Mount Lawlor via Firebreak and Barley Flats Truck Trail
There is nothing moderate about this hike located in in Angeles National Forest.
The trail leaves the parking lot, crosses the road then starts up the hill. After 1 mile, the trail meets the junction with the Firebreak which climbs vertiginously up the hill straight to Lawlor Peak. That would definitely be Class III scrambling. There is an alternative to continue straight, contour around the mountain to the saddle between Strawberry and Lawlor, then turn back and climb up the ridge (which is what I ultimately did.) The trail on the west ridge is pretty clear, but there are a couple places where you have to climb a bit.
Once you reach Lawlor, the firebreak continues down the east ridge to the Burley (Hurley?) truck trail. In January 2021, as I write this, the firebreak is extremely rough, having been damaged by Caterpiller tractors fighting the recent fires. The walk down the firebreak is pretty clear and easy, but there's tons of brush and no continuous and clear trail. You hike toward a tank in the distance, and, as shown, the trail continues to a helicopter landing pad. That destination would be pretty cool to see; a helicopter was using the pad when we were hiking. When I did this, we turned right off of the firebreak when we junctioned with the Barley Truck Trail. CAVEAT: no truck ever went down this recently as it is extremely overgrown and much damage has happened including sections where the trail is just not there and you have to climb along the steep slope. I won't be doing this one again, but I'm happy to have done it once.
Once you finally reach the base of the steep firebreak and the Strawberry Peak trail, pat yourself on the back for having survived, and turn left and back down to the Parking lot.
This trail starts from the popular Red Box Picnic area. Generally the road is clear unless theres been a rainfall/snowfall event within the last day or so. Trails from this parking lot take in the southfacing slopes for Strawberry/Lawlor/Josephine which tend to be warm and dry and the north-facing slopes to San Gabriel Peak to the south which are popular with snow hikers.
Given it's popularity, starting early is recommended as the parking lot fills up. It's going to be very warm in the summer time.
You need an adventure pass to park. If you don't have one, they'll leave a reminder ticket that costs the same $5, so don't sweat it.
The trail, as shown is definitely not child-friendly. Do Strawberry. It's fun. This trail is exposed, tiring and a bit dangerous.
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There are no published trips for this hike. There are 4 private trips.
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