The Condor Peak Trail is an underrated gem. Sitting at 5,440 feet above the western section of Angeles National Forest, Condor Peak was once the home to nesting (and now endangered) California Condors. The Condors are long gone, but the trail is still there and well-maintained, offering a challenging hike with breathtaking views. There are a few routes to Condor Peak, and in this guide, I'll show you what is considered the most popular route up the Condor Peak Trail.
We're not going to start the hike at the official Condor Peak Trailhead, mainly used by mountain bikers. Instead, we're going to start just down the road at the hiker's cutoff trail, which eliminates about 2 miles or so of up and down at the beginning and gets us climbing to the peak quicker.
The start doesn't have an official trailhead, but the parking areas are right next to the turnoff for Vogel Flat (Vogel Flat Picnic Site, Tujunga Road, Tujunga, CA 91042). Your best bet is to use these coordinates: 34.287566, -118.225100
Gear For the Hike
This is a long and challenging mountain hike, and you should prepare accordingly. The route is mainly exposed, and I recommend at least 3L of water, more if it's very hot. There's a semi-reliable spring a few miles in (waypoint on the map), and you'll need to treat the water. Trekking poles can be handy for some steeper slopes close to the peak. The lower elevation of this climb means that it's much warmer than the high peaks of the Angeles National Forest.
Gear That I Love Right Now
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Nope. The last condors in the area were seen before World War 2. According to Faust Havermale, a forest ranger who spent time in the area during the early 1900s, the peak was named because it was a popular nesting spot for the California Condor, with up to a dozen riding the updrafts around the peak at any one point. Today your best bet to spot a condor in the area is to perhaps hike Slide Mountain, next to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary in Los Padres National Forest.
Condor Peak Hike Directions
The name Tujunga comes from the native Tongva term for “old woman of the earth.”