Posted by: GeekHiker | August 11, 2007

HIKE: Buckhorn Peak

Buckhorn Peak is probably one of the shortest trails you’ll ever see me write about.  It’s so minor it isn’t on most maps, and is shown as little more than the top of a hill on the GPS.

So why hike it?  Because when you just happen to stay out a little too late on a Saturday night with friends, don’t get going until 11:00 the next morning, but still feel the need to hike under the pines, this is the perfect trail.  That’s just a theory, mind you.  Really.  *cough*

Starting from the roadside trailhead, head up the old logging road (Forest Service road 3N02).  This road actually runs around both sides of Buckhorn Peak, but does not do a full loop (the full loop not being needed to haul out trees).  I actually tried to connect the two ends once, and ended up wandering cross country on a steep slope.  I don’t recommend it.

Buckhorn Peak 1

Starting up the Forest Service Road to Buckhorn Peak. 

As you continue steadily upward, a couple of other fire roads will spur off, heading down first to the right, then to the left.  Ignore these and continue upwards .3 miles until you reach a saddle where the landscape to the north opens up to view.

Turn right and head northeast up the ridge.  This is a use trail, and may be both steep and difficult to find in some places, but as long as you’re heading UP, you’re heading in the right direction.  Be careful of loose gravel in places.

Near the top, Buckhorn Peak flattens out into a wide area, suitable for several tents.  The use trail will curve to the right, heading to a group of boulders and trees that’s the top of the peak.  Some years a trail register for you to sign will be located here, but there’s no sign of it this year.

Buckhorn Peak 2

Flat camping area near the top of Buckhorn Peak. 

Take some time to explore the expansive top of the peak.  There are many nice spots to stretch out and have a picnic, read, or take a nap.  I have my own personal spot that I’m keeping a secret, and if you see a geeky-looking hiker napping there, best leave him be. 🙂

Buckhorn Peak 3

Looking east from Buckhorn Peak. 

To return, retrace your footsteps back to the use trail.  Note that the sides of Buckhorn are fairly steep and the use trail is the easiest way back down.

Total Distance: 1.4 miles

Elevation Gain/Loss: 400’/400′


Directions: From Interstate 210, exit Highway 2 North in La Canada Flintridge.  Follow the highway to mile 57.7 (just before mile post 57.72) and park in the turnout on the north side of the highway where Forest Service Road 3N02 starts.  Take care not to block the rusted gate to the road, as you may be ticketed.  National Forest Pass required.



  1. Sounds, and looks, like a good after sleep in wander.

  2. Today I didn’t get motivated to leave the house until noon and remembered this entry–we now call it Hangover Peak! It is covered in snow at the moment, so there was no napping on top, but it was very beautiful and in my opinion, worth the long drive on the Angeles Crest Hwy. My two dogs had a blast tearing around in the snow. Thanks for writing it up!

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