Mt. Waterman Loop

MODERATE
#43 of 152 trails in Angeles National Forest
Mt. Waterman Loop is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mt Wilson, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

5.3 miles 1230 feet Loop
dog friendly hiking mountain biking trail running walking forest views wild flowers wildlife bugs
Hide Map

Use Buckhorn campground as a point where this trail starts. Cross the road, and pass the white gate. After a few feet you will have three options - continue on the dirt road, take a left on a trail or right on a different trail. I recommend taking a left and going up with the scenic route.

Karen Nishimoto
2 months ago

35 Completed3 Reviews

Nicole M
3 months ago

52 Completed12 Reviews

I did this hike today with my husband and 2 of our dogs. It was super pretty and covered with the perfect amount of snow. We brought along microspikes just in case but didn't need to use them. The views from some sections of the trail were incredibly beautiful. I definitely felt like we were far away from Los Angeles and we all really enjoyed the day. This is a great trail if you want to get out hiking in some snow but still play it safe. The trail is wide and solid with no steep inclines that we encountered. You'll for sure want trekking poles in the snow, especially as it gets later in the day and the snow softens, and I would absolutely bring along microspikes/crampons/snowshoes. Right now the snow is an OK depth to get through with just a solid pair of hiking boots but a few more inches and I would definitely have used my microspikes (or alternative). Grab some food post hike at Newcomb Ranch for the perfect day out of the city.

Brittany S.
3 months ago

Cristina V
5 months ago

3 Completed3 Reviews

For a relatively quick and moderate but more on the easy side hike so close to Los Angeles I felt completely transported into another land. I've been to Angeles Forest before but not at this elevation. I wanted to get away from LA but have had bad experiences with the trails near Arcadia and Altadena with over crowding, trash, and graffiti. There was none of that on this trail.

The vistas where epic even if you didn't get a full wide view, especially when you get to the top. Beautiful pine trees everywhere. We started on the fire road across the highway from the parking area and picnic area and headed left on the loop after a few yards which puts you on the north facing side of the mountain. Starts uphill from there. We took our small dogs and they loved it. Not too hard of a hike for them either.

Cool little details of our hike was the random picnic table nestled in the trees a little bit into the beginning of the loop, found bear tracks along the path which was exciting, the pine needles at the top of the mountains make a really soft place to sit, and the crazy twisting growth pattern on a lot of the trees.

I want to go back in the spring after the snow melt for sure. I want to see the wildflower and pop up streams.

Karen Nishimoto
5 months ago

35 Completed3 Reviews

Kryzstov Kryzstov
6 months ago

3 Completed2 Reviews

Nice moderate hike with beautiful views. Once is enough.

Sean Skelton
9 months ago

20 Completed2 Reviews

A really enjoyable hike for all, located off of Angeles Crest. I found it by accident a few years ago, looking for no trail in particular... Had to pull over and park when I caught sight of the ski lift.

Alex Garza
10 months ago

20 Completed7 Reviews

Did the hike yesterday. we started off the fire road all the way to the top. It can get confusing because there are lots of false trails. It was a good hike surrounded by forest. Not too many views. The hike is good for beginners. There are no cliffs or any kind of danger the entire hike. The single track coming back is a real treat. Better than the fire road. Hike on!

Jason Ethridge
10 months ago

24 Completed20 Reviews

A super relaxing, easy trail that is well shaded most of the way. There is a bit of an insect problem once you get about halfway up, but otherwise this is a great hike. View all the way to Mt Wilson from the top.

Shannon Holst
11 months ago

18 Completed7 Reviews

Great easy hike with beautiful views. Dog and kid friendly!

Laura Nuñez
1 year ago

13 Completed6 Reviews

For anyone venturing the trail starts across the road from Buckhorn Day Use area, its a fire road around mile marker '58-07' go up the fire road 100 yards and the trail-head stake is on the left. The trail was awesome, beautiful views and a very moderate climb the whole way, with only a steep incline to get up to the summit. After the summit continue on the trail until you get to the fire road. I would have given it 5 stars but the last 3.5 miles of the trail are on the fire road (you walk through Waterman Ski Resort-there's a map there), but you can always go back the way you came.

