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Mount Baldy Series LbNA #66233

Owner:MrOspital Contact
Plant date:Nov 17, 2013
County:Los Angeles
Location: 8401 Mt Baldy Road
Found by: Lee & Nancy (3)
Last found: Nov 17, 2013
Hike distance:Unknown
Last edited:Nov 17, 2013
Distance: 6-1/2 miles round-trip from the top of chairlift to the summit and back
Difficulty: Strenuous
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Starting elevation at the top of the chairlift: 7800 feet
High point at the summit of Mount Baldy: 10,064 feet
Fees: $5 Parking Lot, $25 fee for round-trip Chairlift ride

This leg-busting ascent to the highest point in Los Angeles County, as described, is the shortest and easiest way to the top, attainable by anyone of moderate hiking ability. Do not, however, try this trip in winter. In winter, the passage over the Devil's Backbone section of the trail is covered with snow and ice, with precipitous drops and strong winds, which can be exceedingly dangerous. In summer and fall, during good weather, there is no danger for the average hiker. Your only discomfort may be a bit of shortness of breath if like me you are not used to high altitudes.

Drive up Mt. Baldy Road in San Antonio Canyon from Claremont to the Mt. Baldy ski lift. The lift operates weekends and holidays year-round and daily when snow conditions warrant.

Cave Bear
From the top of the ski lift, follow a path easterly a few hundred feet then turn right and follow the fire road up the ridge. At the Desert View sign head uphill to the left to a large water tank. Left of it is a yellow tower to nowhere. Face the tank and look at the rear base of the second tree on the left.

Here, the trail gets a little tricky to follow. The "proper" route follows an unclear fire road to the left of the ski lift towers, which will take a few short switchbacks to climb to a ridge overlooking the Antelope Valley. I didn't realize this, and instead followed a snow fence that ascended right up a ski slope. If you think it's fun going down a ski slope, I can assure you it most definitely is not fun to hike up one. But it's a short and direct route, with some pretty impressive views of the San Bernardino Mountains to the east.

Either way the fire roads ends at the top of the second chair lift (it wasn't operating when we were there). Follow the Roller Coaster arrow up onto the Devil's Backbone Trail (so called because there are reasonably sharp drop-offs on both sides in some sections). After the first switchback look left for a large stump. In the center of the roots, remove a rock and look under a second rock (if you get to the campsite you went a little too far).

Continue on for another three quarters of a mile. When you pass a log bench and then a wonderful shade tree look for a short saddle before three pines to the left in quick succession. (If you get to a tree across the trail with the middle cut out you went a little too far). Just before the little saddle find and take the narrow trail heading back up the short peak to the right. 45 steps up you will come to a rocky outcropping on the left. Look under the lower edge under several layers of loose rock.

You're almost there so why not keep going. There is another box at the base of the last saddle before the peak. It's not mine, but I'd be happy to send you the clue if you ask. It was planted in 2002 and we were the second finders.