Burnt Peak

Burnt Peak: A Hidden Gem in the San Gabriel Mountains

Nestled amidst the rugged terrain of the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California, Burnt Peak stands as a testament to the raw beauty and untamed wilderness of the region. Rising to an elevation of 5,794 feet (1,766 meters), Burnt Peak offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore pristine forests, meandering trails, and breathtaking vistas. Despite its proximity to the bustling city of Los Angeles, Burnt Peak remains a secluded sanctuary, providing solace and serenity to all who venture into its embrace.

Geographical and Geological Features

Burnt Peak
Burnt Peak

Burnt Peak is part of the Transverse Ranges, a series of mountain ranges that run east to west across Southern California. Situated within the Angeles National Forest, Burnt Peak is characterized by rugged cliffs, rocky outcrops, and dense chaparral vegetation. The mountain takes its name from the burnt orange hue of its rocky slopes, which are often illuminated by the warm glow of the setting sun.

Geologically, Burnt Peak is composed of ancient granite and schist formations, shaped by millions of years of tectonic activity and erosion. The mountain’s rocky terrain is interspersed with lush groves of oak, pine, and cedar, creating a rich tapestry of biodiversity. Wildlife abounds in the area, with sightings of deer, mountain lions, and various bird species common throughout the year.

At its summit, Burnt Peak offers panoramic views of the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains, including nearby peaks such as Sawmill Mountain, Liebre Mountain, and Mount Wilson. On clear days, visitors can see for miles in every direction, taking in the rugged beauty of the landscape and the vast expanse of the Angeles National Forest.

Recreational Opportunities

Burnt Peak offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and enjoy. The mountain is crisscrossed with a network of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks. Popular trails include the Burnt Peak Trail, which leads to the summit of the mountain, and the Silver Moccasin Trail, which meanders through oak woodlands and pine forests.

In addition to hiking, Burnt Peak is a popular destination for rock climbing, with numerous granite cliffs and boulders offering opportunities for climbers of all skill levels. The mountain’s rugged terrain and breathtaking scenery make it a favorite among outdoor adventurers seeking an adrenaline-filled escape from the city.

During the winter months, Burnt Peak transforms into a winter wonderland, with opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding. The mountain’s snowy slopes and pristine forests provide a picturesque backdrop for outdoor winter activities, attracting visitors from near and far.

Cultural and Historical Significance

Burnt PeakBurnt Peak
Burnt Peak

Burnt Peak holds cultural and historical significance for the indigenous peoples of Southern California, who have inhabited the region for thousands of years. The mountain and its surrounding landscape are rich in cultural heritage, with numerous archaeological sites and artifacts dating back to prehistoric times.

In addition to its cultural significance, Burnt Peak has played a role in the history of exploration and settlement in Southern California. The area was traversed by Spanish explorers and early settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries, who were drawn to the region by its abundant natural resources and strategic location.

Conservation and Preservation Efforts

As a cherished natural treasure, Burnt Peak is protected within the boundaries of the Angeles National Forest, ensuring its preservation for future generations to enjoy. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve the mountain’s unique ecosystems, including habitat restoration, wildfire prevention, and visitor education programs.

These efforts aim to strike a balance between conservation and outdoor recreation, allowing visitors to experience the beauty and splendor of Burnt Peak while minimizing their impact on the fragile mountain environment. By working together to preserve this iconic landmark, we can ensure that Burnt Peak remains a symbol of the natural beauty and wilderness of the San Gabriel Mountains for generations to come.

AddresCalifornia 93532, United States
Opening Hours24 Hours
Entrance TicketFREE


In conclusion, Burnt Peak stands as a hidden gem in the San Gabriel Mountains, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore pristine wilderness and breathtaking vistas. From its rugged cliffs to its dense forests, the mountain provides a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solace and adventure amidst the beauty of nature. As we continue to cherish and protect this cherished treasure, may Burnt Peak inspire awe and reverence in all who have the privilege of experiencing its timeless beauty.