Hiking in the Angeles – Condor Peak Trail


Yesterday me and Liz made it up to the Angeles mountains just north of Pasadena. Rising up steeply from the valley, the peaks reach around 6000 feet, giving both great views and some punishing climbs. Liz had just bought a Tom Harrison map of the western end of the Angeles, and we picked a promising trail, Condor Peak. I’ve put up a Google map covering the route we took, it turned out to be a lot of fun.

The drive up there was pretty short. We got off the 210 at Sunland, then onto Oro Vista and continued around 8 miles as it turned into Big Tujunga Canyon Road. The road was heavily potholed at the start, but got better, and wasn’t too twisty which made for a more pleasant drive. There was only one other car in the parking lot, and we met them a short way up the trail coming back after they’d only gone a little way.

The trail started off by switchbacking up from the lot, but then descended and headed back toward the road. At about a mile and a half, there’s a side-trail that forks off and heads down to a picnic area near the road, which might be an option as a starting point if you want to skip the first section. One nice feature of the trail is the provision of mile markers. They start off with roman numerals until the fourth mile, which has an arabic ‘4’, and then after that they give up marking the numbers. They’ve done a great job building the trail along some very steep rocky slopes, and they keep a tough but steady grade for most of way. Given the terrain, that’s quite a feat of route planning. It worked out to around 500 feet up every mile, which is work but hike-able for us.

There’s a lot of switchbacking up and along ridges, passing through scrubby chapparal with some of the biggest Yucca I’ve ever seen. After about the fourth mile, you start to get some views over the reservoir, and across to Josephine Peak and into the Valley. We started late, so we made it about six miles up before we had to turn around, at around 4300′ elevation, 2000 feet higher than the trail head. The trail was visible and clear ahead of us, but I’ve only mapped it as far as we walked. It looked like you’d get some really good vistas if you continued up to the eight mile point, and Condor peak at 5070′.

View Larger Map

Funhouse Photo User Count: 1,777 total, 75 active. I ended up working on my day job most of today, along with some halloween decorating, so I didn’t get to make any of the changes I was planning.

Event Connector User Count: 77 total, 7 active. Not much change, but I did run across the Web Community Forum in my research. They look like a very clued-up team focused on using social tools to build communities online, and they already have a high level of Facebook integration on their blog, with links to themselves, their group, and an event for their upcoming conference.

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