Summary: This hike to the top of Twin Peaks offers up some of the very best views in the San Gabriel Mountains. I really enjoyed the tall pine forest along the way, the sense of remoteness and the cedar stands at Twin Peaks Saddle. This hike is a real workout and includes a steep climb with some scrambling to the 7761-foot summit of east Twin Peaks (the higher of the two peaks). Bring PLENTY of water and expect to be out for most of the day. You begin hiking on the Mt. Waterman Trail and at 2.1 miles you will come to a well-marked junction with a sign. A right turn here goes to Mt. Waterman but turn west instead heading toward Twin Peaks and zigzagging down the south slope. Soon you will come to a second junction where you turn left going to Twin Peaks Saddle which is the starting point for the steep climb to Twin Peaks. Here you will find a well-worn climber's route leading to the summit. There are plenty of boulders and trees to enjoy on the way up to the top.
Trailhead: From the 210 FWY take the Angeles Crest Highway east to Buckhorn Campground approximately 34 miles to mile marker 58.0. The Mt. Waterman trail starts on the south side of Angeles Crest Highway opposite the Buckhorn trailhead. The trail can be a little difficult to find at first. Walk about 30 feet up the fire road and pick up the trail to the left which parallels the highway for a short distance and begins to ascend the forested slope. (Lat:34.34407 Lon:-117.92105)
Trail Guides for Twin Peaks from Buckhorn:
Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Angeles National Forest (626) 574-1613
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Eric Altizer, who has posted 13 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Paul on 9/6/2011
Trail is in great condition, despite the Station fire a few years back. I would disagree with the author about the length of the hike. It is at least 5 miles each way, probably a bit more. Really a streneous hike up the mountain.
Reviewed by Mary on 6/19/2011
I returned from this glorious hike doing a slightly different route that wound up to be 11 miles. Started at a pulloff just after the Waterman Mountain Ski Area. At any rate, this area didn't get burned and the wildflowers are spectacular. Twin Peaks trail was in pretty good condition, but author nailed it when he says it's a "climber's trail." Good workout, wonderful patch of the forest, high recommend it. And the newly improved Angeles Crest Highway is pretty swell too.
Reviewed by JenSz on 6/24/2010
Just did this hike on June 24. GREAT. First, getting there. After calling USFS and Caltrans, I learned the most direct route from LA to this hike won't work because, due to fire damage, the Angeles Crest Hwy is indeed closed from Altadena to (at least) Mt. Wilson Rd through July or Aug (don't count on this timing). However, you can bypass this closed section of the Angeles Crest Hwy by taking Big Tujunga Canyon Rd (near Sunland), to the Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Rd, which meets up with the Angeles Crest Hwy again continuing to Buckhorn. As for the hike, this section of piney forest was untouched by the fires, so it was beautiful. I'm not 100% sure, but the other route- from Three Points along Twin Peaks Saddle Tr - may have burned.
Reviewed by Andy on 5/2/2010
Angeles Crest Highway is closed so if you come from L.A. you won't be able to get there using the directions from this page.... And if you call the ranger they can't tell you an alternative! So make sure to check up on all that before you leave (We didn't....)
Reviewed by Ralphy on 7/19/2009
Did this trail yesterday.The trail is pretty much a hump with the trail split at the peak. Bear right and you'll end up at Mt. Waterman. Bear left and you'll end up at the saddle. The way down to the Twin Peaks saddle is easy. Downward switchbacks all the way. The way back up from the Saddle to the trail split can be a little brutal if you're hiking during high noon in triple digit weather. Bring plenty of sun block and bug repellant. At least a gallon of water each person roundtrip when in summer. Great workout!!! Lol!
Reviewed by Patrick on 7/6/2009
Did this hike over the weekend with my girlfriend. To get to the trailhead, watch the mile markers carefully. If you've gotten to 58.4, or if you passed the sign for the Buckhorn campground, you've gone to far. On the LHS of the highway, there is a parking area at mile marker 58.07, park there. The fire road is down the highway about 30 yards on your right (opposite side from where you parked). Once on the fire road, the trailhead is 300 ft (not 30 ft) down the road on your left. There's 3' tall post marking the trail. My GPS unit showed a total of 4.4 miles from the TH to the top of the peak. The mileages listed on the trail signs seemed fairly inaccurate to me... It took us 3.5 hours each way, with plenty of rest stops and
Reviewed by Kim on 5/31/2009
Hiked this today. Great weather - upper 60's. Still lots of wildflowers - no water, though. Trail in decent shape, a few trees seem to have fallen into "trail" heading up from Twin Peaks saddle to top. Definitely a butt-kicking hike. Bring lots of water.
Reviewed by AH on 5/23/2009
Be careful on the final ascent to the summit, as well as the descent. Once you begin going up to Twin Peaks, you are going straight up on a "trail" that's just a lot of gravelly soil. Great hike. Beautiful.
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