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Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains

Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains

by David Harris

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Explore the San Gabriel Mountains with This Authoritative Hiking Guide

Escape the rapid-paced urban life of Southern California, and step into the open, rugged terrain of the San Gabriel Mountains. Here, amid forest, chaparral, and stream, you’ll revitalize yourself in nature’s unhurried environment. Visit Eaton Canyon Falls, the most popular waterfall in the Angeles National Forest. Enjoy a family-friendly hike to a historic fire lookout site on Vetter Mountain. Challenge yourself on the San Antonio Ridge, the hardest traverse in the Angeles.

Now in its 10th edition, Trail of the Angeles by David Harris and John W. Robinson has been the region’s trusted hiking guide for more than 45 years. It describes 100 spectacular trails—ranging from one-hour strolls to challenging two-day backcountry trips—in the mountain range that looms large over the Los Angeles Basin. Featuring 18 new hikes, Trail of the Angeles guides you into almost every corner of the San Gabriels.

Inside You’ll Find:

  • Descriptions of 100 hikes, including 18 new outings
  • Trip difficulty evaluations, season recommendations, length, and elevation gain/loss
  • Historical photos and descriptions, including the first American Indian footpaths, early pioneer homesteads, and landmarks still visible from the Great Hiking Era
  • “Trails That Used to Be”: ghost trails that have vanished or are now impassable
  • BONUS: A folded full-color map detailing all the hikes described in the book

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643590301
Publisher: Wilderness Press
Publication date: 02/09/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,074,489
File size: 35 MB
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About the Author

David Harris is a professor of engineering at Harvey Mudd College. He is the author or coauthor of seven hiking guidebooks and five engineering textbooks. David grew up rambling about the Desolation Wilderness as a toddler in his father’s pack and later roamed the High Sierra as a Boy Scout. As a Sierra Club trip leader, he organized mountaineering trips throughout the Sierra Nevada. Since 1999, he has been exploring the mountains and deserts of Southern California. David is the father of three sons, with whom he loves sharing the outdoors. Author John Robinson hiked the San Gabriels for more than four decades and was considered the foremost expert on the trails of these mountains. He wrote the first edition of “Trails of the Angeles” in 1971 and soon followed with “San Bernardino Mountain Trails,” in addition to three High Sierra hiking guides and five books on Southern California mountain history and lore.

Read an Excerpt

Liebre Mountain

  • HIKE LENGTH: 7 miles out-and-back; 1,700' elevation gain
  • DIFFICULTY: Moderate
  • SEASON: All year
  • MAP: Trails Illustrated Angeles National Forest
  • PERMIT: n/a


The long whaleback of Liebre Mountain sprawls at the northwest corner of Angeles National Forest, where the Coast Ranges, the Tehachapis, and the San Gabriels all meld together in a wrinkled jumble. From Liebre’s broad summit, you look north across golden-brown Antelope Valley to the Tehachapis, curving from west to northeast in a great arc; and if the day is clear, the southern ramparts of the Sierra Nevada are visible on the distant skyline. Southward, you peer into the gentle ridge-and-canyon country of the Cienaga and Fish Canyon watersheds. The mountain itself is named for the 1846 Mexican land grant Rancho La Liebre; Liebre is Spanish for rabbit.

This is delightful mountain country, especially in spring, when snow patches linger on north slopes, the California black oak is clothing itself with reddish leaves, and aromatic white sage is blooming in the foothills. This is the home of the gray pine, a hardy dweller on semiarid slopes, easily identifiable by its gray-green needles, large cones (second in size only to the Coulter pine), and multiforked trunk. Also on the mountainside are big-cone Douglas-firs and some rather large scrub oaks. Occasional junipers and pinon pines bear testimony to the blending of mountain and desert here.

This trip follows the historic old Horse Trail, now part of the Pacific Crest Trail but once used to drive horses from the Tejon Ranch to Los Angeles, steeply up the forested north slope of Liebre Mountain from Horse Trail Flat to the summit. Do it in leisurely fashion to fully appreciate the desert view and the unique combination of forest trees and chaparral. It’s a long drive from Los Angeles, but the mountainside is remote, peaceful, and beautiful—well worth the effort.


From Interstate 5, exit east on Highway 138. Go 4 miles, then turn right on the Old Ridge Route (County Road N2). Go 2.2 miles, then turn left onto Pine Canyon Road (also County Road N2). In 4.3 miles, at a crest of a hill just beyond mile marker 13.60, turn right (south) on a rutted dirt road. Follow the road 0.1 mile to its end at the Pacific Crest Trail (GPS N34 44.306 W118 39.357). If the road is washed out and your vehicle has low clearance, consider parking on the shoulder of Pine Canyon instead.

