The standard route to Twin Peaks from east of Waterman Mountain is along the trail starting from the Buckhorn trailhead. The route described here begins at Cloudburst Summit and adds some cross-country before getting to maintained trail. The beginning of this route cuts across the Mt. Waterman ski lift area and connects with the Mt. Waterman Trail.
Twin Peaks, east summit, looking south from the route described, 5/12/07
From the 210 Freeway, exit at Angeles Crest Hwy (SR 2) and go north. At 9.5 miles, you will come to the Clear Creek Information Station and junction with Angeles Forest Highway. Continue straight and in 4.5 more miles you will come to the junction with the Mt. Wilson Road at the Red Box Ranger Station and trailhead. From here, continue straight on SR2 for 19 miles more to the signed Cloudburst Summit (7,018’). It is near mile marker 57.10. There is a parking area on the left side (north) of the road.
From the parking area, walk directly across the highway and go right about 25 yards. You will encounter the beginning of a steep use trail. You will be going west as you begin the ascent on this use trail. After about 1/10th of a mile the ridge turns in a southerly direction (and slightly east). Continue hiking on this ridge in a southerly and slightly east direction until you get to flat sections of the terrain where you will encounter ski lift equipment, lift cables and at least one structure. You will cross a service road and, at the end of the ski lift area, you will run into the Mt. Waterman Trail. Go east on the trail and it will take you to the junction with the marked trail to Twin Peaks Saddle. From the saddle, follow the use trail up the steep north slope of Twin to the east summit (7,761’). The use trail may get faint towards the summit ridge. If in doubt, bear left and the trail will get you to the east summit.
The round trip mileage for this route is about 8 miles with about 4,000 feet of gain.
Twin Peaks, east summit, looking from along its southeast ridge, 5/12/07
You will need an Adventure Pass or a Golden Eagle Pass to park your vehicle anywhere within the Angeles National Forest, including this trailhead. Adventure Passes are currently sold at the Clear Creek Information Station and the Red Box Ranger Station ($5 per day or $30 for a yearly pass), which stations you pass on the way to the trailhead. Otherwise, Adventure Passes are also sold at most sporting good stores in Southern California.
In general, no permits are required for hiking this route. However, because the beginning of the route crosses part of the Mt. Waterman ski lift area, I frankly do not know how the ski lift operators would react to someone hiking across the area on those rare occasions when there is enough snow for that resort to be open for skiing.
None, during most of the year. The route can be done in trail runners if you prefer. However, in winter, snowshoes and/or crampons may be necessary.
USGS Topo Maps Mt. Waterman 7.5
There are no reliable water sources along this route, so bring what you need.
Information on Angeles National Forest