Trails – Local and in Northern Part of ANF

The following list of hikes has been created to provide a quick overview of “local” hikes. It is strongly recommended that hikers use up to date hiking apps to establish realtime trail conditions, including closures. In addition, always download maps and other information before entering the forest where cell service is spotty.

Big Pines Nature Trail

northside of Big Pines Visitor Center

Trail begins a the top of the stone stairway beginning near the northeast corner of the visitor center. Hike is 1/2 mile and has interpretive signing.

Blue Ridge Trail

across the street from Big Pines VC

Trail starts 100 ft. southeast of Big Pines Visitor Center on the opposite side of Highway 2. Hike is 4 mile round trip with 1000-foot elevation gain. See Hike 89 in “Trails of the Angeles.” When you reach Blue Ridge Campground at the top, or two miles up the trail, you also reach the Pacific Crest Trail. Going west on the PCT brings you to Inspiration Point in 2.2 miles. Going east on the PCT from Blue Ridge brings you to Acorn Trail in 3.5 miles. Going down Acorn brings you to upper Acorn Drive in Wrightwood in 2.7 miles.

Leprechaun Trail

0.5 miles west of Big Pines on N-4, the Big Pines Hwy

A dirt pull-out exists across from the unmarked trailhead which begins on the north side of the road and goes down hill. It is a 900-foot elevation drop and will be approximately 3.5 miles to the bottom of the canyon and back. Various spur trails and jumps are being created by mountain bikers creating a popular ride and longer hiking options. Be prepared to share the trail with them.

Inspiration Point

2.0 miles from Big Pines

Lightning Ridge Nature Trail: Hike starts on north side of Highway 2 from the parking lot. This is a 3/4 mile nature trail with 300′ elevation gain. This trail meets the PCT just before turning back down to the parking lot. Turn right on the PCT and you will come to Grassy Hollow in one mile.

Inspiration Point to Jackson Flat Campground: Hike starts on north side of Highway 2 from the parking lot. This is a 4-mile round trip hike with a 500-foot elevation gain. Hike westward along the Pacific Crest Trail, past Grassy Hollow, and up to the top of the Jackson Flat Campground. For a 1.5-mile shorter version, you can also begin at Grassy Hollow.

Grassy Hollow Visitor Center/Picnic Area

2.5 miles from Big Pines
The PCT passes along the north side of the hollow. From the trail sign, you can go west/north to Jackson Flat, Mount Baden-Powell, and eventually Canada! or east/south to Inspiration Point, Blue Ridge Campground, and eventually Mexico!

Grassy Hollow Loop Trail
Starts from the PCT sign north of the parking lot. For 3/4 of a mile go west on the trail under tall pines, with views of the Mojave Desert. When it deadends into the asphalt access road, you can turn left and be back to the parking lot in a quarter mile – viewing Mt. Baden-Powell and Mt. Baldy on the way.  Or, you can extend the hike by turning right on the access road and then jumping back on the PCT. Two more opportunities to loop back on the access road occur on your way to Jackson Flat Campground, where one can walk south through the camp to access the road.

Vincent Gap

5.0 miles from Big Pines

Mt. Baden Powell Hike: Starts from parking lot on south side of Highway 2. This is an 8-mile round trip with a 2800-foot elevation gain. See hike 81 in “Trails of the Angeles.” You can continue on the PCT beyond the summit and come to the Dawson Saddle Trail in 2.4 miles. Turn right here, and you come to Dawson Saddle on Highway 2 in 2 miles. Staying on the PCT beyond the Dawson Saddle Trail, takes you to Little Jimmy Campground in 3.2 miles. Continuing on the PCT for another 2.1 miles brings you to Highway 2 at Islip Saddle. Car shuttles between Vincent Gap and Dawson Saddle or Islip Saddle make great hikes.

Vincent Gap via Vincent Gulch to Mine Gulch and Prairie Fork: Also starts from parking lot on south side of Highway 2. Take the dirt road going south from parking lot. Watch for trail going off to the left and down after about 1/4 mile. Follow this trail. Hike is a 7.6 mile round trip with 2,000’ elevation loss. Remember, this is all uphill on the way back. See Hike No. 83 in “The Trails of the Angeles.” This trail continues on to Cabin Flat in 2.2 miles. Make sure you leave enough time and strength for the return if you go beyond Mine Gulch.

Vincent Gap to Big Horn Mine: Also starts from parking lot on south side of Highway 2. Take dirt road going south from parking lot and stay on dirt road. Do not take the down trail mentioned above. Hike is 4 miles round trip. See hike No. 82 in “Trails of the Angeles.” Stay off the old mine buildings. They are dangerous. You have to clamber over some rock slides, also dangerous.

Manzanita Trail: This one starts from the parking lot on the north side of Highway 2. Trail goes down to a usually dry streambed, but if running, can be difficult to cross. It is about a 5 to 6-mile round trip down to the stream and back. If you cross the stream, the trail continues to South Fork Campground 5.3 miles one way from Vincent Gap.

