Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mt. Disappointment & San Gabriel Peak

To view all of the pictures from this hike Click Here to go to the photo gallery
To view videos from this hike Click Here to go to YouTube

Date/ Time:
November 14, 2011
Update: May 5, 2012- Also hiked Mt. Deception

Nearby City:
La Canada Flintridge, CA

Driving Directions:
Taking the 210 Freeway East Exit Ca-2/ Angeles Crest Highway toward La Canada Flintridge. There are two exit signs for Ca-2 Highway make sure to take the second one. At the light make a Left onto Ca-2 East/ Angeles Crest Highway and follow for 13.9 miles to the Mt wilson Red box Picnic Area and Trailhead and make a right into the large parking lot. Continue down Mt. Wilson Red Box Road through the parking lot. In 0.3 mile make a hard right onto Mt Disappointment Road, Its the first right but you can easily pass it. Park in the small dirt patch on your right. To see exactly where you will be parking check out Jessie's Trails on Google Maps.

To get to the other trailhead (CLOSED) continue past Mt. Disappointment Road 2 miles further to the other Mt Disappointment Road make a right and park.

Sunrise to Sunset


This is a very easy trail with a steady incline all the way to the top of Mt Disappointment or San Gabriel Peak.

Elevation Gain/Loss:
Mt Disappointment- 5960'
San Gabriel Peak- 6161'

All year, make sure to check weather conditions before heading out in the summer months this trail is exposed and you will need plenty of water, a hat, and sunscreen.

Parking/ Entrance Fees:
An Adventure Pass is needed to park, you can buy one online or find one near you.

Cell Service:
T-Mobile - No service at all

Mt Disappointment- 4 miles round trip (4.5 miles if you combine both trails)
San Gabriel Peak-4 miles round trip

Trail Conditions:
The trail is hard to spot from the parking area but once you find it its very easy to follow eventually becoming paved for a short distance. The switchbacks at the beginning of the trail are starting to erode and parts of the San Gabriel Peak trail is doing the same.

Trail Directions:
Starting at the small dirt parking area, you can hike up the mountain one of two ways. First the easy way up is to take the paved fire road past the gate all the way up till it ends at a fork in the road for Mt. Disappointment(Right) and San Gabriel Peak(Left). 

The other, main trail to the top of both Mt. Disappointment and San Gabriel Peak is a dirt path that can be found by a quick look around for a yellow sign marking the trail but the trail itself is hard to spot. Once on the trail it quickly gets your heart rate going as you climb a few switchbacks, keep a look out on your left for short bursts of stunning views of the mountains around you through small openings in the tall trees and brush. The trail is very easy to follow as it heads up further into the mountains toward your destination. After about 3.5 miles the trial will almost come level with the paved Fire Road, here you can hop the metal guard rail and continue the rest of the hike on paved road or follow the trail to the left a very short distance to where the trail dumps you out on the paved fire road. Go left and soon you will reach the fork for the two mountains. Go left to a large open area where you will see another yellow sign (Update 2012: Sign is gone) marking the trailhead for the San Gabriel Peak trail. Follow this hard to spot dirt trail to the top of San Gabriel Peak. Once you're at the top chill out and have some lunch then head back down and straight over to mt. Disappointment. This very short 0.5 mile walk up to Mt. Disappointment is worth the trip, along with stunning views and a rock ledge to climb out on there are still remnants of the Nike missile site that once was used but is now just a communication tower. Head back the way you came or do what we did and take the other way back to your car; don't worry both ways are the same distance.

Other Activities:
Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center
Trail running
Dogs Allowed ON LEASH

Adventure Pass

Jessie's Thoughts
I chose this trail, like a lot of people did because of its name. All in all this was a very easy trail, great condition, multiple ways up, amazing views, and if you hike it on a week day like we did it will only be you out there. The Mt. Disappointment trail is great for beginners or families with young children and/ or dogs.


View Jessie's Trails in a larger map


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