Summary: This is a very easy hike, and a summit that small children can attain. It is a strolling trail through some chaparral near the trailhead, but that changes quickly. It becomes a boulder strewn forest in no time. A forest, I might add which is strikingly beautiful and unique to this part of the Angeles.
This is prime mountain biking country, and the trail is a bit worn and wide in places. So if you do bring small children on a busy day, watch out for bikers. This is also bear country, with lots of current ursine activity, so be wary of them as well. I always try to make noise to avoid unexpected encounters.
If you blink, you might miss the top, but once you are near you will have great views of Big Tujunga Canyon to the West, Twin Peaks and Mt. Waterman to the East, Pacifico staring you into the face to the north. I took this as a sunset hike, which was beautiful. The boulders off to the left of the summit were a nice place to enjoy the twilight.
Trailhead: Take the Angeles Crest Highway East from La Canada to Three points. There is no sign for this, but it is approximately 1.5 miles from the restaurant and 5 miles east of Chilao. The sign for the road says Santa Clara Division Camps, Sulphur Springs, and PCT parking. The closer sign says Bandido campground, and Horse Flats campground. Follow the road for two and a half miles to the turn off to Horse Flats Campground. Drive to the east end of the loop road and park near the trailhead. This is where the Silver Moccasin trail meets the Mt. Hillyer trail. It should be very easy to find. (Lat:34.34944 Lon:-118.01583)
Trail Guides for Mt. Hillyer Trail - from Horse Flats:
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: Year-Round
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 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Christian Alarc on 3/4/2013
I did this hike on 01-11-13. My Best friend and I started from Chilao and headed to Rosenita Saddle ( 8 Mile Loop). Snow level was just awesome and the views where just amazing on the way up. The view at Mount Hillyer is anticlimactic! Link to my pictures http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.487872864603769.1073741825.100001431784958&type=1&l=beb3efbfb0
Reviewed by AJS on 10/23/2011
He hiked this trail with our young son back in July and again yesterday. Keep driving past the Group Camps and the Horse Flats Campground to the trailhead. There are trash cans and a little parking area. The fire did go through the area but there are still a lot of trees that survived and plenty of other plants making a comeback. In July it was covered with Poodle Dog Bush in bloom. We love this trail! There is one steep part to ascend but other than that it's an easy hike.
Reviewed by Anita S. on 10/23/2011
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Reviewed by JWH on 9/7/2009
Did this hike with wife and 3 yr old daughter 8/22/09 just before the huge Station fire wreaked havoc. This is a great trail with unique features. Brought the kid carrier but it's such a fun and interesting trail, my 3 yr old insisted on hiking it herself! Large boulder outcroppings, deer sightings, and panoramic vistas kept her forgeting about how tired she was. Not much traffic for a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I just hope this area survived the fire for other families to enjoy.
Reviewed by Ron on 9/18/2008
Wife and I did this on 9-4-08. Nice day and good weather made for a nice hike. Saw a big buck on the way down. Had the trail to ourselves. Started in the parking lot down from the Chileo visitor Center through horse flats and on up to the rocks on the summit. The summit register is in a crack in the rocks. Enjoy!
Reviewed by Ron on 5/28/2008
Did this hike yesterday (26 may 08) with my two boys (10 & 7, the wife had to work) Started from the parking lot down from the Chileo Visitor Center. Nice overcast day with a little left over snow from the recent storm. Boys loved playing at Horse Flats and climbing on all the giant bolders. Another great day in the mountains!
Reviewed by Ron on 4/23/2008
The wife and I did this hike today (4-23-08), we started about a 1/4 a mile down from the visitor center at Chilao. We started at 0825 and were back at the car at 1130. We had never been on this trail so it was a pleasant surprise, nice trail to horse flats and then up through the boulders. It was a nice day and a very scenic hike. We didn't find a summit register and walked past the summit to where the trail drops down towards the Santa Clara Divide Road to extend the hike. We snooped around again on the way back but didn't find anything. What a nice way to spend our 25th wedding anniversary!
Reviewed by SL on 1/3/2008
When me and pooch are looking for a quick fix, we hike here. Alot of open space for us to play chase. It reminds me of Castle Rock in Big Bear, but flatter. It's quiet every time we go. This hike is like your local foothill wishing it was way the hell away from the city. ps. pick up after your pooch, don't be lazy!
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