Top 5 Roads for Exploring the San Gabriel Mountains

Angeles Crest Hwy. - Mt. Islip Hike

Angeles Crest Hwy. - Mt. Islip Hike

Adventure begins when the tires hit the pavement but more so when the boots hit the ground. Here in the San Gabriel Mountains I can recommend a few great roads that are amazing for hiking and scenic lookouts. These roads are scenic drives and many trail-heads begin from these roads. As always, have your Adventure Pass on hand if you intend on parking and leaving your car for a while in the San Gabriel Mountains. These roads lead to many hikes which require an Adventure Pass. Info on the Adventure Pass and where to get one is here. Enjoy and keep your eyes on the road

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5. Big Tujunga Canyon Rd.

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Big Tujunga Cyn Rd.

A great driving road which connects to the Angeles Crest Highway and Upper Big Tujunga Cyn Road.

Big Tujunga Canyon Road begins in the city of Sunland - Tujunga. The entire road extends 12 miles ending at the Big Tujunga Canyon Reservior and merges with the Angeles Forest Highway. Taking this stretch of the Angeles Forest Highway up from Big T Rd. will lead to the Angeles Crest Highway. Which is an alternate route to getting to this road. 

Hikes off this road:

Trail Canyon Falls - (4 mile hike), Condor Peak- (16 mile hike), Fox Peak - (12 mile hike), Mt. Lukens - (9 mile hike), Fall Creek Falls - (3 mile hike)

 

Big T Canyon Rd. Begins at: 34.272414, -118.315665

 

4. Angeles Forest Highway

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Angeles Forest Highway

More of a road to get through the mountains.

The Angeles Forest Highway is named similar to the the Angeles Crest Highway, but it is located in the lower elevations of the San Gabriel Mountains. It cuts through the west side of the mountain and is used more often as a commuting road through to Palmdale. Hikes here are generally set in a more arid and dry landscape.

Hikes off this road:

Mill Creek Falls (~2 mile hike), Monkey Canyon (~3 mile hike), Monte Cristo Campground & hike (~1 mile hike)

 

Angeles Forest Highway Begins at: 34.435348, -118.089635

 

3. Mt. Baldy Rd.

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Mt. Baldy Rd.

At the base of Mt. Baldy access to the Mt. Badly village and the Mt. Baldy hike begins from this road. This road sees thousands of visitors a year as those who make the summit up to Mt. Baldy.

Hikes off this road:

Ice House Canyon to Ice House Canyon saddle (8 mile hike), Cucamonga Peak (14 mile hike), Mt. Baldy(12 mile hike), Stoddard Canyon Falls (2 mile hike)

 

Mt. Baldy Road begins at: 34.138460, -117.707103

 

2. San Gabriel Canyon Rd. (39)

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Everyone hiking to the Bridge to Nowhere has driven on this road. This road also connects with the East Fork Road leading to the Bridge To Nowhere trail-head. The road is commonly used only to access hikes in this part of the San Gabriel Range, but also to the few mountain residents and camps that are off the roads here. This road used to once connect to the Angeles Crest Highway, but after extensive damage from natural disaters, they have closed the last portion of this road until further notice.

Some hikes off this road:

Bridge To Nowhere (10 mile hike), Crystal Lake and Mt. Islip (1 mile and 6 mile hike respectiely) Lewis Falls(2 mile hike), West Fork of the San Gabriel River (walk as long as you want), Cape Horn Falls (1 mile hike)

 

San Gabriel Canyon Road Begins at: 34.159209, -117.906024

 

1. Angeles Crest Highway (2)

Angeles Crest Highway (2)

The premier hiking and traveling road in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Angeles Crest starts from La Canada Flintridge and ends in Wrightwood. It cuts through the middle of the San Gabes and travels over 60 miles through the mountains. Commonly known as the best road in the San Gabriel Mountains for outdoor recreation. It's closed at Islip Saddle during the winter season when the first snowfall hits and ices up the road. Those traveling to Mountain High or Wrightwood will need to avoid this road from the front side of the range and instead access it from the backside of the range.

LA hikes off this road: Switzer Falls, Strawberry Peak, Mt. Islip, Red Box Picnic Area

 

Angeles Crest Highway Begins at: 34.223171, -118.190265