Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
2,998.00 ft (913.79 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
10.10 mi (16.25 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.

The Waterman Pacific Crest Trail Loop is a 10-mile route along Angeles Crest within Angeles National Forest. This route begins at Buckhorn Campground, enters the San Gabriel Wilderness, and climbs to the top of Mount Waterman (8,038 feet). The trail continues northeast towards the Angeles Crest Highway (CA-2), enters the Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness, ascends Winston Peak (7,502'), and then continues along the Pacific Crest Trail south.  It passes Cooper Canyon Trail Camp, reaches a junction near Cooper Canyon Falls, and then returns to Buckhorn Campground via the Burkhart Trail. 

This moderately challenging adventure traverses a forested landscape with Jeffrey pines and aromatic incense cedars. The trip is perfect for anyone looking for a quick mountain getaway that includes moderate hiking, peak bagging, backcountry and/or campground camping, and scenic views of the San Gabriel Mountains as well as the desert basin. 

PARKING

Buckhorn Campground, located off Angeles Crest Highway (CA-2), offers overnight and day-use parking.

TRAILHEAD AMENITIES

Campsites, toilets, picnic tables, potable water, bear-proof storage lockers. 

CAMPING AND PERMITS

  • Most backcountry campgrounds in Angeles National Forest are first-come, first-serve. 

  • Dispersed camping requires a valid California Campfire Permit. More information about California campfire permits can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sequoia/passes-permits/?cid=fsbdev3_059516

  • To find out if an Adventure Pass is required for parking, contact the local ranger office.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Mount Waterman Trail: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/angeles/recreation/recarea/?recid=42022&actid=104

San Gabriel Wilderness: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/angeles/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5194633

Buckhorn Campground: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/angeles/recreation/recarea/?recid=41690&actid=31

Please View Ridge Wilderness: https://wilderness.net/visit-wilderness/?ID=738

Winston Peak: https://www.summitpost.org/winston-peak/256921

Cooper Canyon Trail Camp: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/angeles/recarea/?recid=41716.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Adventure Pass required

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Backcountry Camping. Peak Bagging. Scenic Views.

Cons

Near highway.

Trailhead Elevation

6,488.00 ft (1,977.54 m)

Highest point

8,011.00 ft (2,441.75 m)

Features

Wildlife
Waterfalls
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California
Crystal Lake Recreation Area, San Gabriel Mountains

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