Smith Mountain

Azusa, California

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2 Reviews
5 out of 5
The Bear Creek Trail traverses the chaparral-clad eastern reaches of the San Gabriel Wilderness and features panoramic vistas into the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains. The San Gabriel Wilderness encompasses more than 36,000 acres of extremely rugged terrain, ranging from chaparral-choked canyons and ridges to rich conifer forests in the high country. Only a few trails penetrate its margins; the interior remains a vast, wild region where black bear, mule deer, and mountain lion make their home. Since the area lies so close to the millions who live in the Los Angeles Basin, it is remarkable that a true wilderness experience can be found and enjoyed here in the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains. Smith Mountain is the southernmost 5,000-foot peak on a long south-trending ridge separating the North Fork San Gabriel River from Bear Creek and the San Gabriel Wilderness. From its open summit, a large portion of the San Gabriel Mountains and the rugged depths of the San Gabriel Wilderness meet your gaze.

Smith Mountain Professional Review and Guide

"The Bear Creek Trail traverses the chaparral-clad eastern reaches of the San Gabriel Wilderness and features panoramic vistas into the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains. The San Gabriel Wilderness encompasses more than 36,000 acres of extremely rugged terrain, ranging from chaparral-choked canyons and ridges to rich conifer forests in the high country. Only a few trails penetrate its margins; the interior remains a vast, wild region where black bear, mule deer, and mountain lion make their home. Since the area lies so close to the millions who live in the Los Angeles Basin, it is remarkable that a true wilderness experience can be found and enjoyed here in the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains. Smith Mountain is the southernmost 5,000-foot peak on a long south-trending ridge separating the North Fork San Gabriel River from Bear Creek and the San Gabriel Wilderness. From its open summit, a large portion of the San Gabriel Mountains and the rugged depths of the San Gabriel Wilderness meet your gaze."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Azusa
Distance: 6.8
Elevation Gain: 1,811 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3 to 3.5 hours
Season: Best mid-October through late May
Trailhead Elevation: 3,300 feet
Top Elevation: 5,111 feet
Local Contacts: Angeles National Forest, Mount Baldy Ranger District
Local Maps: USGS Crystal Lake

Smith Mountain Reviews

5
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icon2 Total
3/11/2011
This is a great hike. The trail began right where the road closure was for angeles crest highway. It's easy to find, trailhead is clearly marked. The trail is great and not difficult until the saddle and the final ascent to the peak. The trail has recently been cleared, so it's a little easier to get to up, but once you hit the rock section, you're going to have to do some climbing to finish. The view from the top is worth the extra work. There is also a registry at the top tucked away in some rocks.
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7/7/2010
First 3 miles of this trail was a breeze. Trail was a little narrow and overgrown at places but easily identifiable. The last half of a mile after reaching the saddle was very strenuous. The fire break leading up to the peak looks like it was recently control burned. Still tons of debris on the first quarter mile up and after that its largely overgrown. The friend I was hiking with had to quite 2/3rds of the way up and in my effort to reach the top I got cut up by the brush. The view from the summit was entirely worth it though.
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