Explore the most popular camping trails near Mt Wilson with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was my first taste of backpacking! We went on a Friday and only one other car was in the parking lot! Basically had the whole campground to ourselves. We definitely over estimated our cardio ability and under estimated the difficulty of the trail, at least from the trailhead to Little Jimmy. It's definitely not for the out of shape. The mileage markers are wrong, so be prepared to feel like you're hiking much more than the distance on the sign posts. We stayed the night Friday night and went for an early hike to the peak around 7:30AM. Not too many people on the trail, but on the way back, closer to camp people were flooding in around 9:30AM. By 11:00AM the campground was pretty much full, so if you go on a Saturday, get there early! The spring was flowing, and it tasted amazing. Nice and cold! We filtered some of our water, and other times drank straight from it. I'd recommend filtering, because you could definitely see little bits in the water. 4 stars because it was so crowded early in the day and because of the BUGS. I got eaten alive! I was not prepared for that many bugs and the constant buzzing in my ear.

great place to hike..

For a virtual hike, check out my vlog episode for this trail!
https://youtu.be/Ka2-1V4d5wc

The magnificent boulders and panoramic views of much of the Angeles National forest is what awaits you on this trail. This time of year I recommend getting out there really early, although I imagine this area gets amazing in the winter with some light snowfall.

The trail starts near the day use area of the chilao campground. There is a bit of an incline at first, then it flattens out around horse flats, and continues up the mountain to the top of Hillyer.

Bring plenty of water because water is out right now at Chilao and Horse Flats. Be advised!

Here's a spotify playlist to download for the trail!
https://sptfy.com/H7b

A warmer day than I expected but a really nice hike. A definite moderate trail, less crowded once you get past the campsites. Cross the 2 to reach the trailhead. Not a huge fan of how long it took to get to here (the time listed in your GPS of choice will be very accurate due to the windiness of the 2).

First of all, make sure you purchase a parking permit before heading out. They do reinforce it and several cars were ticketed. I think the fine was 5 dollars, which is the price for a day pass. I think you have to purchase them from Big5. We ended up paying 12 dollars that it cost to park at a campsite and parked in an empty camping lot.

Got lost at the fork where you choose Buckhart Trail or Cooper Canyon. We chose Buckhart Trail and ended up at Rattlesnake Trail(unbeknownst to ya). Did see a snake at the creek. We were going to give up as we didn’t see a waterfall but heard people talking and dogs barking. We found the unmarked trail to the waterfall. There’s an orange string on a tree branch. Old ropes to go down somewhat help.

I workout twice a week and found this hike to be tough. Like others said, easy going down, TOUGH COMING BACK UP. We started at 0930 and got done at 1330. Me, my boyfriend, and a teenager. My boyfriend was okay but the teenager and I found it tough. Took many breaks and glad for the shade. Overall, pretty hike and glad I did it.

hiking
21 days 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

This is a strong 4 star hike...near Mount Baden-Powell and similar in many ways. Parking and the trailhead is on Hwy 2. We took the 210 to the 2 Hwy near La Canada Flintridge and it took us about 50 mins and 40 miles of twists and turns while sharing the road with motorcycles and high performance cars that are testing their cars handling. You will pass the parking area for Switzer Falls (see my review for that one) and you will pass the Red Box parking area you can use to do the Strawberry Peak hike (see my review haha) and still will need to continue on Angeles Crest Hwy for about 25 more minutes. When you reach the campground it gets a bit confusing with intersecting trails. Don't stop here, continue on for about 1.5 miles to reach the Mt. Islip peak. The 3rd mile is the steepest and you will gain about 550 ft and pass the 8,000 ft elevation level and come to a fork in the trail that is well marked and you will make a right to go about .2 miles to the peak. It was 3.2 miles to the peak and 6.4 miles RT. At the top is the ruins of a small structure, some concrete squares, and a plastic and metal box with some notebooks. There is no sign with the name and elevation of the peak but it is about 8,250 ft. above sea level. There are some great views, not quite as great as Baden-Powell. This is a moderate hike, definitely not hard. We completed the hike in 2.5 hrs with no running. There are parts that are exposed to the sun, but equal amounts that have shade. I loved that we only came across 6 total people while hiking. I just hate that it takes so long to get here and especially the amount of driving the incredibly curvy Hwy 2.

Enjoyable trail. Good for trail run. Narrow single lane path that skirts the side of canyon. Pretty much two directions - all the way down, then all the way up. So if your planning to run up, reserve energy.

Note that there are sections with an abundance of Poodle Dog Bush that do creep into the trail. With a narrow passage that skirts the edge, be careful. It will take ninja like skills to avoid. I did make a tiny bit of contact with tips of leaves. Hoping for the best.

If you aren’t aware of Poodle Dog Bush, pleas look this up, it’s effects can be much worse then poison oak. The tiny hairs get into the skin like stinging nettles, but the effects are far worse and more long lasting.

