Waterman Mountain Loop Trail is a 5.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mt Wilson, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Use Buckhorn campground as a point where this trail starts. Cross the road, and pass the white gate. After a few feet you will have three options - continue on the dirt road, take a left on a trail or right on a different trail. I recommend taking a left and going up with the scenic route.
Dec 23. Super peaceful, and super cold. I went counter clockwise, beginning on the fire road. That part of the hike is kinda eh. Once you hit the trail though, it's really great.
You need an adventure pass—you can buy a day pass for six bucks at the small restaurant 7 miles before the trailhead.
Isolated, moderate difficulty. Trail is fairly easy to follow with the assistance of a GPS. I didn't see a human, just a cat. Strong pine smell and good views. Good shade from the pines, although a midday hike would potentially be hot mid summer. Much cooler here than down the mountain, as you would expect.
We went up to Mt Waterman to escape the heat, and we weren't disappointed. We took the trail out and back, electing not to complete the loop on the fire roads. The trail was in good shape, and not crowded at all. It was a good summer escape, but it seems like it would be better in the spring.
I did this trail clockwise in about 2.5 hours and recorded it at 6 miles. The ascent is full of beautiful views and scenery, especially the between the 1 mile mark and the summit. The summit itself has great views, though it's large and flat compared to other summits. The walk down on the fire road wasn't as enjoyable and interesting as the way up, but still nice. Next time I might just do an out-and-back route to the summit to avoid the fire road.
Started late in the day with perfect weather. Decided to park just up from the campground at the unmarked trail head. The hike was great with a good elevation gane did the loop clockwise coming back down on the fire road. Be shure to keep to the right just before the ski lodge to keep on the main road. All together a great hike.
Started late in the day (mid-July), but the weather was perfect. I opted for the trail head at mile marker 58.2 instead of the fire road across from the Buckhorn Day Use Area but the trail crosses the fire road a couple hundred yards in anyway. From the fire road crossing, I followed the loop clockwise. It's a slow steady climb to the summit. Great views especially along the ridge. Near the summit, there's a saddle, which can be deceiving. Follow the trail "3/4 mile" up to the summit to stay on the loop. At the summit, follow the fire road down the hill. When you reach the ski lodge, head SE down the fire road just past the first aid station. It's just shy of 2 miles from the ski lodge back to Buckhorn. A map, compass and a local mountain biker were helpful at navigating the saddle and ski lodge.
I did this hike today with my husband and 2 of our dogs. It was super pretty and covered with the perfect amount of snow. We brought along microspikes just in case but didn't need to use them. The views from some sections of the trail were incredibly beautiful. I definitely felt like we were far away from Los Angeles and we all really enjoyed the day. This is a great trail if you want to get out hiking in some snow but still play it safe. The trail is wide and solid with no steep inclines that we encountered. You'll for sure want trekking poles in the snow, especially as it gets later in the day and the snow softens, and I would absolutely bring along microspikes/crampons/snowshoes. Right now the snow is an OK depth to get through with just a solid pair of hiking boots but a few more inches and I would definitely have used my microspikes (or alternative). Grab some food post hike at Newcomb Ranch for the perfect day out of the city.