The Altadena Crest Trail is not very well known, which makes it a great place to hike, mostly free of mountain bikers or horses. The trail winds through excellent chaparral in the low foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
It has steep sections and switchbacks to climb out of the small canyons but the views at each outside turn make it work the minor effort.
Getting to the trail
The trail immediately begins a climb up the hillside and away from the backyards of the houses that line the Angeles National Forest.
The views across the San Gabriel Valley are outstanding as the city of Pasadena spreads out in front of you. The city of Los Angeles appeared in the distance and was shrouded in ocean fog on the day we hiked. On a clear day, Santa Catalina Island would have been visible as well as the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
We enjoy trails that get to the point quickly and don’t have long lead-ins (and lead-outs). This perfectly suits our style and need to sometimes have a hike that we can knock out quickly.