Matt Rosenberg
1 year ago

12 Completed2 Reviews

Discovered Mt. Waterman by chance and knew I had to check it out. Drove out and spent Saturday hiking the amazing trail. Out & back it was about 7.5 miles but it was the most relaxing/moderate hike I've been on in awhile. The whole time you're covered with the foliage of the trees but the sun peeks through every now & then. At every turn you're gifted with amazing views so make sure to bring a good camera and a snack to enjoy when you reach the summit/plateau. You can do some bouldering once you reach the top...it's really just an amazing time.
We started our hike fairly late (1pm-ish) so we didn't have a lot of time to enjoy the summit bc the sun was going down and it was getting chilly. I recommend starting out at 8am so you have hours to play around when you reach the top.

* I'll be posting some pics on my instagram so check them out if you'd like: @mister_mr

John Roelofs
1 year ago

5 Completed4 Reviews

Beautiful trail, stunning vistas, not too strenuous. Went up here Memorial Day weekend and it was relatively secluded. We only ran into 3 other people on the trail. Peak season is June thru October, otherwise you're in for some chilly weather. There's a junction almost halfway around the loop, assuming you're hiking clockwise, where the trail splits. To your right the waterman mountain loop continues up to the summit plateau. To the left you will head down a series of switchbacks towards twin peaks and beyond. We foolishly took a left and while we were rewarded by more gorgeous views and myriad red, purple, and yellow wildflowers, it took us way off course. Hiking back up those switchbacks was punishing. However, if you do it right it's a glorious day hike. If you want to make a weekend of it go left to find a wilderness campsite and more trails to explore.

John Roelofs
1 year ago

5 Completed4 Reviews

Beautiful trail, stunning vistas, not too strenuous. Went up here Memorial Day weekend and it was relatively secluded. We only ran into 3 other people on the trail. Peak season is June thru October, otherwise you're in for some chilly weather. There's a junction almost halfway around the loop, assuming you're hiking clockwise, where the trail splits. To your right the waterman mountain loop continues up to the summit plateau. To the left you will head down a series of switchbacks towards twin peaks and beyond. We foolishly took a left and while we were rewarded by more gorgeous views and myriad red, purple, and yellow wildflowers, it took us way off course. Hiking back up those switchbacks was punishing. However, if you do it right it's a glorious day hike. If you want to make a weekend of it then head down to your left to find a wilderness campground and more trails to explore.

Kyle Mccown
2 years ago

32 Completed22 Reviews

Hiked today (5/18/14). No snow, but no problem - still beautiful. The only bummer was that it wasn't a super clear day.

Mohammad Khan
2 years ago

20 Completed10 Reviews

I hiked this trail on 3/16/2014. There were still some snow here and there. I had to stop many times to take pictures, very beautiful views! Peak has many big size rocks, which were easy to climb, just in case you want to go to the peak to see survey mark. I took ATV trail to descend which was not as scenic as compared to hiking trail. I saw two hikers with their dog but not in lease. I think, I will hike this trail again but won't take ATV trail. BTW, if have hard time to find the trailhead, it's just near 58-00 miles mark.

kate waterman
2 years ago

74 Completed28 Reviews

Went yesterday and had the best time!!!
Chilly so dress warm! Hike up where there's a long gate and head left at the little "trail" sign. That way you will head up the mountain on a beautiful trail and head down on the service road. It snowed for a few minutes when I got to the summit :) At the lodge a bit beyond I saw a fire inside and went in and met Todd, the guy in charge, who was super nice and let me warm my hands (big thanks, Todd!). I had an amazing time even though I was alone. I stopped a ton to take pictures and just enjoy every moment so in all I was up there about 3 hours.
Stopped at the little cafe driving out of the mountains and had a yummy lunch. Oh! and don't forget your Adventure Pass!

James Vangerpen
2 years ago

81 Completed29 Reviews

Hiked on 9/21/2013 - very nice trail with great scenic views and lots of pine trees shading the trail. I didn't see many signs on this trail and its easy to miss the Waterman Mountain junction from the trail. Otherwise, a very pleasant trail to hike.

Tony Sanchez
2 years ago

4 Completed2 Reviews

Did this hike on Sunday, June 9, 2013. I was a wonderful hike. I would highly recommend this one. Bring water as there was none to be found when I did this hike.

Travis Alexander
3 years ago

14 Completed2 Reviews

Great hike through the Angeles National Forest with some beautiful views near the peak. Very few people, though since its right on the 2, you will hear the motorcycles riding by for at least a 3rd of the hike.