The first edition of Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels was published in May 1971. Four decades of continual updating have passed and now its in its 9th edition (2013). Updating a guidebook is a never ending job.

In doing a general comparison of all the editions (minus the printings between editions) the history of the forest reveals itself. Wildfires and floods have changed the landscapes but dedicated volunteers have fought back to restore many historical trails. Place names have changed, access roads are abandoned, wilderness acts are adopted.

Note: This not an absolute record of all trivial changes like trip number swaps, elevation corrections etc. Instead its a focus on interesting major trip modifications

The Original 100 Hikes of the 1st Edition:


1st Edition, 19711st

ISBN: 911824-17-0
Cover Photo: Old Baldy from Blue Ridge, by Roy Murphy

 

 

 

 


2nd

2nd Edition, 1973

ISBN: 911824-17-0
Cover Photo: Old Baldy from Blue Ridge, by Roy Murphy

Edits: Robinson replaces the California Riding and Hiking Trail with the Pacific Crest Trail under Appendix I: Organized Trail Systems

The first edition was the only edition in which Robinson mentions the now defunct California Riding and Hiking Trail (CRHT). In 1945, the CRHT was established, authorizing a 3000-mile multi-use trail from Mexico to Oregon and back. At the time, 700 miles were established including the section across the San Gabriels. “…identifiable by wooden posts imprinted with bootprint and horseshoe” Funding and planning difficulties stalled the CRHT from ever being completed (and it was repealed by 1974) but it laid the groundwork for the future Pacific Crest Trail.

(In 1973, John Robinson co-authored the first Wilderness Press PCT guidebook)


3rd3rd Edition 1976

ISBN: 911824-51-0
Cover Photo: Old Baldy from Blue Ridge, by Roy Murphy

Many of the hikes in this edition were affected by the 1975 Big Tujunga Fire which burned 46,500 acres. Among the structures burned included the Josephine Peak Look Out (1937-1975)  (but the look-out part wasn’t omitted until the 4th edition, 1984).

  • Trip 14
    For Mt. Lukens, Robinson opts for Haines Canyon Trail instead of Mt. Lukens Fire Road. This route is the old “Sister Elsie Trail” recently restored by Sierra Club volunteers.
  • Trip 67
    The trailhead to Pleasant View Ridge via Burkhart Trail is moved to Devils Punchbowl County Park instead of a private road from Cruthers Creek. Cruthers Creek trailhead trespassed through private property (Lewis Ranch). New route from County Park adds 2 miles.
  • Trip 87
    Robinson opts for “Allison Gold Mine” instead of “Baldora, Eagle and Gold Dollar Mines”

4th4th Edition 1979

ISBN: 911824-84-7
Cover Photo: Old Baldy from Blue Ridge, by Roy Murphy

Edits:

  • Trip 22
    Robinson replaces “Sunset Ridge Loop” with “Mount Lowe Railway Self Guided Tour”. In 1977, the Forest Service establishes a self-guided tour of the Mt. Lowe Railway complete with 10 plaques installed in points of interest. The original 1977 pamphlet can be found here . He also removes Tom Sloane and Millard Canyon.
    Note: The pamphlet mentions the Oak Grove Ranger Station. It has been closed since 2004 and used to be located in the vicinity of Hahamongna Watershed Park.
  • Trip 53
    Monte Cristo Gold Mine hike is removed and replaced by “Angeles Forest Highway to Big Tujunga Narrows”. The owners of the Monte Cristo closed their property to visitors.

