The Silver Moccasin Trail is considered a forgotten trail of Los Angeles. It takes 3-5 days to complete the whole trail, traversing the Angeles National Forest and sections of the San Gabriel Wilderness. Unlike the nearby John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail that have been gaining popularity over the years, the Silver Moccasin Trail offers plenty of solitude and an escape from the crowds. Along this challenging trail, you’ll summit and descend mountains, and pass by breathtaking views and geological features. Some of Angeles National Forest’s best peaks are summited along this trail, including Mount Burnham, Throop Peak, and Mount Baden-Powell.
The trail starts at Chantry Flats in Arcadia, and continues north to Vincent Gap in Valyermo. At the Chantry Flats Parking Lot and Trailhead, you’ll find a picnic area, toilets, and drinking water. An Adventure Pass is required to park here. A $30 annual pass can be picked up at most LA sporting good stores. Alternate trailheads have been established along the way, so breaking up the trail into smaller portions is also an option. The trail can be confusing with several fire road and trail crossings, so be sure to bring a map! There are camping areas along the trail, where you’ll be able to meet some fellow hikers and furry friends. The trail is rugged with very few amenities, so you’ll need to take care of your own supplies for you and your canine companion, including food and water.
Along this trail, you and your doggo will meander through boulder fields, enchanting moss-covered canyons, dense forests and high ridges. Be aware that certain areas of the trail are quite exposed and steep. If you’re considering breaking up the trail, possibly the favorite part of Silver Moccasin Trail is the last 4 miles from Mount Baden-Powell Summit to Vincent Gap. This portion has some of the best terrain, scenery, and the highest peak.
Dogs are welcome to join their two legged friends on these trails, as long as they stay leashed and on their best behavior. Make sure that you bring waste bags, and follow leave no trace principles. This trail offers a woofderful challenge, and some glorious solitude in the great outdoors that you and Fido won’t soon forget!