Constant Condor

Hike to Condor Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains

Hiker celebrating with raised arms after reaching Condor Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains

Named for the beautiful California condor that used to frequent the area, Condor Peak is one of the less traveled hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains. Probably because it’s 16 miles (round-trip)! The route follows much of the same trail you would take to nearby Fox Mountain peak. Get an early start for this challenging adventure, best done during the cooler months, due to the exposure on the trail. Give yourself plenty of daylight.

Hiker and dog on the trail enroute to Condor Peak in the San Gabriel mountains

Hiker standing at Condor Peak overlooking the scenery and San Gabriel Mountains

The trail is easy to follow as it winds around the mountain on the ascent. Desert plants like manzanita and yucca line the route, which is currently well-maintained but can be severely overgrown (long pants and sleeves are a good consideration for layering). There are two stream crossings.

Trail to Condor Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains

San Gabriel Mountains and a trail going to Condor Peak

As you hike, you’ll gain views of the Big Tujunga Dam to the east. After about 6 miles, you’ll spot the trail to Fox Peak heading up to the right, but you want to go left and follow the ridgeline of the Condor Peak Trail. This section is a bit of a rollercoaster, up and down, but eventually you come to the final hill to climb up. This last stretch of trail, about a quarter-mile long, is not as defined as the previous trails, but as long as you keep heading up, you’ll reach Condor Peak and find yourself completely surrounded by the western San Gabriels, including nearby Mount Lukens, the highest point in the city of Los Angeles.

NOTE: This is a long hike at 16-miles (round-trip). It's for experienced hikers who can manage the distance. Allow yourself plenty of time to do this hike and bring plenty of water and snacks. Directions to parking lot trailhead at 34.28907027332574, -118.22487016685561: From Downtown Los Angeles take the Glendale Fwy. (CA 2) North to I-210 West. Take Exit 11, and head east on Sunland Blvd. Turn left onto Oro Vista Ave. and continue onto Big Tujunga Canyon Rd. Stay on Big Tujunga Canyon Rd. for 6.7 miles and park in the dirt lot on your right. Once parked, you will cross the road to the trail and start your climb. Dog-friendly!

Story and photos by Breonna Carter, @mountainsquake

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Hiker on the SCA trail in Marin Headlands with view of the Golden Gate Bridge

    Headlands Over Heels

    People come from all over the world to get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. Get a dramatic and novel view of the bridge without all the people on this moderate 6-mile hike in the Marin Headlands.

    View
  2. Hiker at Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve hiking amid lupine wildflowers

    Hidden Wilds of Healdsburg

    When you arrive at Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve, you may wonder what could possibly be tucked behind a subdivision. But within minutes of hiking in this 155-acre preserve, the beauty reveals itself: majestic oak trees, wetland, spring wildflowers, and wowing views of the Mayacama Mountains and Russian River.

    View
  3. Hiker on a trail with beautiful green hills and wildflowers on the grasses at Carr Ranch in Contra Costa County

    Carr Ranch

    Can’t decide between an epic hike or a relaxing nature walk? The 8.3-mile Carr Ranch Trail loop in the East Bay’s Contra Costa County is the perfect hike for rugged adventurers with a soft side.

    View
  4. Two women at the entrance of the Lavender Labyrinth at Bees N Blooms in Santa Rosa

    Lavender Labyrinth

    Labyrinths are meditative meanders. Add fragrant organic lavender and you're at Bees N Blooms at the foot of Taylor Mountain near Santa Rosa, experiencing their “ancient pathway of peace” and more.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Urban Hike to the Shakespeare Bridge in LA

    Shakespeare Bridge + Secret Garden

    Romeo, Romeo, we all know how this goes, but do you know how to go to the Shakespeare Bridge and secret gardens? We’ve got the online do-it-yourself hiking route for you.

    View
  2. Hiker overlooking Bear Gulch Reservoir at Pinnacles National Park near Monterey

    Pinnacles of Spring

    Why hike at Pinnacles National Park? Spring's a beautiful time of year here. And you might spy the magnificent California condor soaring while you gain soaring views from the High Peaks Trail.

    View
  3. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

    View
  4. Hikers by the reservoir at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks

    Triumphant in Triunfo

    Go on a hike with a peaceful reservoir, charming meadows, and beautiful spring blooms at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks.

    View