Hoyt Mountain Hike
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance (?)||3.9 miles (6.3 km)|
|Hike Time||2 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||1,430 feet (436m)|
|Highest Elevation||4,404 feet (1342m)|
|Fees & Permits||Free|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Angeles National Forest|
The hike to Hoyt Mountain, often overshadowed by its more popular neighbors, is a great adventure packed into 4 miles. To start, you’ll scramble up a challenging use trail to the summit, which offers panoramic views into Angeles National Forest and along the San Gabriel Fault. The hike continues by looping down and circling the mountain along an old trail blasted out of the cliffside about 100 years ago. Along the way, you’ll even pass LA’s outdoor school for kids, which has been operating continuously since 1925.
Where is Hoyt Mountain?
You can find the trailhead a short way up CA-2, the Angeles Crest Highway, at Georges Gap. Use this trailhead address:
Georges Gap, Tujunga, CA 91042
You don’t need a pass to park at Georges Gap.
Gear For the Hike
The first part of the hike requires a steep climb up a loose dirt trail, and then there’s a steep descent; having trekking poles and good footwear is a must here. Long pants are also helpful if some sections are overgrown. 1L of water is enough for the short distance, even in the summer when it can be very hot at this lower elevation.
Garmin inReach Mini
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost.
Latest Prices: Amazon | REI
My Review & Guide
How is this Different than a GPS?
Altra Lone Peak 5
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. Watch my video explaining why they are a great shoe here.
Women’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Men’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
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
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated January 2022.
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.
Hoyt Mountain Trail Maps
This loop takes a few trails:
- An unofficial and steep trail up and over Hoyt Mountain (marked as “firebreak” on USGS maps).
- The Hoyt Mountain Trail (11W04) back around the mountain. This trail is also marked as the Telephone Trail on some maps, and is shown as an extension of Grizzly Flat Road on others.
- The World of Chaparral Trail (11W03) back to Georges Gap.
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?
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 6. 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.
- Hoyt Mountain is named after Silas Hoyt, who had built a ranch close to the mountain in 1888. He was referred to in newspapers as “the hermit of Big Tujunga Canyon.” The ranch was destroyed in a landslide in the 1930s.
- There was a famous court case surrounding Hoyt Ranch in 1917. Allegedly two hunters found Hoyt in 1902, at the time 80 years old, emaciated and living in squalor. They offered to improve the ranch, farm the area, and take care of him if Hoyt would lease them the land. Well, they improved the land, started ranching, and even explored some mining prospects, but then Hoyt wanted to back out of the deal. The case went to court after Hoyt died in 1916 when his estranged daughters fought for the inheritance. In 1919 the CA state supreme court eventually ruled in favor of the two hunters, who “gifted” three-quarters of the land back to the state. It’s hard to say whether the hunters were genuine do-gooders who deserved the land, or hustlers who took advantage of an old man.
- Although known as Hoyt Mountain for many years, the summit wasn’t an official USGS name until the Forest Service submitted the name in 1986. It appears as the peak name on USGS topographic maps from 1995 and later.
- If you look east from Hoyt Mountain, up the valley where Angeles Crest Highway is, you’re looking at the San Gabriel Fault, which moves about 3mm a year and used to be part of the San Andreas Fault.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
The definition of chaparral is “a thicket of dwarf evergreen oaks; broadly : a dense impenetrable thicket of shrubs or dwarf trees.”
This guide last updated on December 13, 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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