Past Meetup

Smith Mountain Via Bear Creek Trail and Go Down To Bear Creek For Lunch

This Meetup is past

22 people went

Smith Mountain Trailhead

Highway 39 · Azusa, CA

How to find us

San Gabriel Canyon Road (Route 39), San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Azusa, CA 91702

Location image of event venue


Organizer: James

Location: Azusa, CA

Hike difficulty: Level 6/10

Distance: 9 miles (out and back)

Elevation Gain: 2800'

Time: 5-6 hours

Trail condition: mostly single file trail, no shade

Water: You must carry a minimum of 2 liters.

Guest: no

Dog: no

Weather report: Smith Mountain Weather Report (

Toilette: at the trailhead

Adventure Pass: Required


What to Bring: Hat, hiking poles, sunscreen, energy bar, lunch, snacks, and water. Please review US Hiking Day Hike Equipment List (

Direction: From Interstate 210 in Azusa, take Azusa Avenue (Hwy. 39) north 18.2 miles (6.2 miles past East Fork Road). (If you reach Coldbrook Campground, you have gone 0.3 miles too far.) to the parking area along the left side of the road. You will see this sign.

Parking: Road side parking near trailhead

Carpool: Sing up carpool here (


Please Chip In:

US Hiking is a social group for hikers. Our events are organized like house parties. Like a regular house party, it costs money to host one. It is customary for guests to help out any way they can to lessen burden on the host. That is the same for hikes. You can bring food, provide carpool or chip in to help out.

Suggested Event Contribution: $ 7 (Chip in link) (


Venue Overview:

Come and join us on a scenic and fun hike to Smith Mountain. We will meet at Highway 39 and Smith Mountain Trailhead. The first three miles of the hike are a pleasant walk from the trailhead at Highway 39 to Smith Saddle (4360') on a well-designated single track trail that gains only 333 feet per mile.

Our last half mile to the summit is a grueling 820-foot climb up a steep firebreak and boulder studded ridge. That fire break is much different, though – a sometimes nearly-vertical scramble/climb through use-trail and brush on ground that can sometimes be pretty loose. Use caution here and take your time – there are plenty of rock handholds, but it’s easy to psych yourself out in a situation like this.

After a bit of scrambling, we will reach a small false summit, but the true summit will be clearly visible and most of the tough scrambling is now behind you. Hike confidently to the peak, look for the register near the USGS marker and take in your (hopefully non-cloudy) summit vista. Next we will have lunch at the peak. Then we will return home the same way we came.

This splendid peak sits at the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains on the ridge dividing Bear Creek canyon in the rugged San Gabriel Wilderness and North Forth Fork San Gabriel River. Its pointed summit provides an amazing 360 degree panorama.

To the south, the San Gabriel Mountains taper off toward the San Gabriel Valley. To the west Bear Creek Canyon is cradled by Twin Peaks and Mount Waterman. Mount Islip rises to the north beyond a neighboring summit on the ridge north of Smith Saddle. Mount Hawkins looms to the northeast, and to the east is the most recognizable snowcapped peak, Mount Baldy.

We will hike down to Bear Creek in the wilderness for lunch If the trail is safe to travel. We will hike up to the same trail which is about 800' gain.


Our Policy:

Profile photo: Anyone interested in joining US Hiking must have a profile photo showing his/her face. This is a requirement of our group. Without it, you will not be allowed to sign up for an event.

Waiting list priority: People who hike with with US Hiking regularly will be given priority when they are on the waiting list.

Advanced hikes: Anyone interested in participating in advanced hikes (>3,000' elevation gain or distance > 10 miles or Difficulty Level > = 7) will be subject to prescreening before his/her name will be added to the list. Therefore, interested hiker must share with the event host his/her recent hiking background to establish proficiency before his/her name will be added to the list.

Early departure: If a hiker needs to be separated from the group for any reason, he/she must inform the event host. Not knowing a hiker's where about may prompt the event host to report a hiker's missing to proper authority for further actions.

No show: If you sign up for an event but did not show up, you will be removed from the next event you sign up.

No minor: Meetup user agreement can not be agreed to by a minor. Therefore, you and your guest must be over 18 to participate in our events.

No drug: Zero tolerance for all illegal drug use.



If you have prior medical condition or a family history of illnesses pertaining to heart, lungs, brain, etc. that can be aggravated by heat and physical exertion, this is not the hike for you.

If you have never done a hike of this distance or difficulty before, this hike will be very difficult for you. It may well be your death march. The mountain is not going anywhere. We will schedule this event again in the future. Do it when your mind and body are ready.

Hiking is a recreation, not a suicide mission.

Release of Liability:

The organizer (me) of this trip is a volunteer and is not a professional guide. The function of the organizer is only to organize this trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/hike/or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests.

By signing up for this trip, or any other event organized by me, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the organizer (me) of this hike from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.

This group, its organizer, assistant organizers, event organizers are not responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur carpooling to and from this event, or for any injuries or accidents incurred before, during, and after this event. If you sign up or participate in this event you acknowledge that you freely and voluntarily agree to assume all risks of injuries and damages arising from, as a result of and associated with this event.

In addition, you and your guests are acknowledging that you agree to the Meetup terms of service especially paragraph 6.2: