Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
5,178.00 ft (1,578.25 m)
Trail type
15.30 mi (24.62 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.

Rubio to Idle Hour Loop is a 15.3-mile loop trail in Angeles National Forest located east of Altadena, California. The loop features challenging climbs and scenic ridgelines. The climb to Muir Peak is rugged and less crowded than some of the nearby trails. The views from the top are spectacular. This loop is a calf and glute crusher, ideal for someone seeking more solitude along a rugged and rocky trail. The trail is suitable for running, hiking, and backpacking.

The loop starts from Rubio Canyon, climbs the ridge to Muir Peak, continues to Inspiration Point, descends via Idle Hour Trail to Mount Wilson Road, and concludes along the Altadena Crest Trail. It is challenging and scenic and offers a diverse experience through the San Gabriel Mountains with breathtaking views, historic sites, and rugged terrain. It’s an adventure suitable for experienced hikers seeking to explore the beauty and solitude of these iconic Southern California landscapes.

The journey begins at the Rubio Canyon Trailhead, nestled in the foothills above Altadena. The trail quickly immerses you in the lush surroundings of Rubio Canyon, known for its seasonal waterfalls and dense chaparral.

Ascending from Rubio Canyon, the path steepens as it approaches the ridge leading to Muir Peak. Named after the legendary naturalist John Muir, this peak offers expansive views of the Los Angeles basin and the vast wilderness of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Continuing from Muir Peak, the trail winds its way to the renowned Inspiration Point, a historic vista offering panoramic views through viewing tubes that point to various landmarks. This spot provides a perfect opportunity for a restful break and photo opportunities.

The descent begins by joining the Idle Hour Trail, a less-traveled path that meanders through secluded canyons and past the remnants of the historic Idle Hour resort. This section requires careful navigation as the trail connects to Mount Wilson Road.

Upon reaching Mount Wilson Road, the route follows the road for a short distance before picking up the Altadena Crest Trail. This final stretch offers a gentle descent back towards the trailhead, completing the loop through a variety of ecosystems and terrain types.

Flora and Fauna
Hikers can expect to see a wide range of plant life, from chaparral and oak woodlands to pine forests at higher elevations. Wildlife is abundant, with the possibility of spotting deer, coyotes, and various bird species, including hawks and woodpeckers.

Camping and Permits
Overnight camping is not common on this loop due to its proximity to urban areas and the availability of day-use trails. However, always check current regulations. This route passes by one of the most beautiful campsites in Angeles National Forest, Idle Hour Camp. No permits are required for day hiking this loop, but adherence to trail rules and regulations is mandatory.

Safety and Considerations
The route includes steep and rugged sections; good physical condition, proper footwear, and ample water are essential. Be mindful of weather conditions, especially in transitional seasons when the weather can change rapidly. Always inform someone of your hiking plan and expected return time.

There may be some seasonal water along this loop, but it is best to bring all that you need. If you do collect water from rivers or streams, be sure to treat it before consumption.

Parking is available on neighborhood streets near Rubio Canyon.

Additional Information
Angeles National Forest:

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Peak Bagging. Scenic camping. Vistas.


Poison Oak may be present near water sources.

Trailhead Elevation

1,826.00 ft (556.56 m)

Highest point

4,655.00 ft (1,418.84 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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