Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
3,860.00 ft (1,176.53 m)
Trail type
15.40 mi (24.78 km)
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Tom Sloan’s Brown Mountain is an ambitious 15.4-mile loop in the front country of the San Gabriel Mountains, near Altadena. The loop begins and ends at the parking area for the Mt. Lowe Road Trailhead near Millard Falls, and utilizes a number of trails including Mt. Lowe Road, Tom Sloan Trail, and Brown Mountain Road. This loop is strenuous, is exposed with little water, and involves a relatively steep scramble/bushwhack on the west side of Brown Mountain. It should be attempted by experienced adventurers only. 

The route will be briefly described in a counterclockwise direction. From the trailhead, take the Mt. Lowe Road to begin the long journey winding up into the San Gabriel Mountains. This is a pretty relentless 6-mile climb, but you can periodically distract yourself with views of the LA Basin and a number of recently-renovated historical signs about the Mt. Lowe Railroad, upon whose former path you are now schlepping. Near the Mt. Lowe Trail Camp (near mile 5), there are pit toilets as well as a stream that often flows late into the season. Less than a mile later (around mile 5.7), follow signs to take the Tom Sloan Trail. This nearly 2 miles of single track is arguably some of the best in Angeles National Forest. Around mile 7.5, the single track meets Tom Sloan Saddle, an intersection of excellent options. There is a good use trail that heads up from here to take a fantastic ridge along the east side of Brown Mountain. Not far after the summit, there can be some difficulties. It is easy to lose the trail here, and the scramble down the west side of the mountain can feel relatively steep and involve some bushwhacking. After reaching the saddle that connects Ken Burton Trail with Brown Mountain Truck Trail, however, the rest of the route is straightforward and downhill. Take the Brown Mountain Truck Trail down the front side of the foothills, and at the next saddle take the left dirt road that is Millard Canyon Road. This will take you to Millard Trail Camp and the paved road that leads back to the original trailhead. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic vistas. Wildlife.


Exposed. Steep in parts.

Trailhead Elevation

1,824.00 ft (555.96 m)

Highest point

4,627.00 ft (1,410.31 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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