Valley Forge Trail

MODERATE 28 reviews
#83 of 202 trails in

Valley Forge Trail is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mt Wilson, California that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,246 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

hiking

mountain biking

forest

views

bugs

Directions from Pasadena, CA: Travel Interstate 210 north, exit the Angeles Crest Highway (Hwy. 2) and drive north 14 miles to the Red Box Ranger Station. Hike in, following the signs, 3.5 miles to the campground.

hiking
29 days ago

Hiked to the campground this morning (sunday) - started around 9am and there was only one other hiking couple so pretty empty which we loved! Brought our pup and he loved exploring the trail.

Pretty easy hike to the campsite mostly down hill, but hot and almost entirely uphill on the way back out. There are moments of shade, but prepare for the sun. Absolutely no water in the stream so make sure to bring tons of water, mostly for the hike back. Overall pretty nice since it wasn’t crowded which is hard to find in Angeles National, but was hoping for at least a trickle in the stream and didn’t get any!

hiking
2 months ago

I had a blast on this trail. Check out my virtual hike here: https://youtu.be/aRcdlEpHrkM

Start early this time of year to avoid the heat. It's the kind of trail that starts off easy and ends hard because the incline is on the way out. I loved the shade and scenery on this trail. There are a few structures along the way and the camp is a great spot to take a break before the way back out. Make sure to check out the creek by following the bridge at the end of the campground.

Make sure to wear bug spray. The commenter below was not kidding. I had a whole team of gnats and mosquitos by the end.

This is a moderate hike, I was definitely working up a good sweat and felt amazing coming back up to Red Box.

Here's some music to bring along with you on the trail: https://sptfy.com/1WWa

backpacking
5 months ago

I think this trail is actually a section of the Gabrielino Trail. We followed the stairs down to the trail and later ended up at Valley Forge Campground. Super easy trail on the way to campsite, but uphill the entire way back. Lots of poison oak along the trail, so be careful! Not much water for the first mile but as you get closer there were several little stream crossings and a nice flowing stream along the campground. About six campsites with fire pits, picnic tables, and pit toilets made this a hidden luxury camping spot. We saw a few hikers on our way in, but the campground was not crowded at all and parking at Redbox Picnic Area was plentiful; don't forget your Adventure Pass!

hiking
7 months ago

We definitely hiked closer to 7miles by the time we were done. There wasn’t too much water at the beginning of the trail head but deeper into the valley, the streams were nice! Some interesting finds about half way through. It’s all down hill in and all up hill out which could be difficult if you’re not in shape. Overall pretty good! Not sure if it’s worth us going again though.

backpacking
9 months ago

Did a quick black Friday overnight trip. Campsite is okay but there's a lot of trash left around the site as well as TP.

No water at camp, however there is a slow trickle of a stream just before the red cabin and right after.

backpacking
9 months ago

Pretty well maintained campsite. Vaulted toilets could use some attention but have seen much worse. Fun little spot!

hiking
11 months ago

the first time i hiked the trail i started up on top off Mt. Wilson red box road and hiked down valley forge trail. once i got to the fork i hiked west back to HWY 2 and the main parking lot. i was too tired to hiked back up the trail to where i left my truck so i walked along the road. i totally regretted that lol. overall it was nice, i've been back a couple of times and have seen some does by the creek and even got a picture of a black bear walking down to the creek to get some water.

backpacking
Monday, June 26, 2017

I thought this was a pretty good hike. Just did it this weekend and it was very, very hot, but I am not letting that affect my review cause I'm a heat-wimp. It's a hike down to a lower elevation so you don't peak out to open views or vast openings, however, you get a nice variety of switchbacks, gradual descents/climbs, drastic descents/ascents and a good mix of brush - from completely closed tree/brush paths to large evergreen big tree groves. Wasn't sure what we'd get for the camp site, but the camp site at Valley Forge is not bad due to the proximity of a well fed stream from which to grab as much water as one needs. Bathrooms were "meh" (spiders, stink and lame people leaving their garbage in their), but a plus for being able to grab wood around camp and have a nice fire. Really a 3.75.

