- The trailhead for Sunset Peak is on Glendora Ridge Road, just outside of Mt. Baldy Village. Click here for directions
- From the 210, exit Baseline or Mountain and head north towards Mt. Baldy Village. Just before reaching Mt. Baldy Village, take a left on Glendora Ridge Rd and travel 7 miles to the trailhead.
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- Distance 8 Miles
- Elevation Gain 1378 ft
- Minimum Elevation 4340ft
- Maximum Elevation 5796ft
- Elevation Gain 1456ft
- Time 2-4 hours
- Difficulty Beginner
- Dog Friendly Yes
- Permit Required No. Adventure Pass required for parking.
- Season: Year round. Hot in the summer and can get snow in the winter.
- Trail Condition This trail is almost exclusively wide fireroad
The hike to the summit of Sunset Peak begins just beyond the white gate that also acts as the trailhead. The fireroad trail is pretty exposed in the first mile, so make sure you get an early start if you decide to hike this one in the dead of summer. Looking up ahead, you can see the trail etching the scrub oak covered hills in the distance,
The trail up to Sunset Peak isn’t the most beautiful or challenging, but it does offer up some pretty spectacular views of the San Gabriels from start to finish. Having hiked many of the peaks and trails in this area, it’s always nice to map them visually from a distance. After the first mile of hiking, the views looking back south and west really start to open up. From there, the trail pushes east, and provides some really nice views of the climb to come.
Two miles into the hike towards Sunset Peak, the trail exposure cuts down quite a bit as the scrub oaks give way to pines. Continue on until you reach the unmarked junction for Cow Canyon Saddle.
Just before completing mile 3 towards Sunset Peak, you’ll come across a Y junction on the fireroad. This route is an alternative ascent of Sunset Peak, from Cow Canyon Saddle. Veer right. I’ll cover the alternative route in a different post.
We had the only vehicle parked at the main trailhead on this day, and had yet to see any other hikers. Just after passing this junction, we came across a group of four. We would only see five others from that point on. This is a great hike if you’re looking for a little solitude.
Shortly after leaving the junction, we were treated to some incredible views of Mt. Baldy and Ontario Ridge. In the distance, I could see cars parked at the Icehouse Saddle parking lot. It was nice to be away from that swarm for a change.
Just before reaching the summit, the trail splits again. Both paths lead to Sunset Peak, with the right hand option posing the steeper and more direct route. On this day, I decided to hike up on the left for a more level ascent, then bomb down the steep route.
At the summit of Sunset Peak lies the rusted and burned remains of what used to be a lookout tower. The 360 degree birds eye view of Southern California from this vantage point is pretty tough to beat. From the summit you can take in views of Mt. Baldy, Mt. Wilson, Iron Mountain, Ontario Peak, The 3 T’s, Santiago Peak and much more.
After enjoying the views at the summit of Sunset Peak, you can turn around and hike back down the way you came up. I hope you enjoyed this hike write up. Please feel free to share and leave me a comment!