Hike Josephine Peak From Colby Canyon
- 8.4 miles - Moderate Effort
- 4 Hours (Total)
- 2,300 Total Feet of Climbing
- Max Elevation of 5,558 feet
- Leashed Dogs Allowed
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.
- Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions to Hike Josephine Peak
- The Best Trail to Hike Josephine Peak
- Parking, Maps, and Insider Tips
When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.
Note the yellowish tinge in the images of this guide. The air was covered in smoke from the 2021 KNP Complex in the Sequoia National Park, about 150 miles away.
Where is the Colby Canyon Trailhead?
The trailhead is easy to spot, and is off Angeles Crest Highway, close to the Switzer Falls area. Use this trailhead address:
Colby Canyon Trail, 701 Angeles Crest Hwy, Tujunga, CA 91042
Gear For the Hike
This hike is mostly exposed, so make sure you bring sun protection and about 2L of water. In the winter there can be snow. And if you have trekking poles, I'd bring them for the climb and descent.
Top Spring 2023 Gear Picks
Osprey Stratos and Sirrus 24 Daypack ( Amazon | Sirrus REI | Stratos REI )
Garmin Mini 2 Satellite Communicator ( Amazon | REI )
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles ( REI | Amazon )
As a hiking guide, I test lots of hiking gear. On my picks page, I'll show you all of the gear that I actually use. I don't accept paid promotions or talk about the stuff that doesn't make the cut. It's just the gear that works best, so you don't have to waste your money.
All My March 2023 Top Gear Picks
Josephine Peak Trail Maps
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
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Guides to Help You Navigate
Josephine Peak Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
Who is Josephine Peak named after? It's Josephine Lippencott, the wife of USGS surveyor Joseph Barlow Lippencott, who used the peak as a triangulation station.
You'll notice the concrete blocks, which were once the base of a fire tower. The tower stood from 1938 to 1975 when it burned down in the Mill Fire. At that point many towers in Angeles NF were being dismantled and abandoned anyway because the smog was so bad.
This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard
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!).
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