OverviewThe route described here is the shortest route to Mt. Markham (5,742 ft.). Eaton Saddle (5,110 ft.) is a popular trailhead in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains and affords a 1 and ½ mile dirt road and trail route to the summit of Mt. Markham with 632 feet of gain.
Getting ThereFrom the 210 Freeway, exit at Angeles Crest Hwy (SR 2) and go north. At 9.5 miles, you will come to the Clear Creek Ranger Station and the junction with Angeles Forest Highway. Continue straight on SR 2 about 4.5 miles to the junction with the Mount Wilson Road at the Red Box Ranger Station. Turn right. Drive 2.3 miles to the Eaton Saddle trailhead (there is a parking area here on both sides of the road).
Route DescriptionFrom the Eaton Saddle trailhead parking area, pass the white gate (see photo)
In a little over a quarter of a mile, you will pass through the Mueller Tunnel, which tunnel was blasted right through San Gabriel Peak’s south face. Here’s a view of the tunnel mouth facing your direction of travel:
In about ½ mile, you’ll come to Markham Saddle between Mt. Markham and San Gabriel Peak. Here, a trail to the right goes to San Gabriel Peak and Mt. Disappointment (5,960 ft.). Your route is to the left. Step off the fire road onto a signed trail (12W14). This trail runs along the northwest flank of Mt. Markham and affords lots of shady oak tree cover along the way. The fire road you were just on down below parallels the trail.
Follow the trail to a saddle between Mt. Markham and Mt. Lowe (5,603 ft.). A trail straight ahead ascends to Mt. Lowe. Your route is the left, a use trail running along Mt. Markham’s northeast ridge. Ascend the ridge to the summit.