Sitting at 3375 ft, Jones Peak stands tall over the quaint town of Sierra Madre. Most hikers making their way to Sierra Madre spend their day tackling the Old Mt Wilson Trail to the 5713ft summit of Mt Wilson and it’s well known observatory. Jones Peak isn’t one of the most well known hikes in the San Gabriels, but it definitely offers up some of the best views. In this guide, you’ll find directions to Jones Peak, key points, a map, and a full hike description with photos.
Directions And GPS Tracks:
- The trailhead for Bailey Canyon Trail is located in Sierra Madre, CA. From the 210 freeway, exit Baldwin Ave. Head North on Baldwin, take a left on W Grandview Ave, then a right on N Grove St. The parking lot will be at the end of N Grove St. Click here for directions on Google Maps
- Download GPX
- See my track on Strava
- Distance 6.5 miles
- Elevation Gain 2312 ft
- Minimum Elevation 1102 ft
- Maximum Elevation 3375 ft
- Time 3-4 hours
- Difficulty Beginner
- Dog Friendly Yes, on leash
- Permit Required No
- Season September to May
- Trail Condition: Well maintained trail. Well marked and easy to follow.
Hike Map And Elevation Profile:
The hike to Jones Peak via Bailey Canyon Trail begins on the west side of the parking lot of Bailey Canyon Park. Look for the trail sign, where you’ll see you have 3.3 miles to reach the summit.
Shortly after beginning this hike to Jones Peak, the trail takes hikers through a turnstyle and onto an asphalt road. Take a right hand turn and head north on the asphalt road. You’ll see a dam on your right hand side before meeting back up with the trail.
Shortly after meeting back up with the Bailey Canyon Trail, there will be a junction for the Live Oak Nature Trail. Stay on the “Canyon View Nature Trail To The Waterfall”.
At .4 miles into the hike, you’ll reach the junction for the Canyon View Nature Trail Waterfall. Stay right to continue on the Bailey Canyon Trail. You can hike out to the waterfall if you’d like to add a little extra distance to your hike. It is .25 miles each way. After this junction, get ready for a bunch of switchbacks!
I hiked to Jones Peak on a relatively cool day for Southern California, with forecasted temps in the high 60s. Somehow, it felt like it was 85 on the trail. I had read about this trail being one to avoid in the summer months, and I can definitely see why. On the positive side, from this point on, hikers are treated to spectacular views to the south. Even though this day was a little hazy, I could see from downtown LA to Santa Monica in the west. In the south I could see out to Santiago Peak. In the east, I had views of San Gorgonio. Looking down towards the trailhead, I could see the 88-acre Mater Dolorosa retreat center. The Mater Dolorosa has been at the heart of a contentious land issue in Sierra Madre, as the church that owns the grounds has planned on selling 20 acres to a home developer.
After ascending the first few switchbacks to the summit, hikers are treated to a nice lookout with a bench for those needing a break.
After leaving the lookout bench, the Bailey Canyon Trail maintains the main theme of this hike, ascending switchbacks with amazing views.
Two miles into the hike to Jones Peak, the trail cuts north and deeper into the canyon. This is a nice section of reprieve from the zigzagging switchbacks. This section also offers up a nice bit of shade, whereas the first two miles are nearly entirely exposed. Keep an eye out for the foundation of “George’s Cabin”. It will appear to the left of the trail. If you’re looking for a nice place to picnic before the summit, this would be it.
After leaving George’s Cabin, the switchbacks return and the trail gains elevation in a hurry. The views of LA begin to disappear and are replaced by the summits of Mt. Harvard and Mt. Wilson to the north. As you pass the three mile mark you’ll continue uphill until reaching a junction at a ridge trail around 3.3 miles. Make sure to stay right to summit Jones Peak.
The remaining hike to Jones Peak is short and steep. Look back to enjoy views of Mt. Harvard and Mt. Wilson. The telescopes of the Mt. Wilson Observatory are easy to see from this point.
The summit of Jones Peak provides a bird’s eye 360 degree view of the Los Angeles area. For low elevation peaks in the front range, this view is pretty tough to beat. Take some time to soak it all in and give your legs a break by sitting on the lookout bench. Once you’ve enjoyed enough time, head back and hike down the same way you arrived.