This past April our group decided to hike up to the summit of Mount Baldy (officially Mt. San Antonio). There are 4 ways to reach the peak. With Mt. Whitney just a few months away, we decided to challenge ourselves and take the Old Baldy Trail which is 6.4 miles long and has a gain of about 5,800 ft making it a very challenging and difficult hike.
The parking lot for this hike is located right next to the Mt. Baldy Village Church. A forest adventure pass is required.
After a quick bag check we started up Bear Canyon Rd for about .4 miles to the trailhead.
After enjoying the the sounds of the creek and sights of the cabins for .4 miles we left the paved road behind and continued on the dirt single-track trail that is Old Mt Baldy Trail. Our next destination was Bear Flat (1.8miles) here we regrouped and took a short break before continuing on for the remaining 4.6 miles.
The First 1.8 miles are the easiest…
The rest of the hike has a gain of 900 feet per mile making it very difficult. As soon as you leave Bear Flat you start to switchback up the south side of the mountain leaving you exposed to the sun , so bring a hat and pack on the sunblock! Views of Ontario Peak are all you can see from here.
After about 2 miles we hit the end of the switchbacks and continued up the ridge. This is where SoCal began to reveal itself.
If you make it here.. Just keep on going as the hardest part is now over. My favorite part of this hike(other than reaching the peak) was when we I reached the Narrows Ridge This was an Amazing experience with awesome views!
When we reached the top of the ridge my jaw dropped!
Up until here we were on a dirt trail which was easy to follow and easy to walk on.. This was a first for me.. hiking in the snow.. it sounds nice in ones head but the fact of the matter is this stuff was slushy and knee deep in some places.. With Baldy in our sights we had no choice but to fuel up and keep on trekking!
Once we hit the saddle between West Baldy and Baldy we had a choice to visit WB but we were just too drained, so we continued to the right and made the final push up to Baldy!
- 12.8 round-trip
- 6.4 miles to the top
- 900 ft of gain per mile
- 5,800 ft of gain
- 10,834 ft peak
- Tallest peak in LA
- 3rd tallest peak in So Cal
- adventure pass required
- Difficulty– Very Strenuous
- start early to beat the heat 6 or 7am
- total hike time 7-11 hours depending on pace