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Los Angeles Hikes

Stoddard Peak Hike

  • 6 miles - Moderate Effort
  • 2:30-3:30 Hours (Total)
  • 1,200 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 4,624 feet
  • Leashed Dogs Allowed

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.

In this Guide:
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions for Stoddard Peak
  • Parking and Maps for Stoddard Peak
  • Insider Tips and Recommendations

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.

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.

Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2If you are out of cellphone range the Mini 2 will reliably allow you to hit SOS via satellite. You can also send non-emergency texts to just say that you're late, let friends and family follow along, and check the weather. You can see my review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The wide toe box means no blisters, an aggressive tread is great on the trail, it dries very quickly, and it has lots of cushion for long days. It combines everything I love about every other shoe into one.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProThese watches are pricey, but I use them 24/7 for sleep tracking, workouts, heart rate, and tracking my hike. It has preloaded hiking maps that help me navigate the trails and is a backup to my smartphone navigation. The Epix Pro has a great battery life, a screen similar to an Apple Watch Ultra, and works in harsh conditions when just using the buttons. See my review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26This updated version of the Hikelite 26 offers incredible value for the money. It's got a wide trampoline back, so your back doesn't get sweaty. It's under 2lbs, has deep side pockets, and is a great balance of what you need without what you don't.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated May 2024)

Stoddard Peak Trail Maps

Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

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

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.
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Then at the wide clearing, continue on the road straight / right.
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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).
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Continue uphill and straight.
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Stay on the road, avoiding any private driveways on either side.
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Head past the funky private cabins. One of these sold for $240k in 2018.
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And then at about a mile in, you'll go through a gate and leave the larger dirt road behind.
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Now you'll climb up through shaded sections on the old road, which is closed to motor vehicles.
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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).
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Across the valley Sunset Peak dominates the range.
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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.
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And at about 3 miles, you reach the witness post and the summit.
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There's a nice summit area with a register and boulder to stand on.
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In front of you is the suburban LA sprawl with Saddleback Mountain in the distance.
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Behind you is Mt Baldy.
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That's the hike! When you're done, just turn around and go back the way you came.

Need More Info?

  • Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.
  • When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

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!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.