Hike Jones Peak On The Bailey Canyon Trail

Hike Jones Peak on the Bailey Canyon Trail

In This Guide
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions to Jones Peak
  • How to Get to the Bailey Canyon Trail
  • Insider Tips and Recommendations
Total Distance (?)6.5 miles (10.5 km)
Hike Time3-4 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Hard
Total Ascent (?)2,200 feet (671m)
Highest Elevation3,375 feet (1029m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dogs AllowedLeashed
Alerts & Closures (?)City of Sierra Madre
Park Phone626-355-1414
Weather & ForecastLatest Conditions
Stay SafeCopy this webpage link to the clipobard and share with a friend before you hike. Let them know when to expect you back.

Don’t let the shorter distance fool you; the hike to Jones Peak from the Bailey Canyon Trail is a tough one. The climb up through Bailey Canyon features steep canyon walls, sweeping views, and a well-maintained trail with many switchbacks. Along the way, there are ruins of a cabin in a lush gully, and then after some more switchbacks, you get to Jones Peak at 3375 feet. The peak offers panoramic views from Mt Wilson to Catalina. Overall it’s a solid hike with a little bit of everything.

Where is the Bailey Canyon Trail?

Parking is easy and free. There’s a medium-sized lot at the Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park. Locals and dog walkers use the park–it can get crowded. If the lot is full, find a spot on the streets around the area that doesn’t have “no parking” signs. Be respectful; this is a residential neighborhood. Use this trailhead address:
Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park, 451 W Carter Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

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Look for the sign at the entrance of the parking lot.
Bailey Canyon Trailhead Parking
The lot is a decent size. There is a notice to watch out for break-ins. Leave your valuables at home.
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There’s a flush toilet at the trailhead.

Gear For the Hike

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There’s not much shade on the Bailey Canyon Trail, only a few short spots like this. Wear sun protection or do the hike in the cooler months.

Garmin Inreach Mini 2

Garmin InReach Mini 2
I’m a firm believer in carrying a satellite communications device which works where cell phones don’t. I use a Garmin InReach which lets me send text messages back and forth to my family to let them know that I’m okay or if my plans change when I’m out in the backcountry. It also has an SOS subscription built-in so that you can reach first-responders in an emergency. The devices also offer weather reports, GPS, and navigation functionality (what’s the difference between a GPS and satellite communicator?). For a few hundred bucks they could save your life, so for me it’s a no brainer to have something like a Garmin InReach. If you use a smartphone to navigate and want a more affordable option that integrates with your phone easily, check out the ZOLEO.

Latest Prices: Amazon | REI

Lone Peak 6 Yellow

Altra Lone Peak 6
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they’re reasonably durable for this type of trail runner, which I think is better in most conditions than a hiking boot, and here’s why. The downside of this shoe is that it won’t last as long as something like the Moab 2 (see alternate footwear choices at the bottom of my gear page). I’ve been using mine for many miles and my feet always feel great. I have a video on the details of the Altra Lone Peak 6 here.

Women’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon 
Men’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon 

Black Diamond Ergo Poles 2

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
I’ve gone back and forth on trekking poles, but I think for most people they are a good investment. They help you dig in on the uphills, provide stability on loose downhills, act as a brace when crossing streams, and can probably poke away aggressive wildlife in a pinch. The Trail Ergo Cork poles are a good balance of light weight, durability, affordability, and ease of use. If you want something ultralight and a little more pricey, I’ve had great luck with the Black Diamond Z Poles too.

Trail Ergo Poles: REI | Amazon 
Z-Poles: REI | Amazon 

Gregory Zulu 30

Gregory Zulu 30 & Jade 28
After testing quite a few backpacks, the Gregory Zulu 30 (and Jade 28 for women) is, for most hikers, the best all-season day-pack. First off, it’s very comfortable, and the mesh “trampoline” back keeps your back dry. Its 30L capacity is enough for all the essentials and plenty of layers for winter hiking. External pockets make it easy to grab gear. It’s hard to find something wrong with the pack; if anything, it could be a bit lighter, but overall, it’s not heavy. And its price-point makes it not only affordable but generally a great value.

Women’s Latest Prices: REIAmazon 
Men’s Latest Prices: REIAmazon 

Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated May 2022.

My May 2022 Top Gear Picks

No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps keep the website ad and promotion free. There is no cost to you.

Jones Peak Trail Maps

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The trail is in great condition. Thank you to all the folks that work on it! The switchbacks make the slope steep but doable.
Click Here To View

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

If you try to download the GPX file and your browser adds a “.txt” or “.xml” extension to it, simply rename it as a “.gpx” file.


