Dan's Hiking Pages: Hikes in the San Gabriels and Beyond
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Stoddard Peak (4624')
via Barrett-Stoddard Road
San Antonio Canyon / Angeles National Forest / Southern California

Trail Stats
Mileage 6.0
Trailhead 3790'
Stoddard Peak 4624'
Total gain/loss 1100'
Gain/loss per mi. 366 '
This enjoyable hike offers a commanding tour of the lower San Antonio Canyon. Stoddard Peak is certainly not the tallest summit around, but it provides a unique perspective of the surrounding mountains and a bird's eye view of Mount Baldy Road and San Antonio Creek. Your route is mostly on a fire road, with a half-mile scramble to achive the summit.

The peak was named for William H. Stoddard, who established the first resort in the San Antonio Canyon. In 1880, he moved from Sacramento and settled in a shady grove of sycamores and oaks in a lovely, waterfall-lace side canyon (which was later named for him) just east of the main canyon, about a mile above the entrance. Around 1886 he decided to turn his little paradise into a resort, and soon Stoddard's Camp became a favorite retreat for citizens of Pomona, Ontario, and San Bernardino.

Season: October - May

This is a great winter or spring hike. But it can also be nice in the hot season if you start early when the temperatures are pleasant and the sun is hiding behind the high ridges to the east. In the late fall you can enjoy a splash of color.

Getting to the Trailhead:

From the new 210 Freeway extension, driving east: Exit Baseline Road in Claremont. Turn left (west) on Baseline. In one block turn right (north) unto Padua Avenue. In 1.7 miles turn right onto Mt. Baldy Road (stop sign). After 2.4 miles you pass Shinn Road (an alternate route coming in from the right). Drive another 3.3 miles to the turn-off to Barrett-Stoddard Road on the right. You can park in the clearing.

From the new 210 Freeway extension, driving west: In Upland, exit Mountain Ave./Mt. Baldy Exit, Exit 54. Turn right and proceed north on Mountain Ave (at some point it turns into Shinn Road. Drive 5 miles to Mt. Baldy Road. Turn right (north) and drive another 3.3 miles to the turn-off to Barrett-Stoddard Road on the right. You can park in the clearing.

A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for parking. You can purchase one from the National Forest visitor's center in Mt. Baldy Village (606-982-2829), about 3 miles up the road from the trailhead.

Trail Description:

From the parking area, walk east down the dirt road (don't take the old paved road to the right). Descend past a small hydroelectric station on your left and cross San Antonio Creek. The road gently climbs as it contours east around the bend into Barrett Canyon. You cross the creek and turn south as you pass some charming cabins. The thick forest of canyon live oak in Barrett Canyon provides shade even in the winter when other oaks loose their leaves. Just past the last cabin, at 0.8 mile, you reach a locked vehicle gate. There is a small wide spot in the road that could accommodate parking a car or two, if you wanted to drive to this point. But the walk to this point is pleasant and adds to the overall experience of your expanding view of the canyon.

Walk past the gate and continue south up the road. As you emerge from the oak forest you'll round a bend and begin to cross an open area. All along the route from here you'll see the telltale evidence of the Williams Fire, which devastated much of the area in September and October 2002. As you contour into Cascade Canyon, enjoy views of the exceptionally beautiful upper reaches of the canyon. After you emerge from Cascade Canyon, the road continues south toward your destination. At 2.6 miles from the start, you reach Stoddard Saddle. From here the road begins to descend into Stoddard Canyon. The large, gently slopping area on the left (east) is Stoddard Flat. Looking southwest you'll see the two false summits on the ridge leading to Stoddard Peak, which is out of view at this point. Notice a faint path that heads right (west) through the brush up the steep slope. This is the route you'll take, following the path 0.4 miles along the open ridge over two false summits to reach Stoddard Peak. The peak is marked with a triangular rusted metal sign which reads "V12."

From Stoddard Peak (4624'), looking west across San Antonio Canyon, the skyline is dominated by a ridge that is a 1,000 feet higher, accented by Clover Peak (5511') and Sunset Peak (5796'). To the northwest, to the right of Sunset Peak, is Cow Canyon Saddle (4523'), Lookout Mt. (6812), and beyond that Iron Mt. (8007'). Massive Mt. Baldy (10,064') stands majestically to the north. Notice the Bear Canyon Trail as it zigzags up the ridge heading toward Baldy. Looming thousands of feet above you to the northeast is the mammoth west flank of Ontario Peak (8697') and Cucamonga Wilderness. Down the ridge to the immediate south, an unnamed, pointed summit (4324') stands guard over the mouth of Stoddard Canyon (hikers have used this route). To the left and beyond is Frankish Peak (4198'). And on a clear day you have nice views of Upland, the Pomona Valley and beyond as far as Saddleback mountain and Catalina Island. You can hear car horns honking in the tunnels 1,200 feet below you on the Mt. Baldy Road. Notice also fragmented sections of the old cayon-bottom road.

Enjoy the summit and then return the way you came. icon

Hike Log
Stoddard Peak

7:55 AM A: Trailhead (3790')
8:12 B: North Fork creek
8:16 C: Gate
8:26/8:41 D: Round bend past oak forest
8:47 E: Cascade creek
9:00 F: Round bend - view south to saddle
9:10/9:19 G: Stoddard Saddle / Flat
9:42/11:15 H: Stoddard Peak (4624')
11:34/12:29 G: Stoddard Saddle, side trip south
12:39 F: Round bend
12:54 E: Cascade creek
1:06/1:13 D: Round bend
8:16 C: Gate
1:30 B: North Fork creek
1:47 A: Trailhead (3790')
Timber Mt. Map
View Full Topo Map (368 K)

Related link on Dan's Hiking Pages:

Source Notes:

  • Mileage and elevation - Based on Jerry Schad's work; McKinney has the same numbers (see links below). The elevation gain accounts for a little roller coaster action.

  • Historical information - Based on John W. Robinson's The San Gabriels (Big Santa Anita Historical Society, 1991, pp. 253-254).

Trail Notes:

  • Highpoint - Stoddard Peak (4624') is certainly not a high summit compared to the surrounding mountains, but it is higher than the highest points of half the states in the U.S. See Fifty State Summits list from peakware.com.

Trail Links:

Books: Last Hiked: December 28, 2005

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This page was last updated March 15, 2006.