Mount Wilson is the lowest (lowliest?) of the original six peaks. The summit is crowded with telescopes that are still used for important astronomy research today. Hike up on a weekend an you can even get a hot dog at the Cosmic Cafe!
Did you know?
In 1926 Albert Abraham Michelson made what was the most precise calculation of the speed of light at the time by measuring the round-trip travel time of light between Mount Wilson and Mount San Antonio 22 miles (35 km) away.
Mount Wilson Basics
- Summit elevation: 5,713' (1,741 m)
- Vertical gain: 4,200'
- Hiking mileage: 13.52 miles
- Location: Angeles National Forest/San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
Hiking Mount Wilson
This trail is popular and very exposed, with limited shade. Best to hike this on a weekday to avoid the worst crowds, and don't hike this when the temperatures are pushing triple digits. It helps to avoid mid-day, when the sun is the strongest.
Here are detailed trail guides to give you the information you need about each route:
- Hiking Mount Wilson via Chantry Flats - the original Six-Pack of Peaks route
- Hiking to Mt Wilson via Sierra Madre - via Trail to Peak
- Drive time from Los Angeles: 51 minutes (22 miles)
- Drive time from Irvine: 1 hour, 42 minutes (54 miles)
- Drive time from Riverside: 1 hour, 10 minutes (50 miles)
- Drive time from San Diego: 2 hours, 20 minutes (140 miles)
- Chantry Flats is very popular and fills up on weekends. The gate to the trailhead parking lot opens at 6am, and there is often a line waiting for it to open.
- An Adventure Pass is required to park at Chantry Flats.
- There is a water bottle fill station at the summit near the Cosmic Cafe.
- Avoid hiking on hot days.
Latest Mount Wilson Trip Reports
These hike logs will give you a feel for what the current conditions are, and the experience from other Six-Pack of Peaks challengers.
This hike is part of the SoCal California Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge, a series of challenging hikes up six, diverse and scenic Bay Area mountains. Sign-up to take the challenge today!
Got a link or tip we should add to this page? Let us know!