Dawson Saddle

10.5 miles from Big Pines

Dawson Saddle Trail to Mt. Throop, Little Jimmy Campground, and Islip Saddle: Trail starts on the south side of Highway 2. There is a small “TRAIL” sign. If you come to a tan Caltrans building on the north side of Hwy2, you have gone a couple of hundred yards too far. This trail intersects the Pacific Crest Trail in two miles. If you turn right at the intersect, you come to an unmarked trail on your right in about 1/4 mile. This takes you to the top of Mt. Throop for a good view. Come down to the Pacific Crest Trail and continue on to the right or east. You will reach Little Jimmy Campground in 3.2 miles. From here the PCT drops down and reaches Islip Saddle on Highway 2 in 2.1 miles.

Dawson Saddle Trail to Mt. Hawkins and Windy Gap: 1.1 miles after the intersect ,you come to a signed trail veering off to the left. This leads to the top of Mt. Hawkins in about 200 yards – great view! About a 1/2 mile beyond the Mt. Hawkins trail you come to another signed junction. This leads to the site of the former fire lookout station on top of So. Mt. Hawkins in 2.6 miles. Following a dirt road down from the lookout station will bring you to another junction in 3.2 miles.Turn right here to get back to the PCT at Windy Gap.

Dawson Saddle Trail to Mt. Baden-Powell via Mt. Burnham: If you had turned left at the Dawson Saddle/ PCT intersect, you go towards Mt. Baden- Powell via Mt. Burnham. Baden-Powell is about 2.4 miles from the intersect. From there, the PCT goes down to Vincent Gap in 4 miles. There are all kinds of opportunities for car shuttles from the Dawson Trail if you have two cars.

Islip Saddle

16.0 miles from Big Pines

Mt. Williamson Trail: Trail starts on the north side of Highway 2 from the parking lot. 5-mile round trip with 1600′ elevation gain. See No. 65 in “Trails of the Angeles.” Turn left when you get to the top and follow an up and down trail for about 1/2 mile for a great view. Just before reaching the summit, the PCT continues down the other side of Mt. Williamson reaching Highway 2 just beyond the tunnels in 1.3 miles.

South Fork Trail: Trail starts from the parking lot on the north side of Highway 2. 10.4 miles round trip with elevation loss of 2100′. This hike is best started from South Fork Campground making the last 5.2 downhill instead of uphill. See Hike No. 70 in “Trails of the Angeles.”

Mt. Islip Trail: Trail starts on south side of Highway 2 across from the parking lot. This is part of the PCT. The hike is about 6.5 miles round trip going to the top of Mt. Islip and back. You reach Little Jimmy Campground in 2.1 miles. Go through the campground to pick up the trail to the summit, 0.9 miles. If you stay on the PCT and skirt the campground you go past Windy Gap and reach the Dawson Trail, 3 1/2 miles from Little Jimmy. From Windy Gap, you could go down a side trail to Crystal Lake, about 3 1/2 miles. This is tough coming back up. Beyond Windy Gap on the PCT, you will see a side trail going to So. Mt. Hawkins. This is a pretty hike, but tough coming back out.

Mt. Islip to Crystal Lake: Another opportunity here is a trail branching off to the left just before you reach the summit of Mt. Islip. This trail is mostly down hill and dead ends into another trail in 2.9 miles. A right turn here would take you to the upper northern end of the Crystal Lake Rec. Area. It’s about another mile to Crystal Lake. Turning left would bring you to Windy Gap in 1.3 miles. This is a good trail, but very steep with no shade. Windy Gap is 1/2 mile from Little Jimmy Campground.

Eagles Roost Picnic Area

18.0 miles from Big Pines

Picnic area is open, but the trail is closed due the yellow-legged frog.

After you go through the tunnels above Islip Saddle, proceed about 1 mile to the Eagles Roost Picnic area on the left side of the highway. The PCT goes down an old fire road directly across the highway from the picnic area. You come to a nice stream in a little over 1 mile. Three more miles brings you to the intersection with the Burkhart Trail. See Hike 64 in “Trails of the Angeles.” You have options here. First you can return to Eagles Roost. Turning left on the Burkhart Trail brings you to Buckhorn Campground in 1.4 miles. You reach a nice waterfall 0.3 miles after the intersect. Turning right on the Burkhart would take you to Devil’s Punchbowl Park in about 11 miles. Get more directions before trying this one. Staying on the PCT at the intersect will take you past the Cooper Canyon Trail Camp and on to Cloudburst Summit on Highway 2 in 3.5 miles.

