California Trails

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.

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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