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San Gabriel Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws
Photograph taken in  the San Gabriel Wilderness


The United States Congress designated the San Gabriel Wilderness (map) in 1968 and it now has a total of 35,738 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Forest Service. The San Gabriel Wilderness is bordered by the Sheep Mountain Wilderness to the west.


Extremely rugged and scenic terrain ranging in elevation from about 1,600 feet to 8,200 feet predominates in San Gabriel Wilderness. Dense thickets of chaparral in the low country yield to mixed pine- and fir-covered slopes and ridge tops, which rise in turn to majestic peaks and meadows rich with spring wildflowers. The area lies on the southern slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains, between the Angeles Crest and the West Fork of the San Gabriel River. A variety of wildlife lives in the higher elevations. Fishing will probably be fine in most of the streams.

Several paths lead into the interior of the area, where you can venture off-trail into some regions without too much difficulty. There are three entryways: Bear Creek (11 miles); Mount Waterman (10 miles), with a one-mile-long side trail to Twin Peak Saddle; and Devil's Canyon, which drops four miles into the canyon itself.

Wood fires are not permitted because high fire danger threatens year-round. Backpacking stoves are permitted. Human use is moderate.

- Devils Canyon - Mt. Waterman - Twin Peaks - Bear Creek

Planning to Visit the San Gabriel Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the San Gabriel Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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