Some Great Deals!! ➤ REI Cyberweek Sale

Potato Mountain Hike Angeles National Forest
The Best LA Hikes

Potato Mountain Hike (Angeles National Forest)

  • 4.5 miles - Moderate Effort
  • 2 Hours (Total)
  • 1,270 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 3,422 feet
  • Leashed Dogs Allowed

what does this mean?

For a quick mountain fix without driving into the mountains, try the Potato Mountain hike, right at the beginning of Angeles National Forest. It's a moderate climb through some beautiful oak forests. The hike ends at the Potato Mountain summit, which offers views of the high peaks in Angeles NF, including Mt Baldy. And of course, there are the potatoes that everyone decorates and brings to the summit. It's a fun hike that especially great for beginners who want to train or get a taste for the bigger mountain peaks.

In this Guide:
  • Turn by Turn Directions and Video for Potato Mountain
  • Directions to the Potato Mountain Trailhead
  • Everything You Need To Know To Do the Hike

When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

How Do I Get to Potato Mountain?

The trailhead for Potato Mountain is unmarked along the side of Mt Baldy Road. It's about 0.7 miles after you pass the last housing development on Mt Baldy Road. After the housing development, about 0.5 miles up the road, you'll pass a huge dirt area on your right. Shortly after that (0.2 miles) you'll see another area with parking on either side of the road, which is the trailhead.

The City of Claremont has not been too kind when it comes to parking for hikers. There are a few big parking lots close to the trailhead, and they've put "No Parking" or "No Stopping" signs in them because of excessive vandalism and thefts in parked cars. So what you have to do is park a few minutes up or down the road and walk to the trailhead, which can be dangerous, so be careful.

Use this address:
Potato Mountain Trailhead, Claremont, CA 91711

Don't park in front of the trailhead. People are getting ticketed there.

Potato Mountain Parking 2
Assuming there are not now "no parking" signs, you can park in this lot down the road from the trailhead. The lot is free.
Potato Mountain Parking 1
The better bet if you have a parks pass is to probably drive past the Angeles NF border and park in the next lot.

There are no bathrooms anywhere on the hike.

Gear for the Hike

The trail is wide (a fire road) and easy to follow. Light hiking gear is ideal, but you can get away with fitness clothes too. Trekking poles will be helpful on the steep sections. In the summer it can get really hot, bring at least 1L of water.

Gear 2022 8

I waste my time with lousy hiking gear so you don't have to. Only the winners get onto my gear page. There's no fluff, sponsorships, or promotions. It's just gear I personally use, have tested, and recommend. Right now I'm liking my inReach Mini 2, Garmin Epix, and Lone Peak 6 shoes.
.
My November 2022 Top Gear Picks

HUUUGE!!! ➤REI Cyberweek Sale Including Big Discounts on Hiking Tech Like inReach / Garmin Watches

Potato Mountain Trail Maps

There are a few ways to climb Potato Mountain, and this route describes the most popular route from Evey Canyon.

Click Here To View

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

Free Nav Tools:  GaiaGPS - AllTrails (Pro Now 50% Off!)

Guides to Help You Navigate

Elevation Profile

Potato Mountain Elevation
Aside from a small dip or two, you basically just climb uphill about 500 feet each mile. It's a long, gradual climb that's challenging but not harsh.

3D Map

Potato Mountain 3d Map
The trail makes its way up Evey Canyon, then turns sharply to climb the fire road to the summit of Potato Mountain.

Potato Mountain Hike Directions

Stay in Touch: Monthly Email - New YouTube Videos - Instagram

Video Directions

Turn By Turn Directions

Potato Mountain Hike Directions 3
The trail starts in the southwest corner of the parking lot area, hidden down a small hill.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 4
Look for the yellow gate that marks the beginning of the hike. Head through the gate.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 5
You're treated to a slight downhill at the start as you hike through an oak wonderland.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 6
But after a short stretch the trail starts to climb and then keeps on climbing.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 1
You might here the creek flowing as you climb. There are some steep viewpoints to your right where you can see the shady canyon and babbling brook.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 7
After about a mile the oak trees will thin out as you gain in elevation and continue climbing.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 8
And at 1.4 miles you'll see the turn up to the summit. Make the sharp left here.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 9
At the sharp left continue up the trail to Potato Mountain.

The trails you are on are part of a few park areas. Overall you're in Angeles National forest, but you are also in Claremont Hills Wilderness Park and the (ex) Herman Garner Biological Preserve. This area was saved from development by Herman Garner, who donated it to the Pomona College biology department on condition that it remain pristine wilderness. In 2017 the college gifted it to Claremont Hills Wilderness Park.

Potato Mountain Hike Directions 10
As you climb from the junction you'll start to see the big mountains (or the clouds surrounding them!). You can also see the trail in front of you climbing up Potato Mountain.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 11
You go down a small, steep hill. Stay left on the big trail.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 12
And now you have the final stretch of climbing. The trail is steep here so take your time and enjoy the views.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 13
When you see the triangular sign, you're almost there.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 14
Here you are, the summit of Potato Mountain!
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 15
If you go straight you'll reach the concrete water tank. You can also walk around the summit area for more viewpoints.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 16
Bring a decorated potato, take some photos with it for social media, and leave it in the dirty potato pile.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 17
On a clear day you can see the major peaks in Angeles National Forest and in the distance, Saddleback Mountain, San Jacinto, and San Gorgonio.
Potato Mountain Hike Directions 18
From here you just go back down the way you came up. And that's the hike!

Related Guides

Popular Guides

This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
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.