Hey TacoSlayers, it’s Will with the TacoSlayers!
Recently, I was going through the SoCalHikers blog archives for a new peak recommendation in the upper Los Angeles area and it was a huge surprise when I came across this pack of “Mini” peaks.
The San Gabriel Mini 5 Pack includes:
- San Gabriel Peak – 6,161 ft.
- Mt. Disappointment – 5,963 ft.
- Mt. Deception – 5,796 ft.
- Mt. Lowe – 5,574 ft.
- Markham – 5,728 ft.
I followed SoCal Hikers exact footprint with the exception of hitting Mount Lowe 4th and then hitting Mount Markham last. Mount Lowe is extremely popular on social media with its photo friendly swing/pullup bar/hammock rack and peak spotters. Not to mention Mount Markham is a bit of an ass kicker when stacked against these other peaks.
I stated my solo attack on these 5 peaks about an hour before sunrise at the Eaton Saddle Trail Head. San Gabriel peak is the tallest of the pack and very often traveled. The trail was very worn in and even though I needed a head torch I could make out where I was going easily. Walking through the Mueller Tunnel in the dark was an experience, zero wild animals urban campers were spotted here.
Reached the to of San Gabriel Peak with 15 minuets to spare before the sun made its way over the horizon. Little time was spent at the peak as I want to push on to Mount Disappointment before things really heated up.
Mount Disappointment was 100% the easiest “peak” to slay in this pack. A paved fire road greets you at the saddle between San Gabriel Peak and Mount Disappointment. it took just under 30 minuets from leaving the last summit to get to the top of Disappointment. Definitely take the time to visit the rock over look on the western most side.
Another fire road escorted me to the base of Mount Deception. While this peak is a casual climb to the top, the trail is littered with Pokey bush. If you’re as dumb as me, you wore shorts and have the many-many cuts to prove it. Deception has an extremely flat summit and the actual peak is DECEPTIVE!
The long hike back to the Markham Saddle was spent in the shade of Mount Lowe and Markham avoiding the majority of the days heat now that I was beyond my half way point. It was near the summit of Mount Lowe that I came across another hiker for the first time confirming my suspicions of Lowes popularity. Really though, it worked out perfectly because they were super friendly and took my picture at the famous swing (Hikers are awesome!)
Heading back down Lowe to the base of Markham I realized that in all my planning, I had set myself up to hike the hardest part of todays trail in direct sunlight as there is zero trees for shade and you are fully exposed. Although, it was all worth it, having the peak to myself at the end.
My end mileage was just over 9miles and it was just under 4000 ft of elevation climbed.
I recommend you try this trail. Don’t kill your self trying it but if you do, let me know.
Check out SoCalhikers blog for more info on this trail: https://socalhiker.net/hiking-san-gabriel-peak-mt-disappointment-deception-markham-lowe/