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The summit of Dawson Saddle to Throop Peak Trail offers the best views in the San Gabriel Mountains. The hike is steep and narrow in places, but not dangerous.

Many peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains offer superb views, and this is one of the best. This trail, narrow in places but not dangerous, climbs steadily at first, then levels out through beautiful park-like flat areas, with a steep climb the last quarter mile or so to the top. The whole route is through an open forest of Jeffrey, sugar, and the high elevation lodgepole pine with some white fir. There are no large trees on the summit to hamper your view, only low-growing ceanothus, manzanita and chinquapin the last couple of hundred feet of ascent. Find the trail leading up from the south side of the highway about 100 yards east of the maintenance shed. One and three-quarters miles brings you to the Pacific Crest Trail, turn right and go west about 0.2 mile to a steep unmaintained hiker's path the last 0.1 mile to the top.

If you care to go further to the south, the trail will take you past Mt. Hawkins to Windy Gap and Little Jimmy Campground, three miles.

Directions: From La Canada, CA, Follow the Angeles Crest Highway 45 miles from La Canada (5.5 miles past Islip Saddle) to Dawson Saddle, 7,901 ft. elevation, and the highest point of the Angeles Crest Highway. There is a brown highway maintenance shed on the north side of the road at Dawson Saddle. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for your vehicle while parked in this area.

Elevation: 9,134 feet

Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

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Angeles National Forest, California

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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