Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
7,481.00 ft (2,280.21 m)
Trail type
30.90 mi (49.73 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.

This nearly 31-mile route up to Mt. Gleason is only one of a number of ways to reach this much sought-after peak in the San Gabriel Mountains. The out-and-back, beginning at the Condor Peak Trailhead in Big Tujunga Canyon, connects the Condor Peak Trail to Mendenhall Ridge Road to reach the summit of Mt. Gleason at 6,520 ft. It is indeed a hefty undertaking with a significant amount of vertical gain. There is the opportunity to turn this into an overnight adventure, although at the time of this writing (Spring 2024), Lightning Point Campground, close to the summit of Mt. Gleason is closed indefinitely. The nearby Messenger Flats, however, could present a viable alternative for those interested.

Until reaching Mendenhall Ridge Road, the vast majority of this route is along well-graded singletrack on the Condor Peak Trail, thanks to the efforts of the Lowelifes Respectable Citizens’ Club, and Mendenhall Ridge Road is an ever-climbing dirt road to the summit. Besides Mt. Gleason, the peak bagging opportunists have chances of summiting Fox Mountain, Condor Peak, and Iron Mountain 2. On the returning downhill journey, Mt. Lukens looms large and lush across Big Tujunga Canyon. Manzanita, yucca, whitethorn, and chamise are only some of the plants found along the trail and in the biodiverse surrounding area. Water is seasonally available in two small creeks a few miles before Fox Mountain, but these should not be relied upon, and should be treated before drinking.

As always, practice Leave No Trace and come prepared for an exposed and long adventure. If you’re so inclined, bring an extra trash bag in the car to help with the unfortunate issue of large amounts of trash at the trailhead and along the road here.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic and isolated. Beautiful mountain scenery.


Exposed. Little water. Steep.

Trailhead Elevation

2,338.00 ft (712.62 m)

Highest point

6,533.00 ft (1,991.26 m)


Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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