backpacking
Sunday, April 23, 2017

It's a fun little campground to go to, especially if you need to try out new gear. All downhill in and all uphill out. Watch your step...I had a pretty close encounter with a rattle snake just outside of our site

camping
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nice camp with a great layout by the edge of the stream. The water was flowing nicely. We showed up on a Friday afternoon and there were 4 other groups in the camp. The site are pretty spread out so you have nice privacy. I think there are about 8 or 9 sites total. The hike in is all downhill so be prepared to get a good workout on the way out. LOTS of poison oak around the sites and on the trail so be mindful of that. All Trails has conflicting information about the length and elevation of this hike so we used a GPS. Its 2.6 miles each way from Red Box to the trail camp, and about a 1100 foot elevation change. The pit toilet were actually surprisingly clean. (for pit toilets) Oh and bring good bug spray. The mosquitos were thick around sun down.

backpacking
Monday, April 03, 2017

I took Troop 919 from La Mirada here and we had a new scout (first backpacking trip). It is a short hike, about 2 miles from Redbox to trail camp (2 hr hiking at most with packs). There was plenty of water and shade, although in summer the sun may be more overhead, offering less shade while hiking. The campground filled up throughout the day. Hardest part is hiking uphill on the way back to Redbox, versus usual of hiking uphill the first day and down on the return. No bug problems.

hiking
Monday, March 27, 2017

This is a nice and pretty hike. The only real challenging section is leading to and from the parking lot. The stream was full of water and there were lady bugs were everywhere. There's a camp ground that had a few people camping in it. There are a few fallen trees so beware and don't step on them, they can be slippery and cause you to fall.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Nice trail. A lot of Falling trees a lot branches on the trail, but good because you do a lot of exercise I Trying to cross those branches.

hiking
Friday, February 17, 2017

Hike contains poison oak on the trail and there was no water in the stream when we went there in the winter. Campground was closed as well. Wouldn't be back.

hiking
Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fun little hike. Weather was great and lots of water. Only thing to bear in mind is a nasty patch of poison oak at about ~1 mile so avoid wearing shorts.

camping
Monday, August 17, 2015

This trail to the campsite is 2.7 miles one way from the redbox parking lot and it's mainly downhill, not a bad way to start if you're packing heavy, it starts off open but once you hit the Gabrielino trail it's pretty shaded, only bad thing about the trail are the damn mosquitoes and gnats! You're walking on the trail and you have your own entourage of 50 buzzing around your face, lol. Once you get to what I like to call 'the wtf' section, you have 3 options, left/middle/right. The far left access road takes you to the campsite as well but it's a little bit longer in distance, completely exposed with a few areas of shade but it's a gradual incline, good to take on the way back if you don't want to come back on the trail which will be all uphill. The middle is the Gabrielino Trail and that takes you to camp as well, you'll see a burned down cabin cabin and an abandoned campsite. The right takes you back to the top, it comes out at the smelly restrooms on the parking lot. It looks like the main trail hasn't been maintained in a while, there's overgrown poison oak over the trail so wear long sleeves and pants. There's little to no water in the creek, there's a section on the trail where there's a small amount of running water on the creek bed where you might be able to filter water from if needed, other than that there's a few puddles of stagnant water which are the cause for the annoying bugs. The campsite itself is very nice and big, there's 4 sites to camp in, each with their own tables and fire ring ( don't forget your fire permit ). The pit toilets haven't been maintained either and, when we were there, there was no toilet paper and a few toilets were very soiled. All in all it was a decent experience, the bugs really killed it for me though.

**PLEASE PACK OUT YOUR TRASH**

There's no trash cans there, the previous people that were there left a hefty bag full of trash in the restrooms, that's ridiculous! Don't be that ignorant and disrespectful to Mother Nature, the animals don't need to be eating your trash.

camping
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Campground is pretty open and seems well used. There are bathrooms stocked with toilet paper and black widows.

There was very little water to be found. A few stagnate pools breeding a fair number of mosquitoes and the like. With a small fire they weren't too bothersome.

The campground does have fire rings though fire permits are of course required.

Explore the area because there are a lot of old roads and structures nearby. Tall picnic tables all over the campgrounds and small trails leading to more secluded spots from the main ones.

recorded vertigo

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

recorded Valley Forge Trail

hiking
9 months ago

backpacking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

hiking
Saturday, June 24, 2017

camping
Sunday, April 23, 2017

hiking
Friday, July 22, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, April 28, 2015