Mt. Baldy view from the Puente Hills, California

Coyote/Skyline/Nature Oak Loop (Puente Hills)

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  • Location: Hacienda Heights. From the 60 Freeway, take the 7th St. exit and go south for 0.7 miles to its end at Orange Grove. Park in the lot on the south side of Orange Grove. Note that the lot is small with only a few spaces, so you may have to park on the street. Foothill Transit bus routes 281 and 282 have a stop just north of the 60 Freeway, less than a mile from the trail head.
  • Agency: Habitat Authority
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1,100 feet
  • Suggested time: 2.5 hours
  • Difficulty Rating: PG-13 (Elevation gain, steepness)
  • Best season: September – May
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash (exercise caution on warm days)
  • Cell phone reception: Good for most of the route; weak to fair in some spots
  • Water: None
  • Restrooms: Chemical toilet at the trail head
  • Camping/backpacking: None
  • Recommended gear: hiking poles; sun hat
  • More information: Trail map here; Map My Hike report here; trip description (slightly different route) here; Hacienda Hills Yelp page here
  • Rating: 5

Updated February 2019

The Puente Hills might not be one of L.A.’s top hiking destinations, but they offer a variety of scenic and challenging hikes that are popular with locals. This loop explores the north-facing slopes above Hacienda Heights and features panoramic views and quiet, oak-shaded canyons. With two major ascents, this route also offers a good workout.

From the 7th Ave. trail head, head uphill for a quarter mile on either the dirt road or the single-track running alongside. Pick up the single-track Coyote Trail branching off on the left by the information board. The trail, open to hikers only, ascends a series of switchbacks, quite steeply at times. As you climb, you get a good look at the canyons below; you may pick out your return route, the Native Oak Trail on the opposite ridge.

At about 1.5 miles from the start, having gained 650 feet, you merge with the Skyline Trail. Although the view to the south is blocked by an unattractive barbed wire fence, this level stretch will be welcome after the climbing. To the north are view of Mt. Baldy that are impressive despite the ubiquitous power lines. Almost immediately you pass the upper end of the Ahwingna Trail, an option if you want to cut the hike short (your return route as described here will take you back to the trail head from a lower point on this same trail.)

At 2.1 miles from the start, pick up the Native Oak Trail. You climb briefly to a knoll where you can now enjoy unobstructed views of Baldy before beginning the descent. You can shorten the hike by 0.3 mile by taking the Puma Trail, which heads off to the right. This western section of the Native Oak trail is quite attractive though as it descends into a thickly shaded canyon where the sights and sounds of nearby civilization are nearly forgotten.

After passing the lower end of the Puma Trail, the Native Oak Trail bends back to the west and re-enters the shaded canyon. At about 3.8 miles from the start, you begin the next major ascent, picking up about 400 feet over a series of switchbacks. At the top, you rejoin the Ahwingna Trail. Head left and follow it downhill half a mile to the junction with the Coyote Trail and then retrace your steps north back to the trail head.

Coyote Trail, Hacienda Heights, CA
Start of the Coyote Trail
Coyote Trail, Puente Hills, CA
Ascending the Coyote Trail
Native Oak Trail, Hacienda Heights, CA
Start of the Native Oak Trail
Native Oak Trail, Hacienda Heights, CA
Lower end of the Native Oak Trail
Native Oak Trail, Hacienda Heights, CA
Afternoon sun on the Native Oak Trail
Mt. Baldy as seen from the Hacienda Hills
View of Mt. Baldy from the upper end of the Native Oak Trail
Ahwingna Trail, Puente Hills, CA
Junction with the Ahwingna Trail
Ahwingna Trail, Puente Hills, CA
Descending the Ahwingna Trail back to the trail head

Text and photography copyright 2019 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

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