Mount Baldy, California

Hike Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy) via the Ski Hut Trail

11.3 Miles Total - 3900 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Charlie Jasper

Enjoy this total and absolute change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. You'll need an adventure pass. This challenging hike will lead past a waterfall, a natural spring and amazing scenery. Make sure your gear is in good condition before you go.

Mt. San Antonio, or Mt. Baldy as it is known locally, is one of the cans of the challenging "six-pack of peaks" in Southern California.

For this one, start before the Manker campground and head up the fire road. This is known as the "Baldy Bowl or Ski-Hut Trail". You'll see some cabins on your left and will approach a steadily flowing, spring-fed waterfall. Take the turn, and then hit the dirt road, and turn left to go up the Sierra Club Ski-Hut Trail. Keep going up, and break at the hut for lunch. After your break, strike out and walk across the trail to another ascent, and walk up the switchbacks and towards the next ridge and keep going up.

There are a few slightly different routes you can take to get to the top (some shorter/ some longer) as well as jumping on the ski lifts to cut the elevation gain and mileage significantly, so know your limits and what you can handle. Note, this hike, because of its strenuousness and altitude, are not good for people who get altitude sick in airplanes, or who have anxiety. These two factors could cause significant delay to your trip and may create a dangerous situation for everyone.

Once you get to the top, catch your breath, as the view will take it away, and head down the Devil's Backbone to the ski lifts and lodge. At the lodge, you can replenish your water and rest your feet and either take the lifts down, or walk down another mile or so.

When you descend you head eastward and take the Devil's Backbone trail and across a semi-sketchy ridge known as the Baldy Notch. Past this is a dirt road (next to the ski lift) that will take all the way back down passing San Antonio Falls and back to the trailhead.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Epic Hike

This hike is one of the most challenging hikes I have done, But it’s worth it.

Mt. Baldy in Spring

This trail was awesome in spring! I went up via the Devil's Backbone trail which was an awesome hike right through the ridge. At an elevation of about 8500', the clouds and the fog start rolling in, giving it an eerie but amazing feel. The incline right before you peak is quite steep and on loose rocks which can be a bit difficult but just take it slow. I would totally recommend doing this hike in spring. In addition, the parking off the road near Manker campground is free if there is no snow present (if there is snow, you need an adventure pass). The trail head is right off that road.

Challenging Yet Rewarding

Mt. Baldy is one of the most challenging hikes i've ever done, and my first ever peak out of the 6 pack of peaks in the Los Angeles area. I highly recommend doing this hike early, so you'll have plenty of time to rest in between. Be careful when doing this hike during winter, since there have been deaths caused by slipping on the icy trail.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Valyermo, California

Lake Campground

Valyermo, California

Mountain Oak

Azusa, California

Jackson Flats

Nearby Adventures

Hike Timber Mountain

9.4 Miles Round Trip - 3400 ft gain

Summit Cucamonga Peak

12 Miles Round Trip - 4300 ft gain

Hike to the Icehouse Saddle

7.2 Miles Round Trip - 2600 ft gain

Summit Mt. Baldy

13 Miles Round Trip - 6000 ft gain

Win a Vacation Getaway to Santa Cruz!

Experience all Santa Cruz County has to offer this season! Enter to win a customized “Let’s Cruz” vacation getaway and choose from an array of activities to enhance your visit. 

Grand prize includes a 2-night stay at a three-bedroom condo at Pajaro Dunes Resort, a $150 “Capitola Dine & Shop Experience” gift certificate in Capitola Village, a Craftbar Experience at Annieglass Studios for four guests, four tickets to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and four tickets to Roaring Camp Railroads.

Customize your “Let’s Cruz” vacation package entry by selecting four activities below to include outdoor adventure, dining, beer and wine tasting, family fun, spa treatments, and relaxation.