Stoddard Peak Guide

Stoddard Peak Hike

In This Guide
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions for Stoddard Peak
  • Parking and Maps for Stoddard Peak
  • Insider Tips and Recommendations
Total Distance (?)6 miles (9.7 km)
Hike Time2:30-3:30 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Moderate
Total Ascent (?)1,200 feet (366m)
Highest Elevation4,624 feet (1409m)
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.

Stoddard Peak stands guard over the front range of the San Gabriels, with a unique view stretching from Mt Baldy to the LA suburbs. The hike to Stoddard Peak is challenging but not too tough; it’s perfect for beginners, with a great summit payoff. In this guide, I’ll show you how to hike to Stoddard Peak safely and enjoy all it has to offer.

Where is the Stoddard Peak Hike?

Parking for Stoddard Peak is on the right side of the road as you travel up Mt Baldy road, about 1.5 miles before you reach Mt Baldy Village. When you get to the destination, look for a small power sub-station, and go downhill on the paved driveway to the right to find a parking area below the road.

There’s not really a good street number address, so use this latitude and longitude in your GPS:
34.22270072861961, -117.66764360194466

You’re looking for the intersection of the Barret Stoddard (dirt) road and Mt Baldy Road.

Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 1
The parking area isn’t huge, but there’s usually somewhere to grab a spot. Parking is free, and there are no toilets or water fills.

Gear For the Hike

Most of the hike is on a (small) dirt road, and then the last half-mile is a steep and narrow trail. Trekking poles will be helpful on this last section. And while there’s some shade, most of the hike is exposed. I bring at least 1L of water. The brush on the last section can scratch your legs a bit; wear long pants if you want the protection.

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.

Stoddard Peak Trail Maps

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

Stoddard Peak Guide Elevation
The majority of the hike is a gradual uphill, and then the last part is a steep climb to a false summit, and then a small down and up to Stoddard Peak.

3D Map

Stoddard Peak Guide 3d Map
From the canyon along Mt Baldy Road, we climb up in the shadow of a bigger peak called Turtle’s Beak (6857 feet) around to the south where we end up at Stoddard Peak.

Hike Brief

Stoddard Resort Ad Historic
Stoddard Peak is named after WH Stoddard, who in 1880 opened one of the first resorts here in the San Gabriels. Stoddard was the brother-in-law of railroad tycoon Collis Potter Huntington, and moved to the mountains from Sacramento attempting to alleviate his asthma. He was also a spiritualist who left dinner out for his dead wife every night. Stoddard’s Camp burned down in December of 1953.
Stoddard Peak Fire Recovery
The area that you hike through was devastated by the 2003 Padua Fire. Trees like these small pines have grown since then.
Stoddard Peak Witness Post
The sign at the summit is called a “witness post,” and was used by early surveyors to triangulate and measure the peaks in San Gabriels.

Stoddard Peak Hike Directions

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Video Directions

Watch This Video In 360/VR Why 360/VR Is Great

Turn by Turn Directions

Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 2
From the parking area, start the trail by the power station. Don’t start it on the south side trailhead.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 3
At the power station, go straight down the dirt road.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 4
Then at the wide clearing, continue on the road straight / right.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 5
You’ll see a “private driveway” sign. This is just for vehicles. The road is open for hikers and you are not trespassing. The beginning of this road leads to a handful of private cabins and there can be vehicles.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 6
The road starts heading uphill. In front of you is Turtle’s Beak (not Stoddard Peak).
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 7
Continue uphill and straight.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 8
Stay on the road, avoiding any private driveways on either side.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 9
Head past the funky private cabins. One of these sold for $240k in 2018.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 10
And then at about a mile in, you’ll go through a gate and leave the larger dirt road behind.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 11
Now you’ll climb up through shaded sections on the old road, which is closed to motor vehicles.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 12
To the right is Lookout Mountain #2, also known as Baldy Lookout.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 15
The trail leaves the shade, makes a sharp turn to cross Cascade Canyon, and then continues on in the distance (you can see the trail on the hillside in the right of the picture).
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 14
Across the valley Sunset Peak dominates the range.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 16
Just over two miles in and a bump appears in front of you. This is a false summit, but it’s in the right direction.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 17
When you reach Stoddard Flat at about 2.5 miles in, look for the small trail off to the right.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 18
And you’ll start a steep and loose climb.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 19
At the top of that climb, you’ll see a false summit in the distance to the left. Hike over to it along the ridge.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 20
When you reach the false summit, you’ll see Stoddard Peak in front of you. You’ll have to climb down and then back up to it.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 21
As you descend, look for the turn off to the left, instead of a steep and loose downhill on the right.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 23
And at about 3 miles, you reach the witness post and the summit.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 24
There’s a nice summit area with a register and boulder to stand on.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 26
In front of you is the suburban LA sprawl with Saddleback Mountain in the distance.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 25
Behind you is Mt Baldy.
Stoddard Peak Hike Directions 27
That’s the hike! When you’re done, just turn around and go back the way you came.

This guide last updated on September 10, 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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