Summary: The start of the trail is a set of switchbacks going up the ridgeline above the Upper Tujunga. Then it goes through a series of overgrown tunnels of scrub oaks and other tall chaparral like ceanothus, unique to this area. As you approach the highest saddle and some of best view the trails and becomes somewhat more difficult to follow. The trail steepen slightly upon nearing Barley Flats. At Barley Flats there are a lot of abandoned buildings and tall fences around the old Nike missile sight. Take a left on the main paved road and follow it downhill to Highway 2.
Trailhead: I parked in a parking area on the south side of Upper Big Tujunga Road a hundred yards east of Alder Creek. A signpost stands at the end of the parking area marking the beginning of the trail (0, 0, 3440'). The obvious trail goes toward the creek. In a hundred yards the trail comes to an open area. On the right a four inch pipe sticking up bearing the inscription, 'Barley Flats Trail 3.5 miles', marks the trail. The trail crosses the creek and soon climbs up from the bottom of the canyon to contour along the west side. (Lat:34.18 Lon:-118.04)
Trail Guides for Barley Flats:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring,
User Groups: Hikers, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Angeles National Forest - (818)574-1613
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Erick Pfaff, who has posted 2 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by EN on 10/15/2011
I try to hike it today 10/15/11 but couldn't find the trail, I spend almost 2 hours exploring animals trail, too overgown.
Reviewed by Steve on 9/5/2008
The other bldgs. by the helipad used to be a L.A. County Probation Detention Camp for youths. At the end of the parking lot, there is a different trail that used to be used by vehicles. At the begining of that trail to the right, is a small path that leads up almost 200' to a water tower. That is a rough run if anyone wants to try it.
Reviewed by Kristen on 3/10/2008
This review is for a hike completed on 3/9/08. My friends and I had a bit of a hard time finding the trail. I suspect that overgrown plants and erosion to be the culprit. After finding the trail, we found it pretty easy to follow and was comfortable with its good grade. At a certain point, the trail becomes seriously overgrown and one has to crouch, squat, and crawl to avoid the sharp foliage (spanish bayonets to for one of many) that blocks trail's airspace. Once we got past the bush, we made it to the Flats via the Ridge. The Nike/Ajax Missle installation was real cool. Botton Line: This would've been an excellent trail to go out and back if it wasn't SO OVERGROWN.
Reviewed by dan on 1/8/2008
a group of determined hikers located the trail head that was hidden when the forest service blocked off the parking area next to alder creek. we parked 1/4 of a mile east of the trail head. after ascending the trail for approximatly 3 miles we decided to enjoy the view of the snow covered mt. baldy and other local peaks. since i like seldom used trails i enjoyed the peace and tranquility
Reviewed by Jennifer on 10/30/2007
As a result of extreme fire activity, and to protect public health and safety, Angeles National Forest officials have implemented a forest closure, effective October 23, 2007. The closure will last until the extreme conditions subside. Individuals or organizations holding special use permits for sanctioned activities within the Forest are exempt from this order. http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/angeles/ For updates
Reviewed by PeterCandy on 12/10/2006
December 2006. Trail has been repaired nearly all the way to the top. Further restoration is in progress. In difficult spots, look for tape flags that light the way to the top.
Reviewed by BLT on 3/25/2006
There used to be a parking area on the south side of the road at Alder Creek but the Forest Service has filled it with piles of dirt. Whoever moved the dirt even left a couple of large used oil filters. Nice work, guys. Apparently this trail sees almost no use. Has anyone been through there since my last review? It doesn't look like it. It is overgrown with scrub oak and another small tree I can't seem to identify. This unknown tree has light gray bark with spikes that feel really good when you walk through them. Even so, it was an enjoyable hike on a cool day.
Reviewed by BLT on 11/27/2004
Did this one yesterday. Nice expansive views most of the way up. It's definitely not a heavily used trail. Spotted some bear scat on the way up and tracks in a lingering snow patch. The LA County Sheriff's Dept operates a rescue chopper from the helipad on top. The rest of the buildings are not currently in use. The elevation gain is closer to 2000', not 1100' as indicated above. This would be a hot hike in the summer.
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