pine Mountain Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Wrightwood, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,270 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

***5 MILE DRIVE DOWN A VERY ROUGH ROAD TO TRAILHEAD, THEN 8+ MILE HIKE TO SUMMIT.*** Not sure how AllTrails came up with the mileage here, but as others have posted it is NOT 6.5 miles from Guffy to the summit of Pine Mountain - it’s more than 8 miles. Short of climbing into a Star Trek transporter and cutting a mile and a half out there's no way you can travel from the parking area at the entrance of Guffy to the Summit of Pine Mountain in 6.5 miles. For a 6.5 mile hike you need to continue driving past the entrance to Guffy (5 miles down down Blue Ridge Truck Trail off the 2) for another mile and a half and the road is pretty rough. We did it in a Nissan Rogue SUV with only 2WD and could have continued on past Guffy (had we known). But as someone else mentioned, the first two (extra) miles were a nice warmup, though I'd continue as far down Blue Ridge Truck Trail as I felt safe doing if I did the hike again and park in one of the handful of turnouts (the road does get dicey, though, so do that at your own risk). For the first two miles you have two choices: the PCT, a moderate up and down from Guffy that mostly parallels the Blue Ridge Truck Trail and takes you through some beautiful forest. Or the Blue Ridge Truck Trail itself - a mild grade dirt road. At close to two miles you'll reach the intersection of the PCT/Blue Ridge Truck Trail and the North Backbone Trail, crossing into the Sheep Mountain Wilderness. This is the easy half of the hike. And it's now over. :) As soon as you cross into Sheep Mountain Wilderness you start heading UP. There are two tall hills on the ridge up to Pine Mountain, each more strenuous than the last. Both almost look like the summit from below (as they block the view to the true summit). The first hill is a decent workout that had our hearts pounding and, at over 8,000 feet, feeling the elevation. Then you drop back down and start heading back up for that second hill. This is when it starts to get tough - scree, talus, steep grades, some minor exposure on narrow trails (no sheer drop-offs or anything too scary) and some scrambling on all fours to get up to the top. Then you drop back down to start the hardest of the 3 - the push to the summit. This was a workout - and brings us to the next challenge on what was (for us) the most difficult hike we've done - the wind. It was howling, which, when you're down on all fours rock scrambling up a 70% grade with exposure on both sides, definitely adds a whole new dimension to the experience. That last mile is TOUGH. Steep grade, scree and talus, a few areas that while not close to "climbing" levels of exposure definitely aren't for anyone afraid of heights. There are basically two sections that involve scrambling on rough terrain - on the way up hill number two and then on the way up to the summit. Once you pass the second difficult section, the hillside turns into a beautiful forested slope but doesn't let up (as far as the steepness goes). And you cross the 9,000 feet mark at that point, making breathing that much more difficult for us sea-level-dwellers. There are no switchbacks, no slow meandering trails up. This whole hike from the moment you step into the Sheep Mountain Wilderness is straight up (then down, then back up, back down, and back up again). The summit is at the far end of the top of the mountain. There's a curved rock wall and a registry to sign (someone had put up a cairn right at the end of the trail, which was misleading because it confused people into thinking that was the summit). The views up top are gorgeous in every direction. The ridge itself is picturesque and the pine-covered summit is beautiful. This is a challenging hike with a few sketchy scrambling spots but so worth the effort. We almost considered turning back twice due to wind, but were so happy we pushed on!

