Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
3,553.00 ft (1,082.95 m)
Trail type
21.60 mi (34.76 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.

Lakes Hughes to Sawmill Campground is a 21.6 mile out-and-back along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). This journey offers an engaging trek through the diverse landscapes of Southern California. The trail from Lake Hughes Road to Sawmill Campground and back is a moderate to challenging hike, covering varied terrain that includes forested areas, and exposed mountain ridges.

Starting at the trailhead near Lake Hughes Road, hikers are immediately greeted with the natural beauty and serenity of the Angeles National Forest. The path winds its way through thickets of chaparral, towering pines, and alongside meadows that bloom with wildflowers in the spring. The climb is steady but rewarding, offering panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Wildlife sightings, including deer, birds, and possibly even the elusive mountain lion, add to the adventure.

The trail is well-marked, following the iconic PCT markers that guide hikers along this historic route. Elevation gain is significant, making for a rigorous workout and providing excellent viewpoints for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Sawmill Campground, the turnaround point, serves as a picturesque spot for a rest or an overnight stay. The campground, nestled among tall trees, offers basic amenities for backpackers on the PCT.

Water sources along this stretch can be scarce, especially during the dry months, so hikers are advised to carry sufficient water and filter any water they might collect from natural sources. Weather conditions can also vary dramatically, with hot, dry summers and potentially snowy or wet conditions in the winter and early spring. Hikers should prepare accordingly, checking weather forecasts and trail conditions before setting out.

For those looking to extend their hike, the PCT offers numerous possibilities for further exploration, connecting to other trails within the Angeles National Forest or continuing along the PCT towards its northern or southern termini.

Additional information about this section of the PCT, including maps, trail conditions, and permits (if required), can be found on the official Pacific Crest Trail Association website (PCTA) and the Angeles National Forest website (USFS Angeles National Forest). These resources are invaluable for planning your hike and ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on one of America's premier long-distance trails.


  • Campsites are first come-first served. No reserving or holding of campsites allowed. 

  • No potable water.

  • Vault toilet available.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Smooth singletrack. Diverse landscapes. Access to Sawmill Campground.


Water Scarcity. Variable Weather Conditions. Challenging Terrain

Trailhead Elevation

3,076.00 ft (937.56 m)

Highest point

5,478.00 ft (1,669.69 m)


Backcountry camping

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required




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