Trail Guide

Hiking the Baldy Ski Hut trail after a snowstorm

The Mount Baldy Ski Hut trail is one of the most scenic trails in the San Gabriel Mountains. After a snowstorm, it gets even better and provides a great opportunity for hikers to experience winter in Southern California.

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Mount San Jacinto via the Marion Mountain Trail

With the suburban sprawl of the Inland Empire surrounding its west side and plush resorts in Palm Springs flanking the east, San Jacinto State Park provides a convenient refuge for Los Angeles hikers looking for an escape from the grid. Most visitors access the park via a tram that ascends from Palm Springs for close to a mile of elevation gain to an altitude of 8516 feet. On the opposite side of the mountain, a number of trails offer more ambitious and desolate routes to the summit. The Marion Mountain trail is probably the most popular of those routes, and with good reason. It’s a phenomenal hike that at times feels more like the Sierra than a local LA trail.

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Sandstone Peak – Mishe Mokwa Trail Loop

sandstone11

About an hour west of Los Angeles, Sandstone Peak features a dazzling vista of the Pacific that rivals any view that I’ve seen in Southern California.

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The Devil’s Chair Trail

Tucked away on the northern side of the San Gabriel mountains, the Devil’s Punchbowl is one of LA’s best kept secrets. The juxtaposition of mountain scenery with desert geology gives it the type of rich diversity that defines California’s landscape.

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Mono Lake South Tufa State Reserve

Mono Lake

It’s not much of a hike, but wow, Mono Lake sure is gorgeous. The limestone tufas that jettison out of the water are a surreal sight unlike anything else. It’s a perfect place for serious landscape photography, or a relaxing sunset stroll after a day in the mountains.

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North Backbone trail to Pine Mountain, Dawson Peak, and Mount Baldy

The North Backbone trail hits the 3 highest peaks in the Angeles National Forest, stays above 8,000 feet for its entire length, offers great views of the most remote part of the San Gabriel Mountains, and manages to remain almost completely devoid of hikers. What’s the catch?

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Whitney Portal to Lone Pine Lake

Want to hike Mount Whitney but can’t get a permit? Take the trail up to Lone Pine Lake for a taste of what it is like to hike up California’s highest peak.

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North Lake to Lower Lamarck and Wonder Lakes

The Wonder Lakes near Bishop lie in a bucolic offtrail Sierra basin with easy weekend access. Quite wonderful indeed.

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Dawson Saddle to Mount Baden-Powell

This relatively moderate hike offers a taste of the Pacific Crest Trail and easy access to three 9,000 foot peaks.

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Quartz Mountain to Chain Lakes: Yosemite Weekender

The Chain Lakes in the southwestern area of Yosemite National Park is an easy place to achieve some solitude in one of America’s busiest parks.

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