Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
6,557.00 ft (1,998.57 m)
Trail type
23.60 mi (37.98 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Eaton Saddle Loop is a 23.6-mile mountainous trail in the San Gabriel Mountains within Angeles National Forest. The trailhead is located off the Angeles Crest Highway (CA-2) approximately 40 minutes from Altadena and an hour from Los Angeles. This is a strenuous and challenging loop with many ups and downs as well as some exposed and dry sections. It features deep canyons, rewarding mountain summits, and expansive views of the San Gabriel Wilderness to the northeast, across Los Angeles Basin, and out to the Pacific Ocean in the southwest. Runners looking for a loop with lots of elevation gain will particularly appreciate this route. The area is also popular among hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers. 

Common vegetation includes chaparral, scrub oak, yucca, manzanita, sycamore, live oak, and more. 


From Eaton Saddle, follow Mount Lowe Trail through Mueller Tunnel to Markham Saddle. At the saddle, there is a junction with several trails, take Mount Lowe West Trail up to the summit. Return to Mount Lowe West Trail and take it to Idlehour Trail. Take Idlehour Trail south to Mount Wilson Toll Road. Take the Mount Wilson Toll Road down to Eaton Canyon. There is a short side trip to the Eaton Canyon Visitor Center on the route described in this post. You may want to do this if you're thirsty or need a break. Otherwise, you can just keep going on the Altadena Crest Trail. 

Follow the Altadena Crest Trail to the Sam Merrill Trail. Take the Sam Merrill Trail up to Castle Canyon.  Continue up Castle Canyon Trail until you reach Inspiration Point. Turn left (west) from Inspiration Point and follow the wide trail down to a saddle and trail junction (the same junction where you hopped onto Idlehour Trail). Return to Eaton Saddle by taking the Mount Lowe East Trail back up Mt. Lowe Road.



Passes and Permits:


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Adventure Pass required

Open Year-round



Scenic Views. Mountain Summits.


Some parts dry and exposed.

Trailhead Elevation

56,014,943.00 ft (17,073,354.63 m)

Highest point

5,606.00 ft (1,708.71 m)


Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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