Skyline Trail, Puente Hills, CA

Skyline Trail: Hacienda Road to Schabarum Park

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Skyline Trail: Hacienda Road to Schabarum Park

  • Location: La Habra Heights, on the corner of Skyline Drive and Hacienda Road.  From the 60 freeway, take the Hacienda Road exit and head south for 2.8 miles.  Take a left onto Skyline Drive and park on the dirt shoulder where available.
  • Agency: Habitat Authority/L.A. County Parks
  • Distance: 4.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 550 feet
  • Suggested time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty rating: PG
  • Best season: Year round but hot during the summer
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash (exercise caution on warm days)
  • Cell phone reception: Good at the trail head; weak to fair for most of the route
  • Water: None
  • Camping/backpacking: None
  • More information: Map my hike report here; trail map here
  • Rating: 4

Originally posted May 2011; updated February 2018

The Skyline Trail in Hacienda Heights is a segment of the longer Schabarum Trail, the main route through the Puente Hills. This post describes a moderate hike from Skyline Drive to the western end of Schabarum Regional Park. Unfortunately, power lines and radio antennas dominate the scenery for much of the route and there’s also a disappointing amount of trash and graffiti but despite these drawbacks, this is still a good hike to consider if you are in the area, providing an appreciable amount of distance and elevation gain for a workout and also furnishing some scenic views of the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Gabriel Valley, Orange County and the South Bay.

The hike begins with a steady, winding ascent on a fire road, climbing about 300 feet in 0.8 mile. Here, you reach an alternate trail head at the end of a residential street, Punta del Este. A fire break heads up the hill to the south, leading to a view point.

The Skyline/Schabarum Trail continues east, briefly dropping before climbing to a paved service road below the KOCE-TV transmission towers, about 1.3 miles from the  start. On the opposite side of the service road, you enter Schabarum Regional Park and come to a “Y” junction, the start of the 1.5-mile loop portion of this hike. The Purple Sage Trail (right) and Schabarum Trail (left) respectively follow the south and north sides of the ridge, providing views of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains on one side and the San Gabriels on the other. The trails are connected by the unsigned but obvious Buena Vista Trail, which runs along the eastern edge of a 1,416-foot knoll (the highest point in the eastern section of the Puente Hills). Here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the lower section of Schabarum Regional Park and if you have time and energy, you can explore further into the park, keeping in mind that however far you go, you will have to climb back up to this same spot.

After completing the loop in either direction, return to the junction by the KOCE-TV towers and retrace your steps back to your starting point.

Skyline Trail, Puente Hills, CA
Southwest view from the Skyline Trail
Skyline Trail, Puente Hills, CA
Looking northwest from the Skyline Trail
Schabarum Trail, Puente Hills, CA
Schabarum Trail
Schabarum Trail, Puente Hills, CA
Sunlight through oaks, Schabarum Trail

Text and photography copyright 2018 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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