Los Angeles, CA: San Gabriel River

Find solitude less than an hour from 20 million Angelenos on a 14-mile out-and-back peppered with fishing spots, waterfalls and rock pools.

Take in the fall colors and enjoy the heady scent of pine as you hike amid wooded canyons, waterfalls, and walls of sheer rock on this 14-mile out-and-back along one of SoCal’s best fishing rivers, which is shaded year-round by a ridge to the south. Start by picking up the paved road from the trailhead; you’ll leave the crowds after the first mile, then pass the ruins of a fishing camp that burned in the 1920s. A half-mile later, the road crosses the river and enters a designated trout preserve. For the next 5 miles, the road climbs a gradual but steady 500 feet past groves of oak and cottonwood, year-round waterfalls, and inviting rock pools. At 6.5 miles, you’ll reach Glenn Trail Camp, a flat, shady area on the river with 10 campsites. Turn around here, or extend your hike by heading west for another steep half-mile to Cogswell Dam, then hooking up with fire roads to continue toward Mt. Wilson.-Hike provided by Laura Randall, author of "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Los Angeles" (Menasha Ridge Press)


Cogswell Dam

Location: 34.2448541, -117.9652905