5th5th Edition 1984

ISBN: 0-89997-041-9
Cover Photo: West Fork, San Gabriel River, by Roy Murphy

Edits:

  • Trip 10
    Original edit: Big Tujunga via Trail Canyon to Tom Lucas Trail Camp, Mendenhall Ridge, Indian Ben Saddle, Deer Spring. Robinson adds a recently built Upper Pacoima canyon Trail and now ends the trip at Messenger Flats Campground (Instead of Deer Spring)
  • Trip 12
    Fox Divide trailhead replaces Vogel Flats Trail to Condor Peak. The new trailhead is built 1.5 mi further up from Vogel Flats
  • Trip 16
    The original trip utilized the historic Dark Canyon Trail to get to Switzer.
    A massive landslide obliterated the Dark Canyon Trail so the trip was rerouted to “Red’s Shortcut” built by a Ranger Red Shangra. Its a steep shortcut from the ACH down to the Arroyo Seco.
  • Trip 46
    West Fork Ranger Station now referred to as West Fork Campground.
    The historic West Fork Ranger Station cabin was transferred to its present location at Chilao Visitor Center  in 1983 and carefully restored. It stood next to the West Fork campground for 85 years since Lou Newcomb first built it in 1900. 

Note: The PCT is completed across the San Gabriels in 1977, so a few hikes are added to sample the new pathway:

  • Trip 54a:: Mt. Gleason and the Gleason mines loop
  • Trip 55: Added: Mill Creek to Mt. Pacifico
  • Trip 89
    Lightning Ridge Trail Nature Trail replaces Blue Ridge Nature Trail
  • Trip 90
    “Fire Lookout” removed from Sunset Peak. Sunset Peak Fire Lookout was built in 1927 and stood until the 1970s. In 1974 the lookout was deactivated due to smog pollution that obstructed visibility. Concrete foundations and debris are all that remain from the lookout tower.
  • Trip 100
    “San Sevaine Flats to Joe Elliot Tree, Cucamonga Peak” replaces Bonita Falls

6th6th Edition 1990

ISBN: 0-89997-110-5
Cover Photo: West Fork, San Gabriel River, by Roy Murphy

Edits: The California Wilderness Act of 1984 authorized the addition of over 3 million acres within the state of California to the National Wilderness Preservation System. In 1984, the 44,000 acre Sheep Mountain Wilderness was set aside. In keeping up with the wilderness ethic, all trail camps with facilities were removed in the Cucamonga, San Gabriel, and Sheep Mountain Wildernesses. These include “old favorites”of:

  • Devils Canyon Trail Camp
  • 3 Bear Creek Trail Camps
  • Fish Fork & Iron Fork Trail Camps of the East Fork
  • Kelly’s Trail Camp
  • Stone House, Third Crossing, Comanche Trail Camps

Although these are no longer trail camps with facilities and stoves, Robinson refers to them as “wilderness campsites”, “places where one can lay out a sleeping bag amid nature unsullied without artificial trappings”.

  • Trip 1
    Horse Trail Public Campground to Liebre Mountain changes to Country Road via Horse Trail to Liebre Mountain. (By 1983 the Horse Trail Campground had no sign, likely removed) But trip starts in the same area.
  • Trip 6
    The road from Dillion Divide to Pacoima Canyon closes to vehicles so parking is now at Dillion Divide and you must hike from there down to Pacoima Canyon. Both “Honey Bee Public Campground” and “Dutch Louie Campground” are removed. Robinson removes the Dagger Flats trail in this edition advising not take it since it is a “shadeless bushwhack”. However, in recent years, the trail has been restored by the Santa Clarita Community Hiking Club (2014)  Note: “The Angeles National Forest master plans calls for the building of a new trail from Dutch Louie Flat all the way up Pacoima Canyon to Mount Gleason. It probably will not become a reality for a number of years. Check with the Tujunga Ranger Station” -1993
  • Trip 16
    Angeles Crest Highway to the Switzer area. The original trip utilized the historic Dark Canyon Trail to get to Switzer (Editions 1-4). Robinson updates the trip to a paved fire road from Gould Mesa to get to the Arroyo Seco.
  • Trip 22:
    Sunset Ridge via Old Railway to Mt Lowe Campground. Robinson dropped the “self-guided tour” from the title because the historical signs that were erected in 1977 were not being maintained by the Forest Service for a few years
  • Trip 29
    A new trail is built to San Gabriel Peak & Mt. Disappointment in 1988 by JPL Hiking Club (“Bill Reily Trail”). Replaces the Mt. Disappointment Fire Road
  • Trip 43:
    The trip from Chantry Flat to  Hoegee Trail Camp now includes the recently restored Mt. Zion Trail. The Mt. Zion Trail is the upper section of the old Sturtevant Trail. It leads to Sturtevant Camp from Hoegee Trail Camp.The 5th edition notes the restored trail but it isn’t until the 6th edition that Robinson includes the Zion Trail.
  • Trip 48
    Added: Monrovia Canyon Park to Sawpit Canyon, Deer Park. For 50 years access to Sawpit CAnyon Reservoir was closed to protect Monrovia’s water supply. Thanks to a cooperative effort from the CCC and volunteers, the canyon opened to hikers once again.