This place is awesome, lots of history and ruins to see. No shade for the first couple of miles until you almost hit the campgrounds. Bring LOTS of water and a hat! Loose gravel all along the fire road, wear durable shoes or you will regret it. Watch out for snakes. :)

Nice parking lot with vault toilets, recreation pass required here. For me, three stars is a nice, easy-moderate uphill climb and I would probably do this one again in the fall, but explore farther along the trails to Little Jimmy and beyond. However, there is little shade on this stretch and no water. In June 2018, even starting this hike at 7:00AM proved to be immediately warm. This is a steady, uphill climb with short stretches of steep, particularly in the last 400 meters to the peak of the mountain with broad views on both sides of the mountain from the top. Good trail for fit dogs with only one observed and very small patch of foxtails, but bring plenty of water. At top, find a red soup can protecting a notepad and pen to sign your name and write a message to other hikers.

hiking
1 month ago

Parking and vault toilets are directly across the street from the trailhead--a recreation pass is required to park here. Started at 7AM in June and never encountered other hikers for the duration. Pretty trail and scenery with increasing shade as you descend into the canyon. The trail is very narrow, with several areas of loose dirt and gravel. The creek bed was mostly dry, except for about the last 50 meters of the hike where there was a different input that provided a nice flow of water through a couple of steps of rocks--this is likely the "waterfall" referred to in other reviews. Along some stretches, the vegetation had overgrown the trail, but still easily passable. Nice hike, good exercise, some breeze, plenty of birds, lizards, squirrels and some wildflowers still in bloom. Check yourself and your dog for foxtails--they were very abundant along the trail. My GPS tracked just over 6 miles for this hike, out and back.

Easy trail going towards the falls as it's all downhill. The waterfall looks amazing, photos don't do it justice. Be prepared for the way back up the trail as it's all uphill.

hiking
1 month ago

Steep trail in some parts- bring sturdy shoes. Beautiful views of the canyon. Quiet, serene & shaded.

Great hike the falls are worth the trip.

I love this hike! it was packed today, because of Memorial Day weekend. We arrived at noon, Buckhorn Campground was open so we could drive in and park at the day use trail parking. we got lucky because the lot was full and people were looping around and coming right back out, when I started to do the same, someone happened to be leaving, we were lucky. This trail is one of the prettiest around, it is all downhill to the falls, so bring lots of water, because its a treck back up for sure. Lots of wild flowers, pines, shade (always a plus), and the creek and waterfalls were flowing. The only part I didnt particularly care for was how many people were at the falls. what did I expect though on a holiday weekend. Next time I'm going to try this one on a weekday.

Was a pretty easy hike. Not much covering, and the trail was down hill and the start and ip hill coming back.

Beautiful views, nice trail.

Really cool hike. over shot the water fall by like a mile or two tho...

mountain biking
2 months ago

it's amazing one of the best trail I've been through

Parked just passed Burkhart campground. Enter the campground and follow the signs through the campground there is a parking lot. With three kids and dog, was a pretty easy trail going down a little harder coming back up. The water is flowing and so beautiful. You definetly need good shoes getting down to the waterfall, climb down with the rope can get slippery. We camped just before the waterfall in a flat area across from the trail.

Nice hike & beautiful views but beware mountain bikers descending quickly on the first part

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail, and very quiet. Great views at the top and a cool riverbed area and campground towards the bottom. We went on a Saturday afternoon and only saw two other people. The trail is frequently very narrow and crumbly, so watch your step. It’s an upside-down trail, with all the ascent on the way out, which can seem daunting but it wasn’t so bad, never felt too steep. We started down the trail at 1pm and found that by the time we started heading up, it was mostly in the shade, so this is a good one to do in the afternoon.

Note there’s tons of poison oak in the lower portions by the stream, some of it right in the trail, so beware and consider long pants if you’re particularly susceptible to it.

p.s. the description on AllTrails mentions a waterfall, but we couldn’t find it. The trail kinda peters out at a campground clearing, and we explored along the stream a bit further but didn’t find a waterfall.

backpacking
2 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!

The views are beautiful. Loose gravel and No shade. Take plenty of water. Also, Lots of trials within this trial. So it’s easy to get off the track. But worth the hike.

Beautiful Views! Best in LA!

Really enjoyed this hike not often we hike fire road trails, it was a nice change to walk side by side.

hiking
4 months ago

This was an enjoyable hike that was moderate (or easy if you are an avid hiker). There are some beautiful views going down the switch backs into the canyon which was perhaps my favorite part, and some nice creeks in the canyon. The trail is narrow at places, but very doable. There were only two down trees when I went, and both looked to have been there for a long while. It's mid march and even though there has been rain, there was surprisingly no snow on the trail, despite snow on surrounding mountains - it was however very cold during the decent, but not as bad on the return as you are hiking back up since you're working harder on the way up. It's not steep however, and if you are in shape it will be easy. It was a nice hike, I would give it a B. Cons are that you decent first and I prefer working towards a peak as the end goal, or a big waterfall. There isn't much of an end wow factor, but don't let that deter you. It's still really lovely.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail! Spectacular views of the mountains covered in snow beyond the canyon below. Streams were flowing stronger than usual but crossings were easy.
The trail does thin out in some places so be mindful of where you’re putting your feet. I really wish this trail went further down the canyon, it ends just after a picnic area where there’s a barrel for fires. I tried following a trail that nearly disappeared and bushwhacked for a while before I turned back.

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