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** Use at Your Own Risk **

See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.

12C

San Gabriel Peak

6161'

Location: Los Angeles County, about 4 miles north of Altadena, 30 miles from Los Angeles

Maps

Auto ClubLos Angeles and Vicinity
Forest ServiceAngeles National Forest
USGS ToposChilao Flat 7½, Mount Wilson 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable JPG file - Approximately 630K
 GPX file or Google Earth KML file to download to GPS units and other map software (How to use GPX and KML files)
 Routes as shown on CalTopo using the above files (How to use CalTopo)

Nearby Peaks: Mount Deception, Mount Disappointment, Mount Lowe, Mount Markham

Printable version of this route

ROUTE 1

(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 4 1/2 miles round trip on trail and road
Gain: 1400'
Time: 2 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, easy

Original: Brent Washburne, December 1988

DRIVING ROUTE 1

  • From the intersection of I-210 and Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2), drive north on Angeles Crest Highway 9.5 miles to Angeles Forest Highway. Keep straight.
  • Continue about 4.5 miles to the junction with the Mount Wilson Road at the Red Box Ranger Station. Turn right.
  • Drive 0.4 mile to a paved road (2N52) on the right. Park here. Do not block the gate.

HIKING ROUTE 1

  • At the parking area (4760'), the San Gabriel Peak Trail starts just to the left of the gate. Hike up this trail to where it meets a paved road.
  • Turn left and follow the road to a road fork between San Gabriel Peak and Mount Disappointment (5800'-).
  • On the southeast side of this flat area, find a trail. Follow it about 200' to a trail junction.
  • The right (south and downhill) fork leads to Markham Saddle. Go straight (east) and follow the trail up to the summit.

NOTE

It is also possible to follow paved road 2N52 from the parking area to the road fork between Mount Disappointment and San Gabriel Peak.


Printable version of this route

ROUTE 2

(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 4 miles round trip on trail and road
Gain: 1000'
Time: 2 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, easy

Original: Warren E. von Pertz, March 1968

DRIVING ROUTE 2

  • From the intersection of I-210 and Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2), drive north on Angeles Crest Highway 9.5 miles to Angeles Forest Highway. Keep straight.
  • Continue about 4.5 miles to the junction with the Mount Wilson Road at the Red Box Ranger Station. Turn right.
  • Drive 2.3 miles to Eaton Saddle. Park on the right. Do not block the gate.

HIKING ROUTE 2

  • From the parking area (5100'), pass the gate and hike up the road, through a tunnel, about 1/2 mile to Markham Saddle. This is the turnoff for Mount Markham and Mount Lowe.
  • A trail starts on the right. Follow this trail up to a trail fork just short of a road between Mount Disappointment and San Gabriel Peak.
  • Turn right and follow the trail up to the summit.

NOTE

This peak can be combined with several other peaks in the area in one day hike.

HISTORICAL NOTES

When viewed from the Los Angeles Basin, this angular peak behind Mount Lowe appears to dominate the front range. In early Mount Lowe literature, it was called "Observatory Peak", as Professor Lowe planned to extend his mountain railway to the summit and build there "the largest and best equipped astronomical observatory in the world." The observatory was never built (Professor Lowe ran out of money).

In 1894, the USGS used the summit as a triangulation point for mapping the range. As it appeared to be the highest point in the front range of the San Gabriels (more recent surveys show Strawberry Peak to be 3' higher), the government surveyors gave it the name "San Gabriel Peak".

In 1928 a fire lookout tower was built on the summit. It was removed in 1937 because observation was too often obscured by urban-generated haze. The name is derived from San Gabriel Archangel, the fourth of the Franciscan missions, founded in 1771.

John Backus, the former Chairman of the Mountain Records Committee of the HPS, a 6-time list finisher and the first person to lead all the peaks, was eulogized on this peak in December 1988 in a ceremony attended by 175 members and former members of the HPS.

History of Summit Signature

Climbing Archives

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.


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