Summary: This is a very well maintained easy trail until you near the summit. You travel just on the edge of the San Gabriel Wilderness, and it is up most of the way. The incline is never very steep, because you only gain 1500' in elevation over two and a half miles. It is all very gradual, but it is all up.
This is an easy peak to climb, and can be done in a very short amount of time. You could even make it up and back during the winter if you started at noon.
The area is very Yosemite-esque. I was surprised by the granite and pine forest, along with the beautiful streams near the bottom. This has been a good rain year, but still it was a pleasant surprise for "my backyard."
This is the middle of the Angeles Forest and the views along the trail are spectacular. The summit is marked by a survey tag, but hike down and south of the summit for the best views. You'll have to climb a little, but the reward is great. On a clear day you can even see San Jacinto.
Trailhead: From the split at the 210 take Angeles Crest Highway(east) for 34 miles just past the Waterman ski lift. If you pass the Buckhorn campground you have gone too far. The trail is a little difficult to find at first, because there are a lot of fire roads and places that look like they might be a trail around the area.
However, if you park in the big rounded shoulder area and cross the road - you can pick up the trail at one of two places. A trail marker is right across the road that says Waterman Trail. You can take this, it will cross Forest Road 3N03, which is gated, but if you choose to take the road, you will have to veer onto the trail where it meets the road l a few hundred feet off to your left. (Lat:34.33658 Lon:-117.93681)
Trail Guides for Waterman Mountain - from Buckhorn :
Best Hikes With Dogs - Southern California
by Allen Riedel (Mountaineers books)
Trails of the Angeles - 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Angeles National Forest (626)574-1613
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by T.J. on 7/13/2012
I've never had anything but an enjoyable hike on this typically quiet trail. A great place to take a novice. The ascent is steady but easily manageable and the trail always seems to be in good shape. There is a little push the last couple of hundred yards to the summit but nothing that should dissuade anyone. The summit itself is wide, flat, boulder-filled and ripe for exploring. To lengthen the hike, head back down to the junction and set off for Twin Peaks. This is the choice for someone with some juice in their legs as the ascents/descents are more demanding. Or, head back to the car, drive down to Buckhorn, and enjoy a quick jaunt along the river.
Reviewed by JLE on 11/14/2011
Hiked this on Sunday, 11/13. There was snow above 6000 ft from the previous weekend's storm, slushy, but hiking boots were sufficient. I made a 6 mile loop by going up the Forest Road 3N03 and coming down the single track. Beautiful views in every direction!
Reviewed by Michael on 7/12/2011
Hiked up 7/11/11 at 4:00pm. Mostly shaded hike at that time and nice cool temperature. We camped at the top near the biggest rock formation, it was perfect. No bugs (there was a small breeze), but there was a very brave Mouse that was all over our camp that evening. The mouse managed to run over my face (no joke) in the middle of the night as I slept under the stars (I was getting too cold in my hammock). Hiked down in the morning round 9am, it was still cool but the temp was warming up in the open sun by 11am. I hiked up a few days before to cache water for the group, I noticed with both trips that the water runoffs/little streams you across on the path only have water in the morning and are basically dry in the afternoon.
Reviewed by Mike & Suz on 6/18/2011
Hiked trail this morning starting at mile marker 58.0 Trail was nice and soft on the feet as usual. Sky was deep blue, no wind, and temp was 72 degrees. Only one real "BUMMER!" The gnats were out in force. Yeah, a million swarming gnats when you stopped to enjoy the awesome vistas or eat lunch at the top of the mountain. We should have had our bug screen hats! Overall, not a bad day after resting by the stream on the way back down.
Reviewed by jeanne on 11/7/2010
Went up today with the Sierra Club and had beautiful weather (cold, sunny, but not too windy). The trailhead is at mile marker 58.00. The parking area (marker 58.02) is at at the wide shoulder almost directly across the street from the trailhead. There are 2 gray signs at the trailhead but they don't have much writing left on them (nothing that says Waterman). According to our GPS unit, it was 3.02 miles to the top.
Reviewed by PK on 10/25/2010
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Reviewed by C.Williams on 8/24/2009
This trail is one of my personal favorites. New to hiking, I found this one easy to hike and although the elevation gain doesn't seem like a lot (1300') keep in mind the altitude you're starting at is fairly high. For this time of year the weather was surprisingly mild and the trail is wide enough with plenty of places to stop and take in the vew. The view from the summit is amazing and well worth the climb so take a camera.
Reviewed by keith on 7/23/2009
hiked it on 7\19 was a great break from the heat, great clean trail, beautiful views.trying for twin peaks may be a little more than some can chew in one day, after junction trail drops and you lose all your gains only to have to get them back twice before its over. the first part up to junction fools ya.the twin peaks split is no joke
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