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


Rattlesnake Peak


Location: Los Angeles County, about 11 miles north of Glendora, 41 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubLos Angeles and Vicinity
Forest ServiceAngeles National Forest
USGS ToposCrystal Lake 7½, Glendora 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable JPG file - Approximately 1.5 megs
 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)

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 9 miles round trip on road and cross-country
Gain: 4100' total, 3800' out plus 300' on return
Time: 7-8 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, strenuous

Original: John Backus, May 1969


  • From the intersection of I-210 and Azusa Avenue (SR 39), drive north on Azusa Avenue about 12 miles to the junction at the East Fork Road. Turn right (east).
  • Cross the bridge and go 3.3 miles to Shoemaker Road on the left. Turn left.
  • Pass a sign "Not a Through Street" and go 1.9 miles to a parking lot at a locked gate. Park here. Ample parking.


  • From the parking area (2300'), pass the gate and hike up the road 1.5 miles to a gully shortly before a deep two-sided road cut. If you can see the entrance to the tunnel you have gone too far.
  • Go up the steep left bank of the gully and pick up an old overgrown road. Follow this up around to the right as it crosses the gully and comes to a flat area with a ridge going up on the left.
  • Leave the road and go up this ridge northwest to where it turns left at about 3500'.
  • Continue west up the ridge about 1/2 mile to bump 4040' on the main ridge.
  • Turn right and go up the ridge northwest over several bumps and down to a saddle at 4720'+.
  • Then continue up to the summit.

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 10 miles round trip on road and cross-country
Gain: 4100'
Time: 7.5-8.5 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, strenuous

Original: Bill Simpson, January 2008


See Driving Route 1


  • From the parking area (2300'), pass the gate and hike up the road 1.6 miles to the entrance to a tunnel (see the date "1961" near the top of the tunnel.)
  • Proceed through the tunnel and continue on the road to a second tunnel (see the date "1964" near the top of the second tunnel).
  • Continue thorough the second tunnel on the road passing two large gullies.
  • 300 yards after the second big gully, find the steep use trail to the east ridge.
  • Continue on the use trail, which contours north, then east, then north again, then east again for a distance of about 3/4 mile from the second tunnel with little elevation gain or loss to a second use trail to the left, which may be marked with a very large duck.
  • Proceed steeply up the second use trail as it heads north. After about 1/4 mile the use trail reaches the east ridge to Rattlesnake Peak at approximately 3500'.
  • Follow this ridge, which is a Wilderness Boundary, northwest to bump 4691, then west, then northwest again to the summit.
  • Return to the parking area via Hiking Route 1. (A return via Hiking Route 2 will add an additional mile.)


Make careful note of your route on the way to the summit as it is easy to make a mistake on the return trip. Make sure you go down the ridge to the west-southwest that starts at bump 4040'. There is a steel post marking this spot.

The ridge has become very brushy and long pants are recommended. This peak is not recommended in the heat of summer due to dehydration problems.


Rattlesnake Peak has been climbed via the ridge from South Mount Hawkins (LO). It is reported to be extremely brushy at one spot.


Shoemaker Road was originally intended to be an escape route from the Los Angeles area in case of nuclear attack. It was begun in the early days of the Cold War. It was soon abandoned as it was too expensive and a poor idea.

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