Hiking Project Logo

Red Box Trailhead to Valley Forge Campground

 4.1 (7)
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Length


4.9 Miles 7.9 Kilometers


1,160' 353 m

Ascent

-1,157' -353 m

Descent

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

4,629' 1,411 m

High

3,490' 1,064 m

Low

Shared By Tim Whalen

Conditions


Minor Issues 12 days ago
Mostly Dry, Some Mud, Fallen Trees: pretty good shape. expect higher water at lower elevations. you're feet are going to get wet. History

Getting forecast...

An easy outing on the Gabrielino Trail from Red Box picnic area to Valley Forge Campground

Tim Whalen

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views

Family Friendly While this might be a bit long for a day trip, the availability of camping makes this a great first backpacking trip for youngsters.

An Adventure Pass is required for parking at Red Box picnic area on Highway 2. Avoid the trail during and after rains.

Overview

This route is a nice day trip or short overnight camping opportunity in the middle of the Gabrielino Trail (NRT)

Need to Know

Bring plenty of water in the summer and fall. In the winter and spring you'll have to cross the stream several times. Avoid this trail during and after heavy rains.

Description

From the trailhead located along Hwy 2, look for the sign at the top of some stone steps. Head down and the dry grassy route will quickly enter the trees and descend along the west fork of the San Gabriel River. The riverbed is dry most of the year so bring plenty of water. After about a mile, look for a marker as you cross Rincon Red Box Road to pick up the trail on the other side.

Off to the right of the trail you'll spot some big buildings. This is the site of the Long Beach School District's Hi-Hill Outdoor School. It has been closed since 2008 due to fire danger and cost savings but was spared by the Station Fire in 2009. You'll pass several old cabins soon after but another marker below them marks the continuation of the Gabrielino Trail (NRT). The trail cuts through a big patch of blackberry bushes. Take a few to power you through the next section of trail if the season is right.

About 1.5 miles past the road you'll see a sign to Valley Forge campground and leave the Gabrielino Trail (NRT) to the left. Continue along a short downhill stretch and you'll arrive at the campground. There are several picnic tables, some signboards and vault toilets at the campground. The journey back out to the Red Box trailhead will take a little longer as you climb back up the arroyo.

A popular variation that uses a short car shuttle is to take the Valley Forge Trail #12W09 down from the Mt. Wilson Red Box Road and return back to Red Box on the Gabrielino Trail (NRT).

Flora & Fauna

Watch for poison oak along the trail. At one point the trail will cut through a huge blackberry patch. This route is mostly shaded by oak, bigcone spruce, alder, sycamore and bay trees. Deer and coyotes are commonly seen.

History & Background

The Long Beach School District's Hi-Hill Outdoor School (closed since 2008) is midway along this route.

Contacts

You & This Featured Hike


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Mar 12, 2019
Troy Blischok
Dec 16, 2018
Joe Randolph
Jul 23, 2018
Dennis Duo Aguilar
Apr 14, 2018
Ryan Saruwatari
3.5mi
Apr 13, 2018
Mark Sacro
Jun 24, 2017
Arron Szabo
2mi
Apr 30, 2017
Inmer Pacheco

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 7 votes

#2211

Overall
  4.1 from 7 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
86%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#346

in California

#2,211

Overall
60 Views Last Month
1,504 Since Aug 22, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
29%
43%
29%
0%
0%

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking