Past Meetup

Bandido Country - Chilao Campground to Mt. Hillyer

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Saturday April 2, 2016 - (Bandido Country) Hike from the Chilao Campground area to Mt. Hillyer and the Silver Mocassin Trail

Distance: 8 miles, Round trip

Gain: ~ 1000'

Rating: Moderate


The trail head is located in the Chilao Picnic Area, across the street from the Chilao Visitor Center. We start on the Silver Moccasin Trail surrounded by a pine and cedar forest.

At the Horse Flats fork we turn left passing the Horse Flats campgrounds. The well traveled trail climbs a gentle slope with just a few switchbacks to the top of Mt. Hillyer. A century ago this was bandido country (the notorious Tiburcio Vasquez and his gang of horse thieves utilized Chilao and Horse Flats when they were not hanging out at Vasquez rocks, near Acton). The great boulders we will pass served as a fortress for the bandits and today these same boulders serve as a great location for rock climbers.

More about the bandido and his Chilao connection:

From the round top of Mt. Hillyer, we will be rewarded with nice views that I am sure the bandits used to their advantage. We will follow the ridge line to Rosenita Saddle were we turn right on a paved road and follow it to the turn off to Bandido group campsite.

At the back of the campsite we will hook-up with the Silver Moccasin Trail again turning right and heading back to Chilao Picnic Area.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley:

Meet at Towsley Canyon in the front parking lot at 7:15 AM for a 7:30AM SHARP departure, arrangements for carpooling will be made here.

Please be respectful of your driver's support by contributing something at the end of your carpool to help defray the cost of gas.

Directions to trail head: From the 210 FRWY exit at Angeles Crest Highway 2 North. Follow the Angeles Crest Highway towards the mountains for 27 miles (est). Make a left turn at the Chilao Visitor Center that is just pass the parking location for Devils Canyon trail head. Follow the signs to the picnic area parking lot.

Meet your Leader: By the first set of bathrooms at the trail head ~ 8:45AM, We will depart up the trail at 9:00AM SHARP.

Bring: Lots of water (2-3L), some Electrolytes like Gatorade, a hat, sunscreen, a snack and hiking poles if you have them. Good shoes with tread are a must - no flip flops or tennis shoes please.

Adventure Pass: Yes , 1/car. Available at Acton Ranger Station, the Little Tujunga station, REI Nothridge, Sport Chalet, Stevenson Ranch ($5 a day/ $30 a year) or any other Ranger Station.

Dogs: OK, if on a leash and well-behaved with other dogs / people carrying poles. If you bring your dog, please drive yourself.

Leader: Dave