Buckhorn Campground

25.5 miles from Big Pines

Buckhorn to Little Rock Creek or Eagles’ Roost: Drive through the campground to a parking area designated for hikers. The trail descends about 2 1/2 miles through beautiful trees past Cooper Canyon Campground to Little Rock Creek. Here, the trail intersects the Burkhart Trail (See Hike No.63 in Trails of the Angeles) and the Rattlesnake Trail up to Eagles Roost. Turning around at Little Rock Creek gives you a hike of 4-5 miles. Going on to Eagles Roost gives you a hike of 6-7 miles and requires a car shuttle.

Mt. Waterman Trail: About 0.1 miles beyond the entrance to Buckhorn on the north side of Highway 2 is a parking area. Park there and cross the highway. About 50 feet east is the Waterman Trail. About 30 feet up the hill, the trail branches to the left. This is a pretty hike; about 6 miles round trip with 1300 ft. elevation gain. See hike No. 60 in ” Trails of the Angeles.” The summit is a fairly flat area with pretty rock formations and great views.

Mt. Waterman to Three Points: Starts out the same as above. 3/4 miles before the summit, you reach a signed junction going into the Wilderness Area. Follow this trail down to another junction. Going left here will take you to a dead end at the base of Twin Peaks in about 2 miles. There is no trail up Twin Peaks, but you can scramble cross-country. If you take a right instead of left at the junction, away from Twin Peaks, you reach a junction with the PCT and the Silver Moccasin trail in 6 miles. From here, the PCT and the Silver Moccasin Trail follow the same path to the summit of Mt. Baden Powell. After reaching this junction, the trail crosses Highway 2 to a parking area called Three Points. The PCT, Silver Moccasin and the Mt. Waterman Trails meet here. From Highway 2 at Buckhorn to Highway 2 at Three Points is 9 1/2-10 miles with a fair amount of uphill and downhill. See hike No. 59 in “Trails of the Angeles.” Leave out the Twin Peaks portion unless you are looking for a challenge.

Cloudburst Summit

27.0 miles from Big Pines

The PCT crosses Highway 2 here. Trip 61 in “Trails of the Angeles” suggests taking the fire road north, but a “new” section of the PCT starts from the east side of the parking area. This is prettier than the road. This will bring you to the Burkhart junction mentioned above. The new section of the PCT adds about one mile to the hike whether you go to Buckhorn or Eagles Roost, but it is worth it. Buckhorn would be about 6 miles and Eagles Roost about 7 1/2. Both would require a car shuttle or, in the case of Buckhorn, a 1 1/2 mile walk on Highway 2 back to Cloudburst Summit.

If you cross the highway and go south from Cloudburst, you pass 2 private camps and reach Highway 2 at Three Points in 4.7 miles. Follow the PCT signs and cross the highway. In just a few steps you reach a junction where the Silver Moccasin Trail branches to the left. This trail goes on to Bandido Campground and Chilao Flats. Going past the Silver Moccasin turn-off brings you to the Three Points parking area. Walk through the parking lot and pick up the PCT going north. You will reach Sulphur Springs Campground in 3.3 miles.

Three Points

31.7 miles from Big Pines

This is a junction mentioned in Cloudburst Summit and Mt. Waterman above. Three trails meet here – the Mt. Waterman, the PCT and the Silver Moccasin. The Silver Moccasin is a Boy Scout merit badge trail coming up from the La Canada area. The PCT and the Silver Moccasin join together here and follow the same path to the summit of Baden-Powell, where the Silver Moccasin terminates.

From here, you can reverse the Mt. Waterman Trail to Buckhorn.

From the parking lot at Three Points, you can take the PCT north to Sulphur Springs Campground in 3.2 miles. An additional 5.9 miles will take you to Pacifico Mountain Campground. An additional 5.6 will take you to Mill Creek Summit at Angeles Forest Highway. Sulphur Springs to Mill Creek is 11.5 miles and a good car shuttle.

Just below the parking lot at Three Points, the Silver Moccasin trail heads east. It takes you past Bandido Horse Campground to Chilao. This is about 3-4 miles. From Chilao the trail goes on to Charlton Flat in about 3-4 miles. This area is lower and gets quite hot in the summer.

Chilao Campground

34.7 miles from Big Pines

The Silver Moccasin Trail mentioned above passes through here. Parking a car here would give you an 8-mile car shuttle hike from Cloudburst Summit. The Silver Moccasin continues on, reaching Charlton Flat in another 4 miles and would make the hike from Cloudburst Summit 12 miles. Staying on this trail after Charlton would bring you to Shortcut Junction on Highway 2 in 4 more miles. Every hike on the Silver Moccasin south of Three Points is hot and dry most of the year.

Chilao  to Horse Flats and Mt. Hillyer: This is a 6-mile round trip hike. See Hike 57 in “Trails of the Angeles” for details.

Charlton Flat to Vetter Mountain Lookout: This is an easy 2-mile round trip hike from Charlton Flat to Vetter Mountain Lookout. This is a working Forest Service Fire Lookout, staffed by volunteers, with a beautiful view. See Hike 54b in “Trails of the Angeles.”