“A steep climb from Red Box Picnic area to San Gabriel Peak.”
— Tim Whalen
Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Adventure Pass required for parking at Red Box Trailhead but not at the Mount Disappointment Fire Road.
This route is a popular way to reach the summit of San Gabriel Peak. Though there are steep portions, you'll be rewarded with amazing views at the summit that make this well worth the effort.
Need to Know
The trail to the summit of San Gabriel Peak can be dangerous if there is snow or ice.
From Red Box on Angeles Crest Highway, turn onto Mt. Wilson-Red Box Road for 0.2 miles then turn right at a junction with paved Mount Disappointment Road #2N57
(unsigned). There are a limited number of parking spots near the gate 100' from the junction and more down near the intersection. Proceed up the road past the gate and turn left onto the Bill Reilly Trail
. Follow this well-shaded trail through an enchanting oak forest rejoining back with the Mount Disappointment Fire Road at 1.2 miles.
Turn left onto the paved road and continue for about 0.2 miles to where the road makes a sharp bend. The road goes up to the Mt. Disappointment electronic site. Continue going straight east passing the foundation of an old Nike missile site then onto a dirt trail where there is a junction with the San Gabriel Peak Trail #12W24
. Turn left and follow the trail to the summit. You'll be rewarded with a spectacular view of Mount Baldy. You'll also find a bench and geocache box. You are also looking down at the Mount Wilson
Flora & Fauna
Oaks and bigcone spruce provide shade along the trail. Manzanita and ceanothus are widely seen on sunny slopes.
History & Background
There was a fire lookout on top of San Gabriel Peak but it was removed in 1937. The Nike missile site on Mt. Disappointment was decommissioned in 1965.