Cooper Canyon Falls & Will Thrall Peak in the Pleasant Ridge Wilderness

  • Sun, July 09, 2017
  • 7:00 AM
  • Buckhorn Campground


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Epic Hike to Will Thrall Peak in the Pleasant Ridge Wilderness - San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Sunday, July 9, 2017  7 AM

Join our refreshing all-day adventure exploring the San Gabriel Mountains high country before summer heats up!

A strenuous, gorgeous hike through a diverse landscape, from shaded canyons of cedars and pines, to Cooper Canyon Falls, down to Littlerock Creek, up to sunny, rocky slopes of yucca and chaparral ending at Will Thrall Peak - with dramatic views of the forest and high desert. In the Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

Distance: 11.2 miles
Elevation gain: ~3,300 feet
Suggested time: 6.5 hours
Difficulty rating: Strenuous (Elevation gain, distance, steepness, terrain, altitude)
Restroom: Outhouse at trailhead

"An absolutely epic day hike... your effort and perseverance will be returned in kind with equal doses of jaw-dropping beauty, peaceful solitude, and a profound connection with the seemingly-untouched wilderness of the high country."

"This strenuous and very scenic hike not only explores some of the best high country of the Angeles National Forest but it visits one of the more isolated summits in the San Gabriels. Will Thrall Peak (elevation 7,848) isn’t exactly a secret among L.A. hikers but it doesn’t get nearly the attention of Mt. Baldy or Mt. Baden-Powell. Hikers who are up for the challenge – including a very steep climb from the saddle to the summit and almost 1,000 feet of elevation gain required on the return route – won’t want to miss this adventure."

This 11.2 mile, all day hike is not for beginners, and we will cap it at 20 people max. Hikers are expected to read the full trail descriptions in the links above, come prepared with proper footwear, water, tasty lunch, snacks, sun protection, 10 essentials, and sign the Great Outdoors release at the trailhead.

DIRECTIONS (Read carefully):

We will meet at 7 AM in Buckhorn Campground.

Take the Angeles Crest Highway (Hwy 2) 33.9 miles east of the exit off the 210 in La Cañada Flintridge. Shortly after you pass the Mount Waterman Ski Area, enter the BUCKHORN CAMPGROUND on your left, NOT the day use area just before it.) Drive through the campground, following the signs for the Burkhart Trail. Park in the day-use lot and display your Adventure Pass. Note that the Google Maps Directions wants to send you past the Buckhorn Campground.

(See "How to Get There" in the Modern Hiker link above). The early start is to ensure parking availability and cool weather for our ascent. Parking is limited and carpooling is highly encouraged! 

CARPOOL meeting point: 5:45 AM at Flanders Rd in La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

The drive up the mountain is one hour from the carpool point.

Optional camping: Camp beforehand on your own in Buckhorn Campground (assuming availability).

More photos:

GREAT OUTDOORS is the largest gay outdoor recreational organization in Southern California, with 5 chapters in Los Angeles, Orange County/Long Beach, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, and San Diego. Join us for fun hikes, camping trips & more!

*** I NEED RSVPs from everyone so I have a head count for carpooling and hiking. ***

We will take our time and enjoy a great hike. Questions? Hike leader Bryan Matsumoto, cell: 626-246-8634

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