Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Trail begins with a lot of gradual downhill... then quite a bit of steep hiking, and some scrambling... but a great challenge and work out! Would do again, preferably without a 6 yr old in tow ;)

This was my second backpacking trip. Backpacked to Little Jimmy, setup camp, and made our way to Mt. Islip. The hike was fun and moderate. It's far into the Los Angeles Forest and takes some time to get to the parking lot. It's a great trip if you want to get away from the city. The campgrounds are well maintained and have grills, but I wouldn't recommend using the restrooms. Just handle your business in nature!

Really good hike, scenery and foliage was nicer than I expected. Falls were more of a trickle at this time of year, but still lovely. Downhill on the way in, back up to get out. Dogs loved it-- If your dog is not agile they will not be able to get down to the waterfall. We started at 0630 and were back to the car at 0830, didn't see any other people until we were almost back to the car.

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike. The difficulty rating comes from the fact that you're climbing and descending 3 times and the last mile or so up twin peaks is pretty steep. At this point the trail is pretty loose/sandy/gravelly. I lost the trail for a bit on the way up, but there were cairns (rock stacks) to guide me. Much easier to follow on the way down. It took me about 6.5 hrs including a few longer breaks for lunch and enjoying the views (an awesome amount of great views). Overall the trail is probably 75% shaded which was great!

View of the canyon through the first half is absolutely stunning. Highly recommended.

Beautiful picnic recreation area. A few places of random tarmac & 2 old road crossings. Recomend long pants & a hat as there's quite a bit of toxic poodlebush growing close to the trail & not much shade cover. Slope is a bit deceiving as it starts fairly flat and becomes more steep as you go. 1 mile in the average is about 7.5% grade.

One of my top hikes in LA!

Lots of gorgeous views, just far/ close enough to Hollywood.

The "description" is totally inaccurate and people can get lost if they follow them!

Park at Buckhorn Day Use NOT Campground. Ignore where the trailhead is on the Alltrails app (the map trailhead looks like at the bottom of the ski hill. Who the hell would hike up or down that??) From the DAY USE lot, walk directly across the street and go through the white metal gate. After a short while you'll see a SMALL post with the word "trail" (Mt Waterman Loop is scrawled on it if you look closer) on it. Follow that TRAIL up (left). If you go straight it's just a fire road which is steeper than the left side with not much to see. The left TRAIL side has all the views and much easier of an incline.

The alltrails map is accurate the rest of the way. It will come in handy as the trail becomes unclear many times.

Please fix the description!

Awesome walked, loved the scenery and the waterfall was wonderful.

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..

We did this to escape the heat in L.A.
Did the loop counter-clockwise from the last turnout before Bukhorn entrance. It's simply a matter of keeping a leftward tangent. Started at 5:30 pm and finished at 9:15 pm. It being July, we used a lot of repellent.
Very beautiful hike, especially with the low angle sunlight, and plenty of shade. But forget the falls. It was just too dry. As the evening sky set in, we took the PCT out of Cooper Canyon instead of the service road. It was worth it because as the trail gets up on to the rim of the canyon, you can see a lot of sky and surrounding mountains with that blue and orange colored sky. We had the trail all to ourselves.
The loop is closer to 8 miles than 6 because we took the trail instead of the service road coming out of Cooper Canyon trail camp. The map shows to use the service road, thus making it closer to 6 miles.

Awesome Trail going In all downhill, coming back all Uphill. Amazing view. Did purchace my adventure Pass.. Did the complete Loop and More Total 8.9 Miles. I love it.

Great hike! Took a little over 2 hours to get up and a little over 1 hour to get down. If you hit the trail early enough, a good chunk of the way up will be in shade. Time of year will determine exactly when that time frame is, but I had cover starting at 7:30am in June. The last 1/3 of the way up is very steep and you might feel like you are on a StairMaster at times, but it is extremely rewarding in the end. The view from the top is incredible. The peak itself, however, is a little underwhelming. Not many exposed rocks to take a seat on and a ton of insects that won't make you want to stay long/touch the log box at the top. Be sure to bring at least 2 liters of water as well for a hotter day. Went through most of my water on the way up and only stopped drinking to ration the rest for the way down.

Nice little training hike. beginning of the hike has about 1/4 mile of shade but after that, it's HOT! Bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water. Good Mellow hike right up until the last mile and it get's a bit scrambley with a couple false summits. Watch out for the Yucca and Bramble, there's lot of it up there. Great views and a little log box at the top.

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

That "hard" difficulty rating wasn't kidding. The trail begins simple enough. Not a big deal. Eventually however, we begin to climb up a mountain with little to no switchbacks. Just straight up. This hike is definitely not boring. As another poster mentioned, it's with the effort.

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.

My favorite easy day hike in the Angeles N.F. I love everything about this trail--the huge ponderosa and sugar pines, the rocks on top for scrambling, the view from the top. It's also super fun to mountain bike!

It’s got nice views once you get off the fire road but there is also so many fallen trees and obstacles in this overgrown section up to Mooney. It’s an easy enough Peak to bag if you’re a completist. Really beautiful wildflowers along the way but beware the one with the purple flowers. Here be poodle dog bush. Very poisonous.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy hike if you’re in the area and need to get one of the peaks done on the Hundred Peaks Section list. Easy to follow. Trees obscure the view at the summit but there are near rock formations.

hiking
1 month 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
2 months ago

Por el día el clima estuvo increiblemente perfecto soleado y por la noche fresco. Para aquellos amantes de la naturaleza hay mucha fauna y flora, ahora todo esta verde y con flores. En mi caso traía una mochila con con equipo para acampar, provisiones y agua lo cual hizo mas pesado y cansado todo.  El plan dormir en la punta de la cima y al día siguiente regresar. Recomiendo llevar repelente mucho mosquito!  palos de apoyo para hike hay partes con terreno no confiable, es un sendero pesado y requiere condición física, personalmente hice varias paradas para disfrutar mi alrededor y tomar aliento, no llevaba prisa por  llegar a la cima pero cuando llegue sentí una satisfacción enorme me encantó la vista.
 Definitivamente el regreso fue mucho mas fácil pero aún asi tener precauciones especialmente en el descenso por toda la arena suelta y piedras pequeñas que hay en el camino.
Terminé muerta pero amé todo, sin dudarlo regreso!!!

hiking
2 months 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.

Wonderful hike to the top. Four stars because of the descent via the dirt roads. Next time I'll return via the same path up.

Lots of flatter sections and the brutal steep section to the summit (~ 1/2 mile). Really loose and step and I ended up slipping on the way down. Has some of the best views of Angeles Forest I have seen but hike wasn't my favorite. Watch your footing on some of the flatter trail sections, I had my foot sunk into a few hidden animal holes. Sooo many flies on the downhill section before the climb to the summit but that is to be expected this time of year in Angeles Crest. Next time I will go up to Mt. Waterman from Three Points and it doesn't seem to have the dip into the saddle, followed by a crazy incline!

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