San Gabriel Trails Award Segments

Bear Creek
The trail along Bear Creek penetrates the rugged San Gabriel Wilderness. Recommended trail head starts at Highway 39 below Coldbrook Campground and terminates at the west fork of the San Gabriel River. The lower trail has many stream crossings and is heavily covered by poison oak. Trail camps are Bear Creek and Lower Bear Creek. A side trip for a peak climb is at Smith Mountain. Wilderness permits may be obtained at Glendora Ranger Station. Reference Robinson’s hikes 73 & 74.

Buckhorn and Cooper Canyon were once campgrounds of the Shoshone Indians and later served as hunting camps for early settlers. The suggested trek is from Cloudburst Summit through Cooper Canyon to Mt. Williams. Use of the trail camp at Cooper Canyon is convenient for exploring the San Gabriel Mountain backcountry. Review Robinson’s hike 60 through 66.

This trek takes you into the western side of the rugged Cucamonga Wilderness. Access is from the trail head at Ice House Canyon above Mt Baldy Village or from Baldy Notch. A wilderness permit may be obtained at Mt. Baldy Ranger Station. The trail camp at Kelly’s offers a base for side hikes to any of the high peaks, offering impressive views of die area. Consult Robinson’s hikes 96 through 99.

East Fork
Follow the valley of the east fork of the San Gabriel River from Vincent Gap to East Fork Ranger Station for a trip that offers adventure and isolation. “Once a hunting ground for local Indians, the lower canyon has become a haven for weekend gold prospectors. Good trails take you to Mine Gulch Camp in the shadow of Mt. Baden-Powell, but the middle section to Bridge-to-Nowhere requires cross-country skills. Start at either end of the canyon. Wilderness permit is obtained at Big Pines or East Fork Ranger Stations. See Robinson’s hikes 84 to 88.

Little Jimmy
Sheltered on the north slope of Mt Islip, Little Jimmy is accessible from Islip Saddle, Crystal Lake or Vincent Gap via the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT). Several peaks nearby provide challenging side hikes with panoramas of the San Gabriels. Good water is at Little Jimmy Springs. Refer to Robinson’s hikes 76 to 81.

Mt. Lowe
Featuring the front range of the San Gabriels and scenic Eaton Canyon areas, Mt. Lowe also offers a trip into the historic past of the front range. Many of the access trails leading up from Altadena require steep climbs on exposed slopes. Trail camps at Mt Lowe and Idlehour offer year-round water. A trek through Henninger Flats Forestry Station is worthwhile. Review Robinson’s hikes 19 to 33.

Santa Anita Canyon
A major portion of the Gabrielino Trail traverses this canyon. The Gabrielino Indians once migrated into these mountains gathering food. Sturtevant Falls in the lower canyon is worth the visit Access to the area is from Chantry Flats or Red Box, with trail camps at Hogees, Spruce Grove or Devore. See Robinson’s hikes 39 to 47 and 49 to 52.

Switzer Falls
The Commodore Switzer Trail Camp and Switzer Falls were once two of the most popular areas during the “great hiking era” of the San Gabriels. Trails that access the area follow Arroyo Seco and Bear Canyons. Trail camps are at Switzer, Bear Canyon and Oakwilde. Water generally is available. Consult Robinson’s hikes 15 to 18 and 33.