How Are You Going to Navigate This Hike?
Here’s what I use. If you are a hardcore hiker and/or hike in extreme conditions, I recommend getting a dedicated GPS like a GPSMAP 66sr or 66i, or a wrist-based GPS with maps like the Garmin Fenix 7 or Epix. If you only hike in fair weather and a touchscreen is fine, or just want a solid tool, I highly recommend downloading the smartphone app, Gaia GPS. It’s a piece of cake to use and very powerful, just make sure your phone is in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get a big discount here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.

To access this guide when out of cell phone range on the trail, simply save the webpage on your phone ( iPhoneAndroid ).

Elevation Profile

Hike Jones Peak On The Bailey Canyon Trail Elevation
There are about 2 hot minutes of flat at the beginning and by the cabin ruins, but otherwise you climb steadily for most of the 3 miles up to Jones Peak.

3D Map

Hike Jones Peak On The Bailey Canyon Trail 3d Map
This 3D shot of the hike gives you a good idea of the effort involved. You basically climb straight up from Sierra Madre to one of the peaks towering over it.

Hike Brief

Mater Dolorosa Historci
As you hike up to Jones Peak, you’ll have lots of great views of the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, shown here during its opening in 1932. When it was built, Sierra Madre was one of the major gateways for hikers to get into the San Gabriels, and this area was considered a bit of a “mountain retreat.” Today Sierra Madre is “the burbs,” and Mater Dolorosa is still open and offering retreats. Photo UCLA / LA Times

Jones Peak Hike Directions

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Video Directions

Watch This Video In 360/VR Why 360/VR Is Great

Turn by Turn Directions

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The trail starts on the right of the bathroom, at the end of the parking lot.
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There’s even a cool metal trail sign like you see in this neck of the San Gabriels. 3.3 miles to the summit!
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There’s also a trail board with a good map of the surrounding trails in the area.

The trickiest part of the hike are the twists and turns in the beginning. The first few images below all occur in the first half-mile, between the parking lot and the Bailey Canyon Trail.

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Walk through the benches and picnic tables in the park.
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And then through the gate to the paved road, and then right on the road.
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You’ll climb and pass the reservoir on your right.
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Go straight when the pavement ends.
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And go straight past the bridge on the right.
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Here’s the sign at the bridge.
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Past the bridge, the canyon narrows. The trail will continue up to the right.
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At the split, make the right and officially start the Bailey Canyon Trail.
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Here’s the sign at that last junction.
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Alright, now you go to work. You have about 2100 feet to climb before the summit. There are about half a billion switchbacks to help you ease the gradient.
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The trail is well maintained and some sections feature stairs.
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Soon you’ll swing around and get nice views of Mater Dolorosa and Sierra Madre. Keep hiking uphill (left here), avoiding use trails to overlooks (straight).
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And then you’ll swing the other way for views up Bailey Canyon.
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At about 0.8 miles in, you’ll arrive at some nice viewpoint benches.
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From the benches you can see the trail continue up the ridge.
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Go either way at the split.
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And then more switchbacks with more great views.
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At around 2 miles in, the trail levels out and you enter a grove of oaks.
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You’ll see a trail to the left, which goes to the ruins. Let’s check out the ruins and then come back and hike up the next mile to Jones Peak.
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There’s not much left to the ruins, but you can imagine how nice a cabin here was. Today it’s a nice shaded spot to rest before tackling the last and steepest mile to the summit.

There used to be a strange historical marker here that mentioned someone with smallpox or something along those lines. I noticed it was gone. The real story behind the cabin ruins is this. In 1910, three college students built the cabins and used them until 1942, when the canyon was closed to the public and became an Army firing range. The cabins stood for years until (of course) they were vandalized until almost totally destroyed. You can see an earlier stage of this type of vandalism playing out at Beek’s Place.

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Okay, now the slope gets steeper, the switchbacks tighter, and the hike more intense.
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After about a mile of climbing, you’ll arrive at Jones Peak Saddle. Make the right to continue up to Jones Peak.
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Here’s the sign at that junction.
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You’ll get some views of Monrovia Peak and into Little Santa Anita Canyon, where the original Mt Wilson Trail is.
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The trail gets steep and splits apart. Take either way.
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And then you’ll reach the summit area.
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Hopefully this cool heart rock is here for you too. Make your Instagram dreams come true!
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There’s a bench at the summit.
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And a pile of rocks marking the summit.
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On a clear day you can see all the way to Catalina. On a day like this, not so much…
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Behind you are (from left to right) Mt Yale, Mt Harvard (with all the antenna) and Mt Wilson.
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That’s it! From here, just go back the way you came.

This guide last updated on August 30, 2021. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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