Less than a month after a hiker lost their life in Eaton Canyon, a group of hikers has gone missing in the same area. The group set out at 8am Thursday morning and were expected back 8 hours later. The group was reported missing by one of the hikers’ parents Friday morning.
Eaton Canyon is located in the San Gabriel Mountains. The search for the missing hikers is being lead by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Eaton Canyon is an extremely popular hiking destination for Southern California natives, but has had more than of it’s faor share of rescues and deaths over the past few years.
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.
Trailhead at the end of Bear Canyon Rd
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.
getting higher and higher.. The Santa Ana Mountains are starting to reveal themselves!
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!
My Wife making her way up Narrows Ridge
View of Mt Baldy from Narrows Ridge
When we reached the top of the ridge my jaw dropped!
Jaw is Dropped! top of the Narrows Ridge
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!