Sierra Club 100 Peaks

Here you'll find detailed guides to hike summits found on the Sierra Club's Angeles Chapter 100 peaks list.

Name Distance Level Location Climb Dogs
Baldy Bowl Trail (Ski Hut Trail) to Mt Baldy8.8HardMt Baldy3900Y
Stone Canyon Trail to Mt Lukens Loop14HardTujunga3350Y
Hike the Suicide Rock Trail (Idyllwild)7ModerateIdyllwild-Pine Cove1830N
Hike Santiago Peak & Modjeska Peak From Maple Springs16HardSilverado3500Y
Hike Garnet Peak via PCT4.2ModerateMt Laguna650Y
Condor Peak Trail15.2HardTujunga4100Y
Hike Wright Mountain From Inspiration Point14HardValyermo2600Y
Hiking Stonewall Peak Trail4.2ModerateJulian830N
Hike Cuyamaca Peak7.7ModerateJulian1850N
Panorama Loop and Warren Peak (Joshua Tree)8ModerateYucca Valley1750N
Palm Springs Tram Hike to San Jacinto Peak11HardPalm Springs2620N
Throop Peak + Mount Burnham + Baden-Powell From Dawson Saddle9ModerateParadise Springs2700Y
Hike Grays Peak Trail (Big Bear)7.2ModerateFawnskin1300Y
Red Mountain Hike (Mojave Desert)5.5HardRandsburg1900Y
Hike Josephine Peak From Colby Canyon8.4ModerateTujunga2300Y
Boucher Fire Tower Loop (Palomar Mountain)3.5EasyPalomar Mountain630N
Sunset Peak Trail Hike (Angeles National Forest)7.5ModerateMt Baldy1300Y
Hike Pacifico Mountain on the PCT13.5ModeratePalmdale2350Y
South Fork Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain19.5HardAngelus Oaks4700Y
Fish Creek Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain20.5HardAngelus Oaks3700Y
San Gorgonio Hike on the Vivian Creek Trail18Very HardForest Falls5470Y
Hike Keller Peak on the Exploration Trail12.5ModerateBig Bear2200Y
Sugarloaf Mountain Trail Guide – Big Bear12HardBig Bear3360Y
Hike Mt San Jacinto Peak on the Deer Springs Trail19Very HardIdyllwild5400N
Hot Springs Mountain Trail Guide (San Diego)10.5HardWarner Springs2500Y
Palomar Mountain Observatory Trail5Moderate Palomar Mountain1000Y
Cougar Crest Trail to Bertha Peak Hike Guide8ModerateBig Bear1450Y
Mt Hillyer Trail Hike6.5ModerateChilao Campground1240Y
Mount Pinos Trail and Sawmill Mountain Hike Guide8ModerateFrazier Park1600Y
Mt Hawkins Loop Hike (Hawkins, Middle, and South Mount Hawkins)13HardIrwindale3750Y
Black Mountain Trail to the Fire Lookout (Idyllwild, CA)8HardBanning2820Y
Hike Mt Islip From Crystal Lake10.5HardAzuza2800Y
Hike San Bernardino East Peak From Forsee Creek Trail18HardAngelus Oaks4600Y
Hike Mt Waterman & Twin Peaks11.5HardPearblossom3700Y
Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail Hike8.5HardIdyllwild2350Y
Strawberry Peak Hike7.2ModerateAzusa1720Y
Mt Wilson Trail Hike14.5HardSierra Madre5640N
Hike Mt Lukens From Deukmejian Wilderness Park10HardLa Crescenta2800Y
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Hike To Mt San Jacinto11HardPalm Springs2620N
Hike Indian Truck Trail to Santiago Peak21HardCorona4910Y
Cactus to Clouds Hike21Very HardPalm Springs10800N
Hike the Three T’s Trail16HardMt Baldy5110Y
San Bernardino Peak Hike16HardAngelus Oaks4670Y
Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak14.7HardMt Baldy4240Y
Cucamonga Peak Hike12HardMt Baldy4100Y
Modjeska Peak Hike15HardTrabuco Canyon4820Y
Saddleback Mountain Hike (Santiago Peak)15.6HardCorona4300Y
Mt Wilson Hike From Chantry Flat14.5HardSierra Madre4600Y
Mt Baldy Hike11HardMt Baldy3990Y
Mount Baden-Powell Hike8.3HardVincent Gap2800Y

