Hoyt Mountain Hike

Hoyt Mountain Hike

In This Guide
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions for Hoyt Mountain
  • Where to Park For the Hike
  • Insider Tips & Recommendations
Total Distance (?)3.9 miles (6.3 km)
Hike Time2 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Moderate
Total Ascent (?)1,430 feet (436m)
Highest Elevation4,404 feet (1342m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dogs AllowedLeashed
Alerts & Closures (?)Angeles National Forest
Park Phone747-322-6574
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.

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

Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 1
There are a dozen or so spots at the Georges Gap trailhead.

You don’t need a pass to park at Georges Gap.

Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 2
The trailhead is at the end of the parking lot, through the little wall.

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 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.

Hoyt Mountain Trail Maps

This loop takes a few trails:

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

Hoyt Mountain Hike Elevation
The bad news is that the toughest climbing happens at the start. The good news is that once it’s done, it’s mostly downhill until the last graded uphill stretch back to the beginning.

3D Map

Hoyt Mountain Hike 3d Map
We’re going to do the hike in a clockwise loop, climbing up Hoyt Mountain, high above Angeles Crest Highway, and then back around the north side of the mountain to the start.

Hike Brief

Clear Creek Camp Results
On the way back you might hear children’s voices coming from Clear Creek Outdoor Education Center, which helps children create an emotional connection to learning and the outdoors. The center has been in continuous operation since 1925, and according to the data from the slide above, it’s doing a great job.

Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions

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Video Directions

Turn by Turn Directions

Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 3
At the trailhead you’ll see a memorial for Angeles Crest Highway, which truly is a an engineering marvel. Looming above are Josephine Peak and the jagged Strawberry Peak.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 4
We’ll be coming back on the trail straight ahead (the World of Chaparral Trail), but to start, make the hard left and start hiking up the use trail.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 5
The trail is steep, and it’s sometimes hard to follow, but it’s there.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 6
You’ll be climbing up above the road. Look for the main path.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 7
There are sections where people have cut the trail off and taken other routes. The “main” trail is generally always rocky and generally stays to the left in these beginning slopes.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 8
Eventually you’ll gain the false summit.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 9
The views to the north – Fox Mountain and Condor Peak, open up. The vista is spectacular.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 10
After a short while on the false summit you’ll see Hoyt Mountain in front of you. There’s a level section along the ridge before we start the final climb.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 11
This last stretch is steep, but not as bad as the first part of the hike. The trail is small again, but a little easier to follow.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 12
There are some steep sections. The trail winds to the right as it approaches the summit.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 13
And here you are, at the big flat “summit” area of Hoyt Mountain. There are several groups of boulders but no benchmark.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 16
The first group of boulders sometimes has a small summit register, but on the day I shot this, it was MIA.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 14
To the east, the radio tower-covered peak of Mt Lukens dominates the skyline.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 17
Hike to the other side of the flat summit area.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 18
And you’ll soon see the ridge heading down. Follow the trail, which you can easily see from the top, down. We’re not climbing the bigger peak in front, Peak 4253.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 19
There are some great views of downtown LA on the descent.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 20
I also saw a fire hose. This section of trail is marked on maps as a firebreak, even though it’s not very wide. It was also burned in the 2009 Station Fire, and you can still see some evidence of it along the hike today.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 21
There’s a small bump to climb as you head down the ridge.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 22
As you descend you’ll eventually see the power lines at the saddle. That’s where we’re going.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 23
More great views north as we descend, with Condor Peak (5443 ft) in the distance.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 24
At the saddle, make the hard right.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 25
And go past the power line tower.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 26
And now you’re on a proper single-track trail, the Hoyt Mountain Trail.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 27
Soon the trail gets rocky. This route was blasted out of the cliff in 1925 by Socal Edison to create a path for the original power lines (not the large ones here today).
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 28
The trail winds along the cliffside.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 29
You’ll notice these old posts along the trail. The trail is also known as the Telephone Trail. Perhaps these poles carried a telephone line along the old road. If you know the history here, please contact me.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 30
The views continue to be epic along the north side of Hoyt Mountain.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 31
And then the trail twists around and you’ll start to get views back toward Josephine Peak.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 32
Off to your left is the Clear Creek Outdoor Education Center. Sometimes when I hike here I can hear kids cheering and laughing, and it’s great.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 33
You’ll have a nice gradual downhill, with Clear Creek down to the left.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 34
Towards the bottom of the trail, look for a turnoff to the right and start the climb back to Georges Gap.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 35
To start the trail is steep.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 36
And then levels out and offers nice views of Clear Creek below.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 37
Soon you’ll see the Nature’s Canteen Trail joining in from the left. Continue right.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 38
And you’ll see a series of trail signs, one for Hoyt Mountain Trail, the other for World of Chaparral, which we’re taking by going straight.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 39
We’ll climb a series of switchbacks on the World of Chaparral Trail, where which carves a path through the chaparral.

The definition of chaparral is “a thicket of dwarf evergreen oaks; broadly : a dense impenetrable thicket of shrubs or dwarf trees.”

Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 40
Towards the top of the switchbacks you’ll start to hear the traffic noise again.
Hoyt Mountain Hike Directions 41
And then here you are, back where you started!

This guide last updated on May 4, 2022. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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