Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
4,387.00 ft (1,337.16 m)
Trail type
15.00 mi (24.14 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.

South Mount Hawkins trail is a 14 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located at the end of Highway 39 just outside of Azusa, California in Angeles National Forest. The route begins at Crystal Lake Recreation Area and combines single track and dirt road trails to reach the summit of South Mount Hawkins, one of the many prominent peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains. The trail features mountain views, wildflowers and California native plants such as Yucca and Sage. 

From the parking lot walk take the Windy Gap Trail (the trail will weave in and out of the campground for the first mile). The first half mile is relatively flat and protected by the shade of the forest. 

The next half mile is short and steep and will bring you to a junction with the South Mount Hawkins Fire Road. Turn right and follow the signs for South Mount Hawkins. Continue for four more miles until you reach the summit of South Mount Hawkins.

At the top you will be rewarded by stunning views of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Sheep Mountain Wilderness to the east. You may also notice remnants of the old South Mount Hawkins Lookout Tower. The fire tower that once stood on top of the summit was built in 1935 and unfortunately was lost as a result of a 2002 fire.  

To complete the loop, from the top of the peak take the South Mount Hawkins Ridge Trail for another few miles. At the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail turn left. Continue for about a mile until you reach a four way intersection and junction with the Windy Gap Trail. Take the Windy Gap Trail downhill. For the last mile you will retract your steps through the campground and and back to the parking lot. 


  • The route described is for a counterclockwise direction, but either way would be fine. 

  • Potable water may be available at the Crystal Lake Campground and parking area.

  • Adventure Pass is required for vehicles parked outside of the campground. 

  • More information regarding parking, water and other facilities can be found here:


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Adventure Pass required

Open Year-round



Mountain Views. Wildflowers. Lake. Peak Bagging.


Can get hot in the summer.

Trailhead Elevation

5,139.00 ft (1,566.37 m)

Highest point

8,431.00 ft (2,569.77 m)


Family friendly
Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Potable water
Bird watching
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains
Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains
Crystal Lake Recreation Area, San Gabriel Mountains

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains
Crystal Lake Recreation Area, San Gabriel Mountains
Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains


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