Monte Cristo Campground

Page Type Page Type: Trailhead
Additional Information County: Los Angeles
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 3560 ft / 1085 m

Overview: Entree to a Peak Quartet

This trailhead (3,560’ elev.) features a developed campground for car campers and access to a popular loop hike of 4 peaks in this part of the San Gabriel front range. This quartet of peaks includes Rabbit Peak (5,307’), Granite Mountain #1 (6,600’), Round Top Mountain (6,316’) and Iron Mountain #3 (5,040’) along ridge and fire road. One can also reach Mill Creek Summit to the north by following County Fire Road 4N18.
Granite Mtn. #1 (6,600 ), San Gabriel Mtns.Granite Mountain #1 (6,600')
Rabbit Peak (5,307 ), San Gabriel Mtns.Rabbit Peak (5,307')

Usually, the peak quartet loop is done clockwise, starting with Rabbit Peak and ending with Iron Mtn. #3. For this, start on County Fire Road 2N23 at the north end of the campground and leave the fire road about a mile later to get onto the ridge which ascends to Rabbit.
Along Fire Road 2N23Another view along County Roadk 2N23, 9.15.07
Along Fire Road 2N23 -NOT FOR VOTINGAlong Fire Road 2N23, 9.15.07

Alternatively, one could hike the 4 peaks in a counter-clockwise direction from the campground by hiking up the west ridge of Iron Mtn. #3 on fire break to its summit and then on to the other three.
Iron Mountain #3 (5,040 ), San Gabriel Mtns.Iron Mtn. #3 (5,040')
Round Top Mountain (6,316 ), San Gabriel Mtns.Round Top Mountain (6,316')

The campsites at the Monte Cristo Campground have picnic tables and fire rings. There are outhouses available. Campsites are $12 per night.

Driving Directions

From the 210 Freeway, exit at Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2) and go north for 9.5 miles to Angeles Forest Highway. Turn left onto Angeles Forest Highway and drive 10 miles to the entrance to the campground on the right. Turn right into the campground.
Monte Cristo Campground-NOT FOR VOTINGMonte Cristo Campground, 9.15.07

Red Tape

You will need an Adventure Pass or Golden Eagle Pass to park in the Monte Cristo Campground day use lot. These passes can be purchased ($5 per day or $30 for a yearly pass) at the Clear Creek Information Station, which station is located where the SR2 and the Angeles Forest Highway intersect. Otherwise, the passes can be purchased at major southern California sporting goods outlets.

Alternatively, if you pay for a campsite, the Adventure Pass will not be necessary.

When to Visit

This trailhead can be accessed virtually year-round. During the winter, depending on the snow level, you may need snow tires or chains for your vehicle. When chains are required, note that the CHP sets up road-blocks, usually along SR2, to ensure either that chains are put on or the vehicle is equipped with snow tires.

Check forecast information in local newspapers or internet weather services during the winter months. Check with the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) (see link below) on road conditions and closures during the winter.

Other Information

USGS Topos Chilao Flat 7.5

Tom Harrison Angeles Front Country Trail Map (1:63,360 scale)

San Gabriel Mtns. Recreation Topo Map (1:62,500 scale), Western Section
(Angeles National Forest and the Verdugo Mountains) by Fine Edge Productions

External Links

California Dept. of Transportation

Angeles National Forest

Adventure Pass information



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.