Mount Wilson via Mount Wilson Trail

The Mount Wilson Trail is one of the finest trails in the Los Angeles area. It’s also close to easy and free parking. You can make a long or short hike of it. This long hike takes you all the way to the top of Mount Wilson.

Apart from a route from Chantry Flat through Big Santa Anita Canyon , the Mt. Wilson Trail is the most popular route to the top of Mt. Wilson.

The Mt. Wilson Trail ascends the western slope of Little Santa Anita Canyon. Be advised that this trail is one of the steeper ones in the San Gabriel mountains. About ½ mile from the start, you will come to a noticeable point where the trail crosses a ridge. The ridge on your right side runs down to the creek.

At about 2.75 miles from the start, you will reach Decker Springs where you will quickly drop into the creek and just as quickly ascend. From here, it is about 1/3 of a mile to Orchard Camp, a nice shady rest spot for lunch.

From Orchard Camp, it is 1.9 miles to Manzanita Ridge where you will connect with the Winter Creek Trail coming from Chantry Flat. Proceed up the trail to the summit of Mt. Wilson.

Except for winter, trail runners are perfectly adequate for this route.


Highlights: Stream, City Views, Challenging Climb

  • Near: Sierra Madre, CA
  • Distance: 14 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 4650 ft.
  • Hike Time: 8 hour
  • Difficulty: 8/10
  • Trail Condition: well maintained trail
  • GPX File Download: >>CLICK HERE<<
  • Rating: 4/5

Getting to the Trailhead:

From Los Angeles – 210 fwy (east) to Baldwin Av. (north) to E. Mira Monte Av. (right) to trailhead.

Google Map Link


Trail Detail Map


Trail Profile


mount wilson from trail

Mount Wilson From Trail

decker spring waterfall

Decker Spring Waterfall

hopping first water

Hopping First Water



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