At the upper edge of the parking area is the Pacific Crest Trail, the southbound section climbing west, the northbound dropping southeast. Take the southbound PCT, which ascends the mountainside. (If you start descending, you’re on the wrong trail segment.) You switchback up through live oaks and gray pines, with far-ranging views over Antelope Valley to the Tehachapis. After 2.0 miles you pass Horse Camp to your right. A table and fire ring are here, but there’s no water. (Water can be found seasonally in Horse Camp Canyon via a short use trail from the camp.) You continue switchbacking upward, under a cool canopy of pines and oaks. Near the top your trail becomes an old jeep track. About 60 yards before you reach the crest and a junction with Forest Road 7N23, turn right and scramble to the small rock cairn that marks the 5,760+-foot summit of Liebre Mountain (GPS N34 42.755 W118 39.255). Beware of the foxtail barley around the summit, which has barbs that catch in your socks, or could injure a dog’s eyes. Return the way you came.

VARIATION: With a 5-mile car or bicycle shuttle, you can follow the Liebre hogback west and drop down to the Old Ridge Route at the former site of the historic Sandberg Inn, 0.5 mile south of the Pine Canyon turnoff. You can follow either the easy Liebre Mountain Truck Trail or the more scenic Golden Eagle Trail, an abandoned segment of the PCT that crisscrosses the dirt road. This route is 10 miles.

Table of Contents

Map of the San Gabriel Area

Summary of Hikes

Preface to the Tenth Edition


The San Gabriel Mountains

Humans in the San Gabriels

Hiking Hints


Using This Book

100 Hikes in the San Gabriels

  1. Liebre Mountain
  2. Fish Canyon Narrows
  3. Sierra Pelona
  4. Placerita Canyon Park
  5. Whitney Canyon
  6. Yerba Buena Ridge
  7. Trail Canyon Falls
  8. Mount Lukens via Stone Canyon Trail
  9. Condor Peak
  10. Mount Lukens via Haines Canyon Trail
  11. Lower Arroyo Seco
  12. Down the Arroyo Seco
  13. Switzer Falls
  14. Dawn Mine
  15. Millard Canyon Falls
  16. Brown Mountain Loop
  17. Mount Lowe Trail Camp from Sunset Ridge
  18. Mount Lowe Railway Loop Tour
  19. Echo Mountain
  20. Rubio Canyon
  21. Eaton Canyon Falls
  22. Henninger Flats
  23. Mount Wilson Toll Road
  24. Idlehour Trail
  25. San Gabriel Peak from Red Box
  26. Mount Lowe from Eaton Saddle
  27. Mount Lowe Trail Camp from Eaton Saddle
  28. San Gabriel Peak from Eaton Saddle
  29. Bear Canyon Traverse
  30. Jones Peak
  31. Josephine Peak
  32. Strawberry Peak
  33. Strawberry Meadow
  34. Orchard Camp
  35. Mount Wilson via Old Mount Wilson Trail
  36. Sturtevant Falls
  37. Mount Zion Loop
  38. Mount Wilson via Winter Creek
  39. Mount Wilson via Sturtevant Camp
  40. Gabrielino National Recreation Trail
  41. Monrovia Canyon Falls
  42. Ben Overturff Trail
  43. Fish Canyon Falls
  44. Kenyon DeVore Trail to West Fork Trail Camp
  45. Shortcut Canyon to West Fork Trail Camp
  46. Vetter Mountain
  47. Pacifico Mountain
  48. Devil’s Canyon
  49. Mount Hillyer
  50. Twin Peaks and Mount Waterman Traverse
  51. Mount Waterman from Buckhorn
  52. Cloudburst to Cooper Canyon Falls to Buckhorn
  53. Winston Peak
  54. Pleasant View Ridge
  55. Eagles Roost Picnic Area to Cooper Canyon Falls
  56. Mount Williamson
  57. Williamson – Burkhart Traverse
  58. Kratka Ridge
  59. Burkhart Trail
  60. Devil’s Punchbowl County Park
  61. Devil’s Chair
  62. South Fork Trail
  63. Manzanita Trail
  64. High Desert Loop
  65. Smith Mountain
  66. Bear Creek
  67. Lewis Falls
  68. Mount Islip via Windy Gap
  69. Mount Islip from Islip Saddle
  70. Mount Islip South Ridge
  71. Mount Hawkins Loop
  72. Throop Peak
  73. Mount Baden–Powell from Vincent Gap
  74. Silver Moccasin Trail
  75. Big Horn Mine
  76. Upper East Fork
  77. Bridge to Nowhere
  78. Up the East Fork
  79. Rattlesnake Peak
  80. Iron Mountain
  81. San Antonio Ridge
  82. Mount Baldy North Backbone Traverse
  83. Blue Ridge Trail
  84. Jackson Lake Loop
  85. Big Dalton Mystic Loop
  86. Marshall Canyon Loop
  87. Claremont Hills Wilderness Park
  88. Etiwanda Falls
  89. Stoddard Peak
  90. Sunset Peak
  91. San Antonio Falls
  92. Mount Baldy via Devil’s Backbone
  93. Mount Baldy via Bear Ridge
  94. Mount Baldy Loop
  95. Stockton Flat to Baldy Notch
  96. The Three Ts
  97. Icehouse Saddle from Icehouse Canyon
  98. Ontario Peak
  99. Cucamonga Peak
  100. Icehouse Saddle from Lytle Creek

Trails That Used to Be


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