Bonita Peak is a little bump of a peak to much more impressive Big Iron of the rugged San Gabriel Mountains. The peak gets its name from the nearby USGS marker. The peak is climbed mostly by the Lower Peaks Committee of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. It has great views of the Cow Canyon and East Fork drainages. It is a shadeless hike so bring sun protection. The only water is at the trailhead at the campground or the river. The East Fork of the San Gabriel is a great place to swim in the summer. Weekends can be quite busy though so best to visit during the week.
Getting ThereTake the 210 Freeway to Azusa to the Route 39 exit. Take Route 39 for 12 miles the junction with East Fork Road. Turn right and continue 6 miles to the end of the road at the East Fork Fire Staton. Park at the large parking area overlooking the river.
Route From the parking area hike pass the gate and down the road to Heaton Flat about .5 miles away. As you enter the Heaton Flats camping area there is a trailhead on the right marked 'Heaton Flat Trail'. Take this trailfor 3 miles as it switchbacks up brushy mountainside. You will pass a false peak, just after this there is a little peak jutting out to the right of the trail. There is suppose to be a USGS marker at this point in the trail with a arrow pointing to the little peak. I could not find the marker myself. backtrack a little bit to the use trail if you passed it looking for the marker. Take the little open brushy ridge south to its end point. There was a rock cairn with register when I was there.
Roundtrip is 6 miles with 1900 feet of gain.
Red TapeYou will need a Adventure Pass for parking at the fire station turnout.
CampingFor camping information and current conditions in Angeles National Forest.
External LinksFor more information on the Lower Peaks List of the Sierra Club.