All Guides

Baldy Bowl Trail (Ski Hut Trail) to Mt Baldy

Baldy Bowl Trail (Ski Hut Trail) to Mt Baldy

The Baldy Bowl Trail, also known as the Ski Hut Trail, is the shortest route to the summit of Mt Baldy. Unfortunately, that short distance comes at the price of a very steep climb. For fit hikers, you’ll have to work, and for those out of shape, expect to take breaks to catch your breath as you navigate the steep slopes. Along the way, you’ll have a picture-perfect spot to rest, the Sierra Club Ski Hut. And the final payoff is reaching the highest point in Los Angeles County, Mount San Antonio, known colloquially as Mt Baldy because of its bald face.

Mt Baldy, CA - 8.8 miles, Hard

Stone Canyon Trail to Mt Lukens Loop

Stone Canyon Trail to Mt Lukens Loop

If you’d like an off the beaten path adventure in Angeles National Forest, this hike is for you. We’ll ascend Stone Canyon Trail to Mt Lukens, the highest point in the City of Los Angeles, then loop back down into Big Tujunga Canyon on the Grizzly Flat Trail, which darts back and forth over Big Tujunga Creek. The hike is tougher than it looks on paper, primitive in spots, and lots of fun.

Tujunga, CA - 14 miles, Hard

Hike the Suicide Rock Trail (Idyllwild)

Hike the Suicide Rock Trail (Idyllwild)

Hiking the Suicide Rock Trail gives you the big mountain feel without climbing the big mountains. You’ll have to hike uphill on the Deer Springs Trail, through the oaks that give way to pines as you get higher. The payoff is a massive slab of granite with views of the mountains surrounding you. Although you are in San Bernardino National Forest, it feels like you could be at Yosemite.

Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA - 7 miles, Moderate

Hike Santiago Peak & Modjeska Peak From Maple Springs

Hike Santiago Peak & Modjeska Peak From Maple Springs

If you want to bag both peaks of Saddleback Mountain, Modjeska and Santiago, the route from Maple Springs is a great option. In this guide I’ll show you how to park at the end of the paved road and then hike through the heart of the Santa Anas to the summits. The first few miles of the hike are on a dirt road, but then we’ll switch onto rugged singletrack. There’s a lot of confusion around hiking this route, and this guide should clear it all up and make it easy.

Silverado, CA - 16 miles, Hard

Hike Garnet Peak via PCT

Hike Garnet Peak via PCT

Garnet Peak offers commanding views from the Laguna Mountains over the Borrego Desert and surrounding mountains. It’s one of the most spectacular viewpoints in the area. In this hiking guide, we’ll take the PCT to the Garnet Peak Trail, the most scenic route that offers plenty of parking at the trailhead. Don’t let the short distance fool you; the views on this hike are worth it.

Mt Laguna, CA - 4.2 miles, Moderate

Condor Peak Trail

Condor Peak Trail

The Condor Peak Trail is an underrated gem. Sitting at 5,440 feet above the western section of Angeles National Forest, Condor Peak was once the home to nesting (and now endangered) California Condors. The Condors are long gone, but the trail is still there and well-maintained, offering a challenging hike with breathtaking views. There are a few routes to Condor Peak, and in this guide, I’ll show you what is considered the most popular route up the Condor Peak Trail.

Tujunga, 91042 - 15.2 miles, Hard

Hike Wright Mountain From Inspiration Point

Hike Wright Mountain From Inspiration Point

While there are several ways to summit Wright Mountain in the San Gabriel Mountains, this route from Inspiration Point is my favorite. You’ll follow the spine known as the Blue Ridge, which is packed with views of the surrounding high peaks, and you’ll get to experience the iconic PCT along the way. It’s also one of the rare hikes in the area that traverses Angeles NF and San Bernardino NF on the same trail.

Valyermo, CA - 14 miles, Hard

Hiking Stonewall Peak Trail

Hiking Stonewall Peak Trail

It’s easy to see why the Stonewall Peak Trail is the most popular hike in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. It’s a climb, but not too tough. And at the top, there’s a unique bald granite summit that offers panoramic views of high peaks, lakes, and desert. The hike is a relatively short out-and-back, but if you want to make it a nice loop with views of Lake Cuyamaca, I have directions for that too.

Julian, CA - 4.2 miles, Moderate

Hike Cuyamaca Peak

Hike Cuyamaca Peak

The hike to Cuyamaca Peak brings you to San Diego County’s second-highest point at 6,512 feet. It’s only 20 feet lower than the highest peak but much easier to hike. On a clear day, you can see for 100 miles from the summit, including the Coronado Islands and Table Top Mountain in Mexico. Even though the hike goes to a high point, it’s not a tough backcountry expedition but rather a great hike for a beginner – no tricky twists and turns.

Julian, CA - 7.7 miles, Moderate

Panorama Loop and Warren Peak (Joshua Tree)

Panorama Loop and Warren Peak (Joshua Tree)

The Panorama Loop and Warren Peak hike in Joshua Tree NP gets you away from the crowds and into some classic Joshua Tree terrain. You’ll enjoy Joshua Tree groves, foothill climbs, and epic views. You’ll also bag the most western point over 5000 feet in Joshua Tree NP. And Warren Peak is not Warren Peak. More about that in the guide.

Yucca Valley, 92284 - 8 miles, Moderate

Palm Springs Tram Hike to San Jacinto Peak

Palm Springs Tram Hike to San Jacinto Peak

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Hike to Mt San Jacinto is a great way to bag Southern California’s second-highest peak without putting in a considerable effort. It’s still a challenging 11-mile hike, but it’s nothing like climbing Mt San Jacinto from Palm Springs or Idyllwild; taking the Palm Springs tram cuts about 6,000 feet of climbing off the hike. The summit of Mt San Jacinto is one of my favorites because it straddles the line between Coastal California and the Sonoran Desert, allowing you to see the transition between the two ecosystems, and on a clear day, from Catalina Island to Mt Charleston, just outside of Las Vegas. It’s a fun and insanely beautiful hike.

Palm Springs, CA - 11 miles, Hard

Throop Peak + Mount Burnham + Baden-Powell From Dawson Saddle

Throop Peak + Mount Burnham + Baden-Powell From Dawson Saddle

This hike, which takes in Throop Peak, Mount Burnham, and Mount Baden-Powell from Dawson Saddle, has dramatic high-mountain scenery and interesting history. This ridge of peaks was initially referred to as “North Baldy Mountain,” with Throop Peak being the “West Twin” and Baden-Powell being the “East Twin.” Whatever you want to call it now, this is a great hike, with three peaks to bag, expansive views, and well-groomed trails, including the PCT.

Paradise Springs, California - 9 miles, Moderate

Hike Grays Peak Trail (Big Bear)

Hike Grays Peak Trail (Big Bear)

Grays Peak Trail, one of the most popular hikes in the Big Bear Area, is not too tough, but plenty nice. You’ll hike through an old-growth forest, be treated to views of the surrounding peaks, and then reach the forested knob of Grays Peak, which has lengthwise views of Big Bear Lake, as well as the San Bernardino high line of peaks. It’s such a nice area that two bald eagles decided to raise a family here! More on that in the guide.

Fawnskin, CA - 7.2 miles, Moderate

Red Mountain Hike (Mojave Desert)

Red Mountain Hike (Mojave Desert)

The Red Mountain hike, although “normal” on paper, really packs a punch. Red Mountain, a volcanic cone rising over 2000 feet above the surrounding Mojave Desert, has steep slopes, harsh terrain, and a challenging trail. And with great effort comes great payoff: the summit offers sweeping views and an interesting history.

Randsburg, CA - 5.5 miles, Hard

Hike Josephine Peak From Colby Canyon

Hike Josephine Peak From Colby Canyon

Standing prominently in the western San Gabriels, Josephine Peak offers a cool summit with sweeping views. There are a few ways to hike to the summit, and this guide covers my favorite route, which takes the (single track) Colby Canyon Trail (instead of the fire road). This is a great “off-the-beaten-path” hike where you never see crowds, making for a peaceful and pleasurable experience.

Tujunga, CA - 8.4 miles, Moderate

Boucher Fire Tower Loop (Palomar Mountain)

Boucher Fire Tower Loop (Palomar Mountain)

This short loop hike to the Boucher Fire Lookout Tower offers a lot to see in a short distance. The climb to the tower is gentle, and at the top, on a clear day, you can see from Mexico, to the Coronado Islands, to Mt San Jacinto.  I’d venture to say the best views from Palomar Mountain State Park are from Boucher Hill. Then rom the tower, we’ll hike in a loop and visit the remains of a historic homesteader’s cabin.

Palomar Mountain, CA - 3.5 miles, Easy

Sunset Peak Trail Hike (Angeles National Forest)

Sunset Peak Trail Hike (Angeles National Forest)

The Sunset Peak hike, with its gentle yet steady uphill, offers lots of beauty for all levels of hiker. For beginners, Sunset Peak lets you dip your toe into the high peaks of Angeles National Forest without anything too hairy. And for the experienced hiker, the sweeping panoramic views give you a unique perspective of all the big-name peaks. Overall Sunset Peak is a great hike that I recommend for everyone to enjoy.

Mt Baldy, CA - 7.5 miles, Moderate

Hike Pacifico Mountain on the PCT

Hike Pacifico Mountain on the PCT

If you want to get off the beaten path in Angeles National Forest, head over to the Pacifico Mountain hike. Pacifico Mountain, the highest peak in the northwestern part of the forest, offers unique views spanning from Mt Baldy to Los Padres National Forest to Nevada. There are several approaches to the summit of Pacifico Mountain, and we’ll take what I think is the most scenic one up the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It’s a great hike without big crowds.

Palmdale, CA - 13.5 miles, Moderate

South Fork Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain

South Fork Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain

The South Fork Trail is one of the more popular routes to the San Gorgonio Mountain summit, and for a good reason. You have to put some work in on the climb, but overall the gradients are steady and reasonable. As you wind up toward the summit, you’ll get postcard views of the San Bernardino high line of peaks, views down to Mill Creek, and then, of course, the epic views from the summit, the highest point in southern California. Overall this is a classic hike.

Angelus Oaks, CA - 19.5 miles, Hard

Fish Creek Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain

Fish Creek Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain

Offering solitude and the easiest (but not easy) climb to San Gorgonio Mountain, the Fish Creek Trail is a great hike to escape the crowds. Getting to the trailhead is a challenge, but once there, you’ll start the hike just 3500 feet below the summit, and a well-designed trail helps you keep momentum as you climb to the highest point in SoCal. Unfortunately, there’s some damage from the 2015 Lake Fire, but it’s still a beautiful hike with great views and rugged wilderness.

Angelus Oaks, CA - 20.5 miles, Hard

San Gorgonio Hike on the Vivian Creek Trail

San Gorgonio Hike on the Vivian Creek Trail

Easily the most popular San Gorgonio hike route, the Vivian Creek Trail is an iconic adventure up to the highest point in SoCal, at 11,503 feet. Vivian Creek is popular because it’s the shortest and most accessible route, but it’s also the steepest, so expect a good workout on your way to the summit. It’s a beautiful hike through pines, cedars, and streams and then up to the barren moon-like landscape above the tree line. From the summit, you’ll enjoy sweeping views from Nevada to the Channel Islands. Many people hike it in a day, but you can also make it an overnight backpacking trip. In this guide, I’ll give you everything you need to know for either option.

Forest Falls, CA - 18 miles, Very Hard

Hike Keller Peak on the Exploration Trail

Hike Keller Peak on the Exploration Trail

Off the radar of most hikers, the Exploration Trail to Keller Peak is a scenic adventure that’s not too hard but also packs in some great trail highlights. The entire area you hike through was devastated by the 1970 Bear Fire; today, as you hike, you can experience what a half-century of recovery looks like (it’s good). Along the way, you’ll get some epic views of the Angeles National Forest and the surrounding high peaks. At Keller Peak, you can experience the oldest standing fire tower in Southern California, dating back to 1926.

Big Bear, CA - 12.5 miles, Moderate

Sugarloaf Mountain Trail Guide – Big Bear

Sugarloaf Mountain Trail Guide – Big Bear

Although Sugarloaf Mountain, at 9952 feet, is the highest point in Big Bear Valley, this mountain peak is often overlooked by hikers today. That’s good news for you because the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail is rarely crowded, offers a good climb with excellent views, an old-growth forest, and another peak to add to your list. And while the summit doesn’t have a viewpoint, you do get some of the best panoramas of the San Bernardino high peaks along the way.

Big Bear, CA - 12 miles, Hard

Hike Mt San Jacinto Peak on the Deer Springs Trail

Hike Mt San Jacinto Peak on the Deer Springs Trail

The hike to Mt San Jacinto Peak on the Deer Springs Trail is one of the toughest and most beautiful hikes in Southern California. You’ll climb over 5000 feet on the ascent of San Jacinto Peak, hiking through old-growth pine forests until you crest the summit. On the way back down, we’ll hike the Wellman’s Cienega Trail, which hugs the mountainside, offers incredible views of Tahquitz Peak and Lily Rock, and feels more like Yosemite than Southern California. You can tackle this underrated hike in one day or break it up overnight in Little Round Valley Campground.

Idyllwild, CA - 19 miles, Very Hard

Hot Springs Mountain Trail Guide (San Diego)

Hot Springs Mountain Trail Guide (San Diego)

Hot Springs Mountain, the highest point in San Diego County at 6,535 feet, would be worth hiking just for that fact, but there’s so much more to enjoy. After a tough initial climb, the trail is peaceful and scenic as it winds through conifers, giving the feel of a higher alpine area. And at the summit, you get to visit the oldest standing fire tower serving Cleveland National Forest, dating to 1942, and then enjoy a ladder climb up to the actual summit. It’s a fun and beautiful hike that’s tough but not too tough.

Warner Springs, CA - 10.5 miles, Hard

Palomar Mountain Observatory Trail

Palomar Mountain Observatory Trail

The Palomar Mountain Observatory Trail is a gentle hike that offers a lot of scenery packed into a short distance. One of the only National Recreational Trails in San Diego, the hike takes you through mountain pines and cedars, offers panoramic viewpoints, and ends at the iconic Palomar Observatory, the largest in the world from 1948 to 1976. The Observatory Trail is easy to follow, not too steep, and great for families.

Palomar Mountain, CA - 5 miles, Moderate

Cougar Crest Trail to Bertha Peak Hike Guide

Cougar Crest Trail to Bertha Peak Hike Guide

The Cougar Crest Trail, one of the most popular in Big Bear, CA, offers excellent views and beautiful wilderness for a moderate, but not crazy, effort. On the hike, you’ll experience a lush Alpine forest, views of Big Bear Lake, stone sculptures, a stretch on the iconic Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and then the panoramic Bertha Peak, one of the high points around the lake.

Big Bear, CA - 8 miles, Moderate

Mt Hillyer Trail Hike

Mt Hillyer Trail Hike

The Mt Hillyer Trail hike takes you on a mellow summit loop through a little-hiked area of Angeles National Forest. The climb isn’t tough, the distance isn’t extreme, and that’s part of why it’s great. You’ll hike through the old stomping ground of 1860s horse bandits, complete with a hidden pasture and boulder hideout. And at the summit of Mt Hillyer, you’re rewarded with sweeping views of the eastern San Gabriels. Oh, and there are two different summits with two different views. So you got that going for you, which is nice.

Chilao Campground, CA - 6.5 miles, Moderate

Mount Pinos Trail and Sawmill Mountain Hike Guide

Mount Pinos Trail and Sawmill Mountain Hike Guide

This two-peak hike is incredibly beautiful. First, you bag Mount Pinos, the highest point in Ventura County at 8847 ft. The Mount Pinos Trail is wide, shady, and pleasant. The real fun starts as you continue to Sawmill Mountain, the highest point in Kern County, at 8822ft. You’ll pass a condor observation point, enter the rugged Chumash Wilderness, and then enjoy sweeping views and a huge cairn on Sawmill Mountain. The hike is challenging, but it’s not a big mountain expedition; most folks can do this hike without much fuss.

Frazier Park, CA - 8 miles, Moderate

Mt Hawkins Loop Hike (Hawkins, Middle, and South Mount Hawkins)

Mt Hawkins Loop Hike (Hawkins, Middle, and South Mount Hawkins)

This challenging and lightly-trodden loop hike offers three summits along the route: Mt Hawkins, Middle Hawkins, and South Mount Hawkins. The hike offers sweeping views of the peaks of Angeles National Forest, an interesting history, beautiful trails, a long descent down Hawkins Ridge, and three different peaks to bag from the Sierra Club’s 100 Peaks list. Escape the crowds on the nearby peaks and give the Mt Hawkins loop a try.

Irwindale, CA - 13 miles, Hard

Black Mountain Trail to the Fire Lookout (Idyllwild, CA)

Black Mountain Trail to the Fire Lookout (Idyllwild, CA)

Located just outside of Idyllwild, CA in San Bernardino National Forest, the Black Mountain Trail hike to the fire lookout is a hidden gem. Often overshadowed by hikes like Tahquitz, it offers a healthy mountain climb, great panoramic views, a fire lookout, AND a secret grove of Giant Sequoia trees. You heard that correctly.

Banning, CA - 8 miles, Hard

Hike Mt Islip From Crystal Lake

Hike Mt Islip From Crystal Lake

Tucked into Angeles National Forest away from the crowds, this loop hike to Mt Islip from Crystal Lake offers a little bit of everything in a very doable package. Starting at one of the only natural lakes in Angeles National Forest, Crystal Lake, the hike follows well-marked trails, offers spectacular views, and summits Mt Islip at 8,250 ft. After soaking in the sweeping views from Catalina to the Mojave, you have a long, gradual downhill cruise back to the Crystal Lake Recreation Area.

Azuza, CA - 10.5 miles, Hard

Hike San Bernardino East Peak From Forsee Creek Trail

Hike San Bernardino East Peak From Forsee Creek Trail

Get away from the crowds on this San Bernardino East Peak hike that climbs up the Forsee Creek Trail, meanders along the breathtaking Bernardino Peak Divide Trail, then heads back to the start on the primitive and secluded John’s Meadow Trail. It’s a tough hike with a fair amount of climbing, but the scenery and ruggedness of the San Gorgonio Wilderness make it well worth it. I usually do this as a loop hike in a day, but there are several camping options if you want to make it an overnighter.

Angelus Oaks, CA - 18 miles, Hard

Hike Mt Waterman & Twin Peaks

Hike Mt Waterman & Twin Peaks

A hike to Mt Waterman and the Twin Peaks offers rugged and remote beauty, well-groomed trails, panoramic views of the major summits in Angeles National Forest, and an absence of major crowds. This guide shows you how to do the popular 11.5 mile “reverse lollipop” route to Twin Peaks and then back over Mt Waterman, but you can also just do a shorter 5.5 mile hike to Mt Waterman and get a taste of the beauty of the area. If you have the time, I highly recommend the longer hike. It’s a bit of a workout with a lot of up-and-down, but the summit of Twin Peak East is a great one.

Pearblossom, CA - 11.5 miles, Hard

Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail Hike

Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail Hike

The Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail hike is one of the most popular hikes in the San Jacinto area for a reason. The scenery and views are incredible, the trails are in excellent condition and are well-marked, and the summit includes a visit to the highest fire lookout in San Bernardino National Forest at 8,846 feet. Because of its popularity, there are times when you need to apply for a permit and other times that you don’t. I’ll explain it all in the guide.

Idyllwild, CA - 8.5 miles, Hard

Strawberry Peak Hike

Strawberry Peak Hike

This Strawberry Peak hike offers a ton of great scenery in a relatively short distance. You wind around a ridge on Mt Lawlor with spectacular views, then do a short but tough climb to Strawberry Peak, the highest point in the front range of the San Gabriels at 6,164ft. You’ll earn great views of LA, Mt Wilson, and Mt Baldy. It’s a fun hike on its own, but even more attractive if you want to get a mountain climb in to build confidence for the higher peaks in the area.

Azusa, CA - 7.2 miles, Moderate

Mt Wilson Trail Hike

Mt Wilson Trail Hike

The Mt Wilson Trail is the oldest route to the summit to Mt Wilson. Unlike the popular route to Mt Wilson from Chantry Flat, the Mt Wilson Trail is mellow and lacks the crowds and kids looking for the waterfall. The Mt Wilson Trail offers beautiful views as it ascends the side of Little Santa Anita Canyon, and being the oldest trail, offers some historical landmarks as well. If you’ve only hiked Mt Wilson from Chantry Flat, I highly recommend giving this route a try too.

Sierra Madre, CA - 14.5 miles, Hard

Hike Mt Lukens From Deukmejian Wilderness Park

Hike Mt Lukens From Deukmejian Wilderness Park

The hike to Mt Lukens, the highest point in the city of LA at 5,066 feet, is a fun one that doesn’t get as much traffic as other more popular Southern California hikes. It’s a tough 10 mile loop with almost 3,000 feet of total ascent, and you’re rewarded with great views and pristine wilderness, all within the city of LA.

La Crescenta, CA - 10 miles, Hard

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Hike To Mt San Jacinto

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Hike To Mt San Jacinto

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Hike to Mt San Jacinto is a great way to bag Southern California’s second highest peak without putting in a huge effort. It’s still a tough 11 mile hike, but it’s nothing like climbing to Mt San Jacinto from Palm Springs or Idyllwild. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway cuts about 6,000 feet of climbing off the hike, and offers a nice base station where you can grab a snack after your successful summit. The summit of Mt San Jacinto is one of my favorites because it straddles the line between Coastal California and the Sonoran Desert, allowing you to see the transition between the two. On a clear day you’ll see from the Pacific Ocean to Mount Charleston in Las Vegas. A really fun and insanely beautiful hike.

Palm Springs, CA - 11 miles, Hard

Hike Indian Truck Trail to Santiago Peak

Hike Indian Truck Trail to Santiago Peak

The Indian Truck Trail offers an alternate way to hike Santiago Peak (Saddleback Mountain). It’s not a rustic single-track trail like  the Santiago Peak hike from Lower Holy Jim Trail, but instead includes some wider Forest Service dirt roads (Indian Truck Trail is also known as forest road 5S01). You might see a few 4x4s or mountain bikes, but otherwise it’s very mellow.  It’s a beautiful hike, so don’t let this stop you.

Corona, CA - 21 miles, Hard

Cactus to Clouds Hike

Cactus to Clouds Hike

The Cactus to Clouds hike is epic. It was rated one of the hardest day hikes in the world by Backpack Magazine. You start in downtown Palm Springs and climb over 10,000 feet to the summit of Mt San Jacinto, with a large stretch on the treacherous Skyline Trail. The Cactus to Clouds hike should only be attempted by the very experienced and very fit hiker, and only under the right conditions. This guide gives you all the info you need to do this incredible hike safely.

Palm Springs, CA - 21 miles, Very Hard

Hike the Three T’s Trail

Hike the Three T’s Trail

The Three T’s Trail hike is one of the more peaceful hikes in the Mt Baldy area. This loop hike starts at Icehouse Canyon, climbs to Icehouse Saddle, then hits Timber Mountain (elevation 8,303ft), Telegraph Peak (elevation 8,985ft), and Thunder Mountain (elevation 8,587ft), and then descends down to Baldy Notch, Manker Flats, and back to Icehouse Canyon. It’s a long hike, but a favorite for those avoiding crowds.

Mt Baldy, CA - 16 miles, Hard

San Bernardino Peak Hike

San Bernardino Peak Hike

The San Bernardino Peak (10,649 feet) hike is tough but rewarding. The San Bernardino Mountains were named after San Bernardino Peak, which was named by one of the pioneer friars in California, Francisco Dumetz in 1835. I like this hike a lot. The crowds are light, the fauna is beautiful, and it offers sweeping views of Mt Baldy, Mt San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, Big Bear Lake, and the Inland Empire.Planning for the San Bernardino Peak Hike

Angelus Oaks, CA - 16 miles, Hard

Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak

Hike Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak

If you want a great Angeles National Forest mountain hike without the crowds, hike Ontario Peak (8,696 ft) and Bighorn Peak. The hike begins on the popular Icehouse Canyon trail but soon moves off to the much less traveled Ontario Peak Trail, where you might see more bighorn sheep than people. The Ontario Peak Trail roughly follows a ridge line, offering great views culminating in the “rock nest” summit of Ontario Peak. There’s also a short spur trip to Bighorn Peak, because, why not? This is a tough hike but worth the effort–one of my favorites.

Mt Baldy, CA - 14.7 miles, Hard

Cucamonga Peak Hike

Cucamonga Peak Hike

Offering one of the coolest summits in the San Gabriel Mountains, the hike to Cucamonga Peak very popular. Cucamonga Peak, at 8,862 feet, has spectacular views from SoCal’s high peaks to the urban development below. The hike up to the peak is tough but not brutal, the scenery and views are spectacular, and the summit area is a lot of fun. You might even see some bighorn sheep along the way.

Mt Baldy, CA - 12 miles, Hard

Modjeska Peak Hike

Modjeska Peak Hike

The Modjeska Peak hike is challenging – long, steep, and sometimes primitive. The hike climbs to the second highest point in Orange County, Modjeska Peak. Modjeska Peak, at 5,499 feet, is the lower peak in Saddleback Mountain. The highest peak (and other peak in Saddleback Mountain) is Santiago Peak. The actual summit is undeveloped and much nicer than nearby Santiago Peak. This is a challenging hike. Don’t try this hike without a good level of fitness.

Trabuco Canyon, CA - 15 miles, Hard

Saddleback Mountain Hike (Santiago Peak)

Saddleback Mountain Hike (Santiago Peak)

Hiking Saddleback Mountain takes you to the highest point in Orange County, Santiago Peak. It’s also the highest point in the Santa Ana mountains at 5,689 feet. This hike takes the scenic Holy Jim Trail, which is also the shortest route to the summit. This is a long and challenging hike. Don’t try this hike without a good level of fitness.

Corona, CA - 15.6 miles, Hard

Mt Wilson Hike From Chantry Flat

Mt Wilson Hike From Chantry Flat

Mt Wilson, at 5,712 feet, is the peak with all the radio towers that sits behind the LA skyline. It’s not the tallest peak in LA, but it’s a great hike with a fun summit. Multiple hiking trails ascend Mt Wilson. This hike starts at Chantry Flat, which gives you a gentler climb to the Mt Wilson summit, a trailhead store, bathrooms, and great views of LA on the way down. It’s a fun hike and a good long hike for beginners.

Sierra Madre, CA - 14.5 miles, Hard

Mt Baldy Hike

Mt Baldy Hike

This 11 mile Mt Baldy hike brings you to the highest point in LA at 10,064 feet. With almost 4000 feet of climbing, it’s a tough yet popular hike, and well worth the effort. You can see from the Pacific to the Mojave on a clear day. There are a few ways to hike Mt Baldy, and this guide takes you on the most popular route.

Mt Baldy, CA - 11 miles, Hard

Mount Baden-Powell Hike

Mount Baden-Powell Hike

The Mount Baden-Powell hike packs a lot into a relatively short distance. On your way to the summit of Mt Baden-Powell (9,399 feet), you’ll experience the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) where you can channel your inner Reese Witherspoon, 40 hardcore switchbacks, a monument for Mt Baden-Powell’s namesake, Lord Baden-Powell, they guy who founded the Boy Scouts, a barren saddle with jaw-dropping views, and a 1500-year old limber pine. And at the summit you’ll enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the San Gabriel Mountains. So you got all that going for you if you do the hike. It’s tough but very doable, I highly recommend it.

Vincent Gap, CA - 8.3 miles, Hard