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San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders

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The San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders (SGMTBs) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization which performs hiking and nature trail building and maintenance within the Los Angeles Gateway District[1] of the United States Forest Service which maintains the Angeles National Forest within the San Gabriel Mountains.

The organization works closely with the United States Forest Service from which the Trailbuilders volunteers get their safety oversight and general schedule for tasks and projects which are performed during the year.


Hikers, bikers, climbers, fishers, backpackers, and other people who get their recreation within the Angeles National Forest may email the Trailbuilders when there are significant problems on trails which have not yet been identified and repaired. Such problems include dead trees down across the trail, significant erosion and washouts, excessive plant growth along the trail, or sections of trail which have otherwise disappeared or are difficult to locate.

Additionally the Trailbuilders are increasingly responsible for establishing and maintaining trail signs within the San Gabriel River Ranger District, identifying missing or damaged signs and replacing them as funds and schedule permits.

The Trailbuilders are responsible for all of the hiking and nature trails within the Crystal Lake Recreation Area, Coldbrook Campgrounds,[2] Bear Creek Trail[3] (mile post 32.4 along California State Route 39), East Fork Trail, Heaton Flats Trail (at the end of East Fork Road), and numerous other hiking and nature trails within the San Gabriel River Ranger District.

Additionally the organization is responsible for some of the trail maintenance within the Mount San Antonio (also known as Mount Baldy) area.

The organization invites High Schools, Colleges, Youth Groups, and other organizations to send volunteers to assist with trail projects during the year. Community service projects for students, Boy Scouts of America volunteers, and Eagle Scout Service Project candidates may contact the Trailbuilders to acquire information on how to participate in the trail-working efforts.

Inventory of trails maintained[edit]

Some of the hiking and nature trails which the volunteer group is responsible for include the following, however there are numerous other trails which the group maintains that are accessed from the East Fork of the San Gabriel River that are not part of this list:

Major accomplishments[edit]

  • Along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River the Trailbuilders are responsible for maintaining the trail which leads to the famous Bridge to Nowhere (San Gabriel Mountains) which includes the John Seals Bridge[4] which spans across Laurel Gulch.
  • Upper Bear Creek Trail[5] required horses, mules, and 935 pounds of Tovex explosives to repair[6]
  • Ice House Canyon[7] is one of the Trailbuilders most extensively-used trails which the organization maintains.[8]

Work schedule and joining[edit]

The Trailbuilders meet at the San Gabriel Canyon Gateway Center (located at 1960 N. San Gabriel Ave. Azusa, California 91702) on the first, third, and fifth Saturday of every month with additional work days scheduled through the Trailbuilder's mailing list.

Volunteers meet at Gateway and then leave at 8:00 a.m. To head toward the work site, work during the day, and generally return to Gateway at approximately 4:00 p.m. When the work effort is completed for the day.


The SGMTB was founded in 1984 and for the past 30 years have built trails (Mount Islip, Wawona, and many others) within the Angeles National Forest. The organization has historically maintained about 110 miles of trails within the San Gabriel Mountains.

Contact information[edit]

For emergency trail hazard reporting for issues located within the Crystal Lake Recreation Area, Mount Baldy, Big Bear, East, North and West Forks of the San Gabriel River, contact the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Office:

  • 110 N. Wabash Ave., Glendora, CA 91741
  • (626) 335-1251, Ext. 221
  • CRS (800) 735-2922 (Voice) CRS (800) 735-2929 (TDD/TTY) FAX (626) 914-3790

Related volunteer organizations[edit]


  1. ^ Los Angeles Gateway District [1] Accessed 2018-09-13
  2. ^ Coldbrook Campgrounds [2] Accessed 2013-06-26
  3. ^ Bear Creek Trail Designated Wilderness
  4. ^ John Seals Bridge [3] Accessed 2013-06-26
  5. ^ Bear Creek Trail [4] Accessed 2013-06-26
  6. ^ Bear Creek Trail Repairs [5] Accessed 2013-06-26
  7. ^ Ice House Canyon [6] Accessed 2013-06-26
  8. ^ Ice House Canyon Repairs [7] Accessed 2013-0-26
  9. ^ Sierra Madre Search & Rescue
  10. ^ West Fork Conservancy
  11. ^ Angeles Volunteer Association
  12. ^ Fisheries Resource Volunteer Corps
  13. ^ San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team

External links[edit]