Explanation of Column Headings

Column nameExplanation
DistanceUsed only in List of Hikes Sorted by Travel Time from Caltech. The distance from Caltech, measured from near the intersection of Wilson Avenue and California Boulevard.
Travel TimeUsed only in List of Hikes Sorted by Travel Time from Caltech. The time in minutes from Caltech, measured from near the intersection of Wilson Avenue and California Boulevard.
No.An integer value is the trip number assigned in Trails of the Angeles (TOTA) by John W. Robinson, Sixth Edition, January 1990, published by Wilderness Press. Other numbers have been assigned by me in the following format: "39-1" denotes the first hike similar to hike 39, starting at the same location as hike 39, or in the same general area as hike 39. (more information)
RT milesThe total round-trip miles to do the entire hike. If the hike is one-way, it is indicated in this column.

The mileage is my best estimate of the true mileage. Many mileages have been taken or derived from TOTA. A few corrections have been made (see TOTA Updates, and I am gradually replacing Robinson's numbers with ones of higher accuracy. More accurate values have been derived from other sources, such as my pedometer measurements, bicycle measurements, measurements from the uses of "Topo!", and those of other authors.

If you have better mileages from, say, a mountain bike, please let me know.

Elev. GainThe total elevation gain and loss in feet, separately, by doing the hike in the indicated direction. Thus, for example, hike 33, Eaton Saddle to Switzer Campground, has +700, -2500 shown, indicating that one ascends a total of 700' and descends a total of 2500' on this hike. The net elevation change on this hike is thus -1800', which is the difference in the elevation of Eaton Saddle and Switzer Campground. This hike is therefore harder than one that had an elevation gain of just -1800'.

Another example: A hike that gained 200', dropped 500' and then gained another 1000', would have a cumulative gain of 1200' and a cumulative loss of 500' on that leg. If you did that hike in only one direction, the elev. gain would be +1200, -500. If you then returned the same way, the total elevation gain must of course equal the total elevation loss, so the reported elev. gain would be just 1700'.

As for the mileages, many of the elevation gains have come from TOTA, with errors corrected as needed.

Season"Season" is normally the best time to do that hike, and is only a rough guide. Many have been taken or derived from TOTA. Several examples:

Higher elevation hikes can't be done as easily or safely when there is snow on the ground, and thus these hikes have a season of jun-oct, typically, when it is pretty much guaranteed that there won't be snow on the ground. However, if we have an early snow in October, I'd recommend you think twice before doing one of those hikes. If you love hiking in the snow, and know how to navigate snow-covered trails and survive in very cold weather, no one will prohibit you from hiking those trails in February. (But please let someone know where you are going!) Conversely, if the snow is gone by March, and you have a warm spring day, go right ahead, but be prepared for mud.

Lower elevation hikes are usually too hot and/or buggy in the summer, and thus usually get a recommended season of nov-may or nov-jun. These are simply the months in which the temperatures are usually cool. However, even those hikes may be ok if done early in the morning or late in the evening, or on one of the cooler summer days. If you are used to the heat, in good shape, and have plenty of water, no one will prohibit you from hiking those trails in July or August. But be forewarned that you may encounter bugs that may make it impossible to stop for even a moment.

NameThe name of the hike. Many are taken from TOTA, and the same style of naming has been continued for the added hikes.

More Information About Trip Numbers

The hike numbers are used simply for quick reference with Robinson's book, and can generally be ignored for all other purposes. Robinson changed some of the hike numbers in the 1998 edition (see Comparison of 1998 TOTA with 1990 TOTA).

Robinson assigned trip numbers generally, but not always, from west to east, and are all integer values except for 54a and 54b, which I converted to 54.1 and 54.2, respectively. Hence the numbers roughly, but do not exactly, correspond to the regions defined here. I have extended the hike numbers for new hikes not in Robinson by assigning new hike numbers in the following way:

Again, hike numbers can generally be ignored by the reader.

Go to Hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains

Copyright © 1997-2000 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 10 January 2000.