Hike Pacifico Mountain on the PCT
- 13.5 miles - Moderate Effort
- 5-7 Hours (Total)
- 2,350 Total Feet of Climbing
- Max Elevation of 7,124 feet
- Leashed Dogs Allowed
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.
- Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions to Hike Pacifico Mountain on the PCT
- Parking and Fees for the Hike
- Camping on Pacifico Mountain
- Insider Tips and Recommendations
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 Pacifico Mountain?
We'll start this hike at the Mill Creek Summit Picnic Area, off of the Angeles Forest Highway (N3), a popular commuting route between the desert and LA. Use this trailhead address:
Mill Creek Summit Picnic Area, Angeles Forest Hwy, Palmdale, CA 93550
You need a National Parks pass or Adventure Pass to park here.
Gear For the Hike
- This is a proper backcountry hike, so use your hiking gear and have the essentials.
- There's no water and little shade, and the hike can get hot. I bring at least 3L. The climate feels more like the desert than a forest.
- There aren't steep climbs on this trail, and it's easy to hike without trekking poles if you want to leave them at home.
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
This hike offers some great short overnight camping options. It's especially great if you want to camp after work and get back in the morning, as the distances aren't long, and the climbing isn't bad. You can even drive your car to the summit (I'd recommend high-clearance AWD) and just camp.
Pacifico Mountain Trail Maps
We will take the PCT from Mill Creek up to a saddle, and then do the last mile on a dirt road (with great views). There aren't a lot of twists and turns, and overall the gradient is gentle.
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
Free Nav Tools: GaiaGPS - AllTrails
Guides to Help You Navigate
Pacifico Mountain Hike Directions
Stay in Touch: Monthly Email - New YouTube Videos - Instagram
Turn by Turn Directions
Pacifico, which means peaceful, accurately describes the vibe up here. Some people think the peak is named Pacifico because you can sometimes see the ocean from here. Others speculate it was named by the bandit that the Zorro stories were based on, Tiburcio Vásquez, who had a hideout nearby at Sheep Springs.
You can also make this a loop by taking the road back down, but I find the hike on the PCT to be much nicer.
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!).
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.