The West Fork dirt road from Red Box is now closed indefinitely to public vehicular travel affecting some of these hikes:

  • Trip 50
    The trip between Mt. Wilson via Rattlesnake Trail is reversed. Now starts at Mt. Wilson
  • Trip 51
    The trip between West Fork Ranger Station to Devore Trail Camp is altered. now begins at Mt. Wilson
  • Trip 52
    The trip between Angeles Crest Highway to West Fork Campground is reversed. Now starts at ACH
  • Trip 77
    In editions 1-5, the trip to Little Jimmy Campground was from Pine Hollow Picnic Area (the shortest & easiest way to get to Little Jimmy) In this edition the route now starts from Islip Saddle via the PCT to Little Jimmy
  • Trip 88:
    Pine Mountain Ridge to Upper Fish Fork. Pine Mountain Ridge road was an old logging road that used to allow vehicular traffic to park at the trailhead. But since the Sheep Mountain Wilderness was set aside, the dirt road was closed and parking area is now by Lupine Campground. Little Fish Fork and Upper Fish Fork trail camps now referred to as wilderness campsites
  • Trip 94
    Stockton Flat instead of Stockton Flat Public Campground
  • Trip 99
    Middle Fork of Lytle Creek trail camps now referred to as wilderness campsite: Stone House, 3rd crossing, Comanche

Trails77th Edition 1998

ISBN: 0-89997-232-2
Cover Photo: Rabbitbrush along the Angeles Crest Highway, Bighorn Sheep (inset) by Roy Murphy

Edits:

  • Trip 54
    Robinson removes the Gleason Mine part from the trip. He still writes about getting to the mines as an option but only “if you’re an experienced mountaineer” . He removes any mention of the Gleason Mines by the 9th edition, most likely because it is private property and the Station Fire caused severe damage.
  • Trip 13
    The trip to Grizzly Flat and Vasquez Creek now starts from Angeles Crest Highway instead of from Big Tujunga. Also the new edition utilizes “Upper Dark Canyon Trail” since it was “recently cleared” by trail volunteers
  • Trip 50
    Rattlesnake trail is renamed Kenyon Devore Trail. Kenyon Devore (1911-1995) spent most of his life working in the San Gabriels and volunteering at Chantry Flats in the Forest Service He was the son of trail resort owners (West fork camp and valley forge lodge)
  • Trip 89
    Big Pines to Blue Ridge. Removes the Lightning Ridge Nature Trail
  • Trip 93
    Trip to Pine, Dawson, Mt. Baldy is removed. New hike is Manker Flat to Upper San Antonio Creek, Baldy Bowl, Mt. San Antonio
  • Appendix II: Trails the Used to be

    • Saw pit Canyon-Deer Park Trail removed since opening access to Sawpit Canyon (In the 6th edition)
    • Deer Park- Monrovia Trail added. (Trail that went from Deer Park Lodge to Monrovia Peak before the 1938 flood destroyed the lodge)

trails88th Edition 2005

ISBN: 978-0-89997-377-7
Cover Photo: Alder Creek (Hike 8) by Doug Christiansen

Edits:

