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Backpacking trips in or around Los Angeles County
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Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Backpacking trips in or around Los Angeles County on 03/30/2012 23:33:09 MDT Print View

Hi all, looking for a place to go on a 2-3 night trip in or around Los Angeles county for a annual trip with some old friends. Only place I've been around here is the Bridge to Nowhere above Azuza I believe, fun hike, lots of people the first few miles though.

Anyone know of any good places to go? We're kinda limited with timing and leaving work and such do we're looking for something within 1-2 hours drive. I really enjoy hiking along and exploring rivers.


Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Around on 03/30/2012 23:44:48 MDT Print View

You don't say when you're going, but there are the San Jacinto mountains, the San Bernadinos, and the San Gabriels. In any of them, you could follow the PCT for a ways.

In the San Jacintos, you could put together a series of short hikes during the day to camp at a different spot each night. You could do it either from the Palm Springs tram, or from Idyllwild. Right now there's a fair bit of snow, but later it gets quite hot up there.

Camping in the San Bernadinos is pretty restricted.

In the San Gabriels, there are a number of trails that tend to wind up and down canyons/creeks, that could give you some good hiking. In fact, speaking of Bridge to Nowhere, you can do that as a shuttle hike from on top - though I don't know what shape that trail is right now, or even if the road is open.

Get some trail maps of the mountains, and create your own route!

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Backpacking trips in or around Los Angeles County on 03/31/2012 08:16:48 MDT Print View

Check out Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles by Jerry Schad. Ton of ideas in there. All his books are good.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Thanks on 03/31/2012 10:29:07 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, I'm going in 2 weekends and than also in 4 weekend so they are coming up. Any more ideas?

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Sespe ! on 03/31/2012 13:30:50 MDT Print View

Nick will likely add something but I found the Sespe River from Piedras Blancas trailhead to the hotsprings to be outstanding. Plenty of spots for small groups, fires and good times with plenty of water. Check that one out...

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Thanks on 03/31/2012 15:59:27 MDT Print View

Thanks Edward! How far is the hike to the hot springs?

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
LA Area Hiking on 04/01/2012 09:56:02 MDT Print View

Sespe River Trail is approx 17 miles 1-way from the Piedras Blanca's Trailhead. Lots of swimming holes and other campsites along the way.

Other options...
Santa Monica Mountains
Mt Pinos area out by Fraizer Park
The entire Los Padres National Forest (behind Santa Barbara and Ventura)
A little farther away but... Big Sur?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: LA Area Hiking on 04/01/2012 10:38:27 MDT Print View

That's it keep sending people to the same old places. Sespe? Really. There a a ton of opportunities if you look at the map.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Sespe on 04/01/2012 19:04:59 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, think I'll try out Sespe. Are the hot springs hard to find or does the trial take you right to them?

Luke H.
(Scraps111) - F
Sespe on 04/01/2012 20:18:25 MDT Print View

I just got back from Sespe today. Great trail, I highly recommend it. Be prepared for a few river crossings, nothing to bad though. The trail is easy to follow and the hot springs are fairly easy to get to. You can see where the trail to the hot springs are on your map, but I didn't see any signs pointing the way. It's pretty straightforward though so I doubt you'll have trouble finding them. My advice is if possible go during the week when there are less people out there. There's a ton of people who use that trail on the weekends, and most of them congregate near the hot springs. Have fun!

Andrew Jennings
(breaktheshoal) - MLife

Locale: West of the Mississippi
Hikes around LA on 04/02/2012 11:52:40 MDT Print View

Hey Austin,

Whenever I'm looking for a new hike around LA I always turn to Great trail reports and accurate maps to help you locate something nearby...

NOTE: I am NOT affiliated with


Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Map on 04/03/2012 17:53:33 MDT Print View

Thanks Luke, unfortunately we have to go on a Friday to Sunday because of our schedules...

Was there plenty of water there? I know we have had a dry winter.

Do you know of any good maps online I could download?


Jon Franklin
(Junto01) - F
Re: Backpacking trips in or around Los Angeles County on 04/03/2012 18:29:58 MDT Print View

I've seen a few fantastic trip reports from hikes in the San Rafael Wilderness in the Santa Barbara area near lake cachuma. Do a quick search on the site to find the reports. Actually, I've been meaning to make it out there. Good luck to you.

Luke H.
(Scraps111) - F
re: map on 04/03/2012 23:05:20 MDT Print View

Austin, check out Gmap4 for topo maps. I can't remember the url so do a google search for it. There is plenty of water, so that shouldn't be an issue. Yeah I had to go on a Friday through Sunday too, but there's a ton of places to camp along the trail. It was mostly just crowded right around Willet hot springs. By the way you need an adventure pass to park at the trail head so make sure to get that beforehand. Have fun!

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Backpacking trips in or around Los Angeles County on 04/04/2012 07:14:38 MDT Print View

I was going to suggest the Piedra Blanca Trail but instead of the Sespe or Willet hot springs head up to Pine Mountain Lodge and beyond, perhaps go to the Fishbowls.

2 years ago the PCT was re-routed temporarily through a spot that looked really pretty called Devil's Punchbowl. Really interesting rock formations and that high desert joshua tree and pinyon pine stuff that is so beautiful. There is even a web site for it but I don't know if it's the best one.