Frazier Mountain is a broad forested peak in the Transverse Ranges of Southern California, located near the towns of Gorman and Frazier Park about an hour's drive north of Los Angeles off of Interstate-5. A fine dirt roads leads to an old lookout on the summit, and numerous hiking options exist in and around the peak. Peakbaggers will like Frazier Mountain as it is one of the peaks on the 2,000-foot prominence list as well as a popular Sierra Club HPS peak. The peak is a popular jump-off point (literally) for hang gliders.
Sierra Club HPS page
Exit Interstate-5 at the Frazier Park Mountain Road. This is about 60 miles north of Los Angeles and just before the famous Tejon Summit and Grapevine grade on Interstate-5. Drive west on Frazier Park Road about 5 miles through town, coming to Lockwood Valley Road. Go left, and another mile later, go left at Frazier Mountain Road. The Los Padres National Forest maintains aRanger Station here.
Everything is well-signed here and navigating the roads is very simple.
The ranger said an Adventure Pass is only needed if you camp at Chuchupate C.G. at the base of the peak. Otherwise you don't need one. I had one, but no one ever checked.
Chuchupate Campground is the natural choice, as it sits at the western base of the peak, three miles up the road from the Ranger Station. It is closed in winter. Cost is free (you do need the Adventure Pass, so really, the cost is $5), but it is first come, first serve. The road is paved but narrow to this campground.
For more information:
Los Padres National Forest Camping
Past the campground, the road (FR 8N04) leads to the summit in another 4 miles (4.1 by my truck's odometer). The road is usually in fine shape in dry conditions; a passenger vehicle would probably make it if driven carefully. Snow will close the road seasonally.
Three miles past the campground, the road forks - stay right for the summit. A hiking option is to park here and walk the roads and possibly some use trails for a loop hike. If you hike, there's a well-beaten path starting up the slope between the roads. This leads to some rock outcrops and back onto a lesser road, which then leads up to the top. Distances range from 2 to 3 miles round trip and 500 feet of gain.
If you hike from the campground, it's 4 miles each way and 2,000 feet of gain. The lower slopes are mostly open scrub, with pines starting at about 6,500 feet. Evidence of recent fires can be seen (the Day Fire in 2006 is the most recent big fire).
The lookout itself is pretty old and probably not safe to stand upon. Views from the top are fantastic.
Frazier Mountain Lookout
My trip report:
Frazier Peak, 5-29-09