  • Trip 3
    For Fish Canyon Narrows, vehicular access to the old trailhead (Cienaga Campground) indefinitely closes. New trailhead is the end of Templin Highway, added an additional 5 miles.
  • Trip 2
    Hike to Atmore Meadows is longer. New trailhead is the intersection between 7N19 and 7N23. The gate down this spur road is indefinitely locked adding another 2.5 miles to the trip.
  • Trip 8
    Robinson Removed Big Tujunga to Gold Canyon, Yerba Buena Ridge. New hike is Alder Creek to Barley Flats
  • Trip 34
    Hike to Mt. Harvard is removed because of private property enforcement. New trip is Bailey Canyon to Jones Peak
  • Trip 60
    Robinson updates the Mt. Waterman trip to park at mileage marker 58.0 instead of Buckhorn Ranger Station. The Buckhorn Guard Station burned down in 1980 and all structures have been removed.

    • Interesting side note on Forest Service Guard Stations: “In the 1920s and 1930s, Forest Service employees often traveled many miles from local ranger stations to forest work sites. Since the forest road networks were not well developed, getting to a job site meant a long trek, carrying all the equipment needed to perform the field work. This made it impractical for employees to make daily round trips. To facilitate work at remote sites, the Forest Service built guard stations at strategic locations throughout the forest to house fire patrols and project crews.
      “After World War II, the Forest Service greatly expanded its road network, allowing employees to get to most National Forest areas within a few hours. As a result, guard stations lost their utility. The Forest Service found new uses for some stations, but many were demolished or abandoned.”  – Wikipedia
    • Some interesting history on the Buckhorn Guard Station. Today it is known as Buckhorn Station Day Use area

The 2002 Curve Fire closed down Highway 39 and the Crystal Lake area for 8 years until 2011.Closures affected trips starting from Middle High Country. Trip #79: South Mt. Hawkins Lookout burns down.

  • Trip 85
    East Fork to Cabin Flats. Now is East Fork and exit Vincent Gap
  • Trip 90:
    Trip to Sunset Peak now starts from Glendora Ridge road. The old route from Cow canyon Saddle is blocked from a private property owner
  • Appendix II: Trails the Used to be
    • Sturtevant Trail- Updated status on the upper section of the Sturtevant Trail (Mt. Zion Trail). Now passable.

trails9th9th Edition 2013

ISBN: 978-0-89997-714-0
Cover Photo: Near Oak Spring (Hike 7) by Doug Christiansen

Edits: The 2009 Fire Station consumed 160,000 acres (1/4 of the forest). CLosed off areas have reopened in stages, and this edition reflects those changes from the Station Fire. In 2009, two new wildernesses were added to the San Gabriels: Magic Mountain Wilderness and Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness

  • Trip 49
    Adds Azusa to Mount Bliss via Van Tassel Fire road, and Removes Charlton Flat to Vetter Mountain Lookout (previously Trip 55). The 2009 Station Fire burned the historic lookout on Vetter Mountain down.
  • Trip 50
    Azusa to Fish Canyon, Fish Canyon Falls
  • Trip 71
    Adds Manzanita trail, and removes old trip to Bichota Canyon (previously trip 72). Bichota Canyon has become overgrown and eroded
  • Trip 88
    Adds trip from Blue Ridge to Pine Mtn. Removes trip from East Fork to Allison Mine (previously trip 87). The Allison Mine trail has become overgrown and eroded.
  • Trip 91
    New adds La Verne to Marshall Canyon Regional Park, Marshall Canyon Loop Trail. Removes San Sevaine Flats to Cucamonga Peak (Previously trip 100). Persistent access to San Sevaine Flats and fire damage led to the removal of this trip

 The current 100 Hikes of the 9th Edition: