Designed as a tour that covers a representative range of microclimates and diverse hiking experiences in Angeles National Forest, my 12-Peak Challenge is fundamentally about personal exploration. Each peak is approachable by a minimum of six different starting points (I’ve personally reached each peak by at least three) and can be accessed by a significant range of distances (I’ve used thirteen different routes ranging from 3.2 miles and 520′ of gain to 20.6 miles and 6,563′ of gain to reach Mt. Lowe). For peaks you haven’t been to, just go and see something new. For those peaks you’ve visited before, think about choosing a different route or going at a different time to gain a new perspective. Read my blog post to learn more about why I chose these specific peaks.
To complete the challenge, hike to each peak listed below any way you want, separately or in combination, as end destinations or stopping spots along a longer hike within a year of starting the challenge. Aside from a few short walks of less than a mile each on pavement, the peaks are connected by less than 100 miles of trail and could conceivably be trail run over a single day by endurance runners who participate in various 100-mile races including the AC100. Long connected thru-hiking options can also be section hiked or backpacked. Alternatively, this challenge could be completed over 12 separate day hiking trips covering as little mileage as possible. At a minimum, this year I will both section hike one route that connects all the peaks and I will complete a separate day hike to each peak along a different route than I have personally done before.
I’ve created a registry that will be updated periodically with a list of names of those who officially complete this challenge (through the honor system and public postings). As a way of saying thanks to official finishers, one of their public social media account names (if they desire) will also appear next to their name on the registry page.
To participate officially, fill out the form below to get started and I will e-mail you back (within a couple weeks–I might be out of town) with a short questionnaire for you to return to me when you complete the challenge. In addition, publicly post when you complete each hike via one of the two options below.
Option 1: If you have a public social media account (e.g. Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook), post a photo from each challenge hike you complete along with the hashtag #HAF12peaks and list the peak (or peaks) you completed on your hike. Also, if you take a route that I haven’t taken (my list is on each of the peak pages linked below), please consider adding the hashtag #newroute and describing the route you took.
Option 2: If you don’t have a public social media account or don’t want to use it, use the peak pages listed below as a registry and in the comments post your name, date you completed the hike, and the route you took. If you hike multiple peaks on one day hike, post your hike under each peak. Please don’t include links or photos in the comment sections of the peak pages (I think my spam filter won’t allow those to post and I don’t check my spam folder).
The 12 peaks are listed in the links provided below. The links lead to Information pages for each peak which includes a list of routes I’ve hiked to reach each peak, photos, and other information depending on the peak. These pages will be updated continually and are the pages I mentioned in option 2 above.
- Echo Mountain, elevation 3,207′.
- Mt. Lowe, elevation 5,607′.
- San Gabriel Peak, elevation 6,161′.
- Vetter Mountain, elevation 5,908′.
- Mt. Hillyer, elevation 6,162′.
- Mt. Waterman, elevation 8,038′.
- Winston Peak, elevation 7,502′.
- Mt. Williamson, elevation 8,214′
- Mt. Islip, elevation 8,250′.
- Throop Peak, elevation 9,138′.
- Mt. Baden-Powell, elevation 9,399′.
- Mt. Baldy, elevation 10,064′.
Get started today by signing up below. Please don’t add any links in the form below because all e-mail sent from the form is automatically scanned for spam and I probably won’t see it.