San Gabriel Peak Hike in Angeles National Forest


Hike Reports, LA / SoCal Trails / Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Sunday funday [10/5/14]!  Well as I’m sure you noticed by now, it takes me a couple days to post about my adventures.  So I originally set out to go on the Switzer Falls hike w/ a friend & twinny, but since the portion of it my friend wanted to do was only three miles, we opt for the San Gabriel Peak hike. This is 3.75 miles (still short) but it inclines the entire way there since it’s the highest peak in the front part of the Angeles National Forest, with elevation peaking over 6000 ft.  Unfortunately….. we didn’t make it there.

The drive/ parking:  The drive there was straightforward, but long and curvy up the mountain.  We actually passed the trail-head for Switzer hike on the way to our destination.  So the directions we had were to look for the Red Box area, and we stumbled across the Red Box picnic area maybe 5 miles or so after passing the Switzer picnic area.  I just have to mention, if you have GPS on your car (cell reception is in and out on the mtn) make sure you pay attention to it; the current maps will actually update the road names to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.  Well when you keep driving, about 0.4 miles up the road from the picnic area parking lot, you will see a small dirt road on the right side with a small parking lot.  This isn’t monitored and does not require a permit, so we parked here.

image_1Hiking experience:  I believe this trail (or maybe just the peak) is on Mt Disappointment… ironic for a hike with a supposedly nice peak view… but we never actually made it there.  There was a bicyclist who passed us on the way up, but as she came down, she told us “there’s something big coming down, a wolf or something.” ……………………………….. ya we turned right round to head back.  I don’t care if it was just a big dog out in the wilderness, hearing something like that puts a little fright in you…. & I wasn’t about to risk me & my girls’ safety.  So unfortunately, we didn’t make it up to the San Gabriel Summit.  I heard there’s snow when it’s colder so that would be nice to check out in the winter.  The weather when we went was nice.  This weekend was high 90s but on the mountain, maybe since we started high up already, there was actually a really nice cool breeze in the shade (very shady hike) and the sunny part was just a teeny bit warm, but not hot.  Perfect.

We stopped by Switzer trail head on the way down the mountain though cause I really wanted to get in a good hike workout, but they required a parking permit which we did not have so we didn’t want to risk staying.  Another time.

We pulled over on one of the many turnouts for a photo opt.  It was a beautiful day and even with all the la smog, you could see DTLA in the distance.  This was also when we saw many firetrucks, ambulances and police cars speed up the mountain with the sirens going off.  As we kept driving, several more passed up.  There had to be 10+ total.  We were wondering if maybe it was the wolf……….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *