Some Great Deals!! ➤ REI Cyberweek Sale

Condor Peak Trail
The Best LA Hikes

Condor Peak Trail

  • 15.2 miles - Hard Effort
  • 6-8 Hours (Total)
  • 4,100 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 5,440 feet
  • Leashed Dogs Allowed

what does this mean?

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.

In this Guide:
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions to Condor Peak
  • Parking for the Condor Peak Trail
  • Insider Tips & Recommendations for the Hike

When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

Where is the Condor Peak Trail?

We're not going to start the hike at the official Condor Peak Trailhead, mainly used by mountain bikers. Instead, we're going to start just down the road at the hiker's cutoff trail, which eliminates about 2 miles or so of up and down at the beginning and gets us climbing to the peak quicker.

The start doesn't have an official trailhead, but the parking areas are right next to the turnoff for Vogel Flat (Vogel Flat Picnic Site, Tujunga Road, Tujunga, CA 91042). Your best bet is to use these coordinates:
34.287566, -118.225100

Condor Peak Trail Directions 2
There's two big dirt parking areas. Park in the one farthest east. Parking is free.

Gear For the Hike

This is a long and challenging mountain hike, and you should prepare accordingly. The route is mainly exposed, and I recommend at least 3L of water, more if it's very hot. There's a semi-reliable spring a few miles in (waypoint on the map), and you'll need to treat the water. Trekking poles can be handy for some steeper slopes close to the peak. The lower elevation of this climb means that it's much warmer than the high peaks of the Angeles National Forest.

Gear 2022 8

I waste my time with lousy hiking gear so you don't have to. Only the winners get onto my gear page. There's no fluff, sponsorships, or promotions. It's just gear I personally use, have tested, and recommend. Right now I'm liking my inReach Mini 2, Garmin Epix, and Lone Peak 6 shoes.
.
My November 2022 Top Gear Picks

HUUUGE!!! ➤REI Cyberweek Sale Including Big Discounts on Hiking Tech Like inReach / Garmin Watches

Condor Peak Trail Maps

There are no trail signs or markers along the way, but overall the trail is in excellent condition and easy to follow.A big thanks to the Lowelifes Respectable Citizens’ Club who put in thousands of hours to restore this trail! You can read about all the work that they did on their website.

Click Here To View

Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Free Nav Tools:  GaiaGPS - AllTrails (Pro Now 50% Off!)

Guides to Help You Navigate

Elevation Profile

Condor Peak Trail Elevation
You have a steady uphill gradient for the first 6 miles that's easy to get into a groove on. Once you reach the ridge by Fox Mountain, you have a series of steep ups and downs to the summit. The last stretch of about 1000 feet is a challenging class 2 scramble to the summit area.

3D Map

Condor Peak Trail 3d Map
The Condo Peak Trail twists and turns around over the canyons and folds as it climbs up to the ridge by Fox Mountain. Then you follow the ridge across to Condor Peak.

Are There Still Condors At Condor Peak?

Nope. The last condors in the area were seen before World War 2. According to Faust Havermale, a forest ranger who spent time in the area during the early 1900s, the peak was named because it was a popular nesting spot for the California Condor, with up to a dozen riding the updrafts around the peak at any one point. Today your best bet to spot a condor in the area is to perhaps hike Slide Mountain, next to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary in Los Padres National Forest.

Condor
This is what a condor looks like from below. You can tell them apart from turkey vultures (common) because they are much bigger, and have white feathers on the leading part of the under-wing.

Condor Peak Hike Directions

Stay in Touch: Monthly Email - New YouTube Videos - Instagram

Video Directions

Turn by Turn Directions

Condor Peak Trail Directions 3
The trailhead is hidden across the road. Look for the metal poles.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 4
Start climbing on the use trail that will bring us to the Condor Peak Trail proper.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 5
The trail winds around above the road.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 6
And then you reach the Condor Peak Trail. Make the left to begin the climb.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 1
You'll start climbing up above Big Tujunga Canyon.

The name Tujunga comes from the native Tongva term for “old woman of the earth.”

Condor Peak Trail Directions 8
Across the canyon you'll see Stone Canyon Trail climbing to Mt Lukens.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 9
Then the trail twists north and you get your first glimpse of Condor Peak, and to the west, Condor Point.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 10
And behind you are the radio towers at the summit of Mt Lukens.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 11
The trail winds up the ridge between Vogel and Fusier Canyons. The tall peak in front of you is Josephine Peak.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 12
Wind through the gullies you'll see evidence of well-worn waterfalls that come to life during rain.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 13
The trail winds in and out of dozens of small canyons. You can usually see the trail continuing if you look up in the distance.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 14
As you climb you see Hoyt Mountain to the east. If you look close you can even see the trail descending from Hoyt Mountain on the side.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 15
At about 3.2 miles in you'll pass Fox Spring. I've never hiked this late summer, but in the winter and spring it's usually flowing. Treat the water before drinking.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 16
The terraced area you see below is the Maple Canyon Sediment Placement Site, where dredged sediment from the Big Tujunga Dam is compacted and stored.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 17
As you continue to ascend the ridge you see Mt Waterman and Twin Peaks in the distance.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 18
And looking down from here offers nice views of Big Tujunga Reservoir.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 19
Keep following the spine.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 20
And then you'll see Fox Mountain #2 (5033 ft) in front of you. We'll be hiking across the face of Fox Mountain to the other side, and if you look closely, you'll see the trail wrapping around the mountain.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 21
The climb gets a bit steeper as you wind up towards Fox Mountain.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 22
Look east for views of Strawberry Peak.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 23
And then along the side of Fox Mountain the gradient levels and you'll see Condor Peak ahead.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 24
As you wind around Fox Mountain you'll see the trail ahead along Condor Ridge to Condor Peak.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 25
When you get to the saddle, make the left. There's a small trail up to the right if you want to bag Fox Mountain.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 26
Now we follow the spine.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 27
This part is tough. There are a few steep ups and downs.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 29
If you look down to the north, you can see the Condor Peak Trail continuing past the peak to Mendenhall Ridge.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 28
The bumpy peak to the right in the distance is Iron Mountain #2 (not the tough one).
Condor Peak Trail Directions 30
Okay, this is where the work begins. When you reach Condor Saddle, we're going straight up the use trail to the summit. When you look at the slope from here, your mind will probably say "no way." It's steep and looks insane. The image doesn't do it justice.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 31
Go slow and step by step, and you'll see a path.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 32
It is steep and rocky at points.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 33
There are a lot of crisscrossing use trails up the mountain, but this junction is probably the most important. Take the counterintuitive and sometimes overgrown path to the left. You can go straight, but it requires some class 3 scrambling.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 34
Follow the trail around and up the south side of the summit.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 35
There are several extremely steep sections. Get dirty and use your hands on the solid rocks to go up. When you come down, you might have to do some butt slides.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 36
And then you reach the flat area of the summit. The bird in this shot is a crow. No condors today...
Condor Peak Trail Directions 37
Immediately to the right is a pile of rocks that might be a smidge higher than the further summit area.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 38
Otherwise continue on to the summit with the marker and register.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 39
You'll get views across to Mt Lukens.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 40
And all the way to Mt Baldy in the eastern part of the forest.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 41
If you continue on the flat summit area there are more viewpoints and even some spots to set up a tent.
Condor Peak Trail Directions 42
When you're done at the summit, just go back down the way you came!

Related Guides

Popular Guides

This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!).

Don't Miss Out

  • Monthly(ish) Email Newsletter - A list of new guides and important info for hikers.
  • YouTube - Subscribe for new video notifications. The best way to get notified every time a new guide goes up.
  • Instagram - I occasionally share pretty pictures from my hikes, broadcast live from the trail, and let you know about new guides.