hiking
6 months ago

July 14, 2019 - Highlight of this trail was seeing at least 12 Bighorn Sheep around 10 a.m. They were close to the trail and ran in a group...pretty amazing and unexpected! Trail itself gets 5 stars for beautiful views (feels like you can see the whole San Gabriel area of the Angeles etc.) and big trees. It truly runs along the spine of Pine Mountain...never scary and it’s cool to see the huge drop offs. Amazing scenery for being 90 minutes from LA. Weather was cool when we started (8:30) and in the 80s by 2 p.m. Bugs weren’t bad but I’d bring some spray. There’s quite a bit of loose rock which makes the descent challenging...I think it’s best to leave your dog at home. Round trip was about 7 miles. We parked just below Guffy campground (need adventure pass)...you can drive down the fire road all the way to the trailhead and cut out about 2 miles round trip ...I thought the fire road was a nice warm-up though. I’m in average shape and this trail kicked my butt...quite a bit of steep incline. Very fun and doable but definitely a challenge. My last few AllTrails hikes have been rated “moderate” and I see why this got the “hard” tag. From the Pine Mountain summit the trail continues to Dawson Peak and Mt. Baldy. Continuing to Dawson and back is doable if you’re in good shape (probably need to pack lunch and lots of water though). Making it to Baldy and back in one day is probably a challenge best reserved for truly experienced/prepared hikers. There’s still patches of snow on Baldy and that trip seems more like an overnight backpacking trek. Overall a great trail! Great lunch spots in Wrightwood too.

Wed May 30 2018

The trail is indeed 6.5 miles, round trip , if you begin where one should a couple/ few miles past Guffy. The trail is basically a straight line up the mountain. There are only a few soft shoulder turnouts to park in where the truck trail meets the Pine Mtn trail, so first come first serve. If you do start at Guffy, you are in for a much longer haul as you will be traveling on PCT which traces the Blue Ridge Truck trail. Lots of scree. Trekking poles help. I saw only one other person when I went the day after Memorial Day. Mildly strenuous but fun in dry months. In winter I imagine it would get pretty sketchy at places. Dogs def need to be sure footed, as a previous reviewer mentioned.

hiking
Sat Feb 03 2018

Very good hike. Strenuous, but worth while. Started from the base of Acorn Trail early morning and moved my way up (brought my husky along for the adventure). Found the trailhead without any trouble. From there it’s a bit of a scramble in certain spots. Just be cautious and watch your footing and everything will work out fine. The summit is definitely worth the effort. This is also a good path to reach Dawson and Badly for those who are feeling adventurous. Bring plenty of water and a good pair of boots. I advise trekking poles too if you have them. Made it back to town just as the sun was setting. I will be doing this hike again to reach Mt. Antonio when the weather warms up. :)

Wed Oct 25 2017

Awesome views!

Thu Jul 06 2017

Awesome views. we loved it. Thank you God for a beautiful creation.

hiking
Fri Nov 04 2016

Started in Manker flats and took Register ridge to the top of Mt Harwell then traversed the ridge to Baldy, took the North backbone trail down then back up to Dawsons peak then back down and up to Pine Mountain. Ridgeline the entire route, some fun scrambling. Returned the way I came. Full 9hr day due to the steepness of terrain. Great technical hike.

hiking
Wed Mar 02 2016

Very touch hike. Only for the experience! Great views!

hiking
Mon Jun 02 2014

did with 2 dogs from acorn trail in wrightwood bring plenty of h20 you will need it trails in good shape a lot of rock climbing and loose rock

hiking
Tue Sep 17 2013

Parked at Guffy and took the fire road to the trail head so I wouldn't miss the Sheep Mountain sign. There was a couple sitting there having lunch. In two trips they're the only people I've seen up there. It was my first hike in over a year and it totally kicked my butt. The closer you get to the summit the steeper it gets. Going up, there were a couple of times I was on all four in scramble mode. The summit was magnificent, and again I was disappointed I waited too late in the day to continue on to Baldy. The trip back is all down hill and steep with lots of scree. On the way up I was on all four, on the way down I often decided the best way was to squat and slide. I skipped the fire road and took the PCT back to Guffy. Fantastic afternoon.

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3 months ago

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6 months ago

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Sat May 19 2018

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Sun May 06 2018

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Sun Dec 10 2017

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Fri Nov 24 2017

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Sat Apr 23 2016