Mt. Baldy, or Mt San Antonio as it's officially known, is perhaps the number one peak in SoCal. Baldy is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains as well as in LA County, and it provides panoramic views from the picturesque 10,065 ft summit. There are a few different trails, which you can take to the summit, and you can choose to go on your feet or on a mountain bike.
What Makes It Great
The Mt. Baldy loop trail is comprised of two routes: the Devil’s Backbone Trail and the Ski Hut Trail. This difficult 11.3-mile loop requires a challenging 4,000 ft elevation gain. During the summer, this route is very exposed and can be exceptionally hot, while in the winter, dangerous winter conditions like snow storms and high winds have been known to occur; extreme caution should always be taken.
Mt Baldy is a goal for outdoor enthusiasts of many different schools of activity.
Hikers from all over Southern California want to bag this peak. Backpackers love to include this peak in their route, and typically choose to camp near the trailhead at the Manker Flats or at the San Antonio Ski Hut.
Who is Going to Love It
No matter what you choose, summiting Mt. Baldy via the Mount Baldy Notch Loop Trail is the perfect option for anybody looking for a big challenge with stunning views as a reward.
Experienced mountain bikers continue to test their stamina on the grueling Devil's Backbone climb.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The trail begins at the Manker Flats trailhead.
Things to keep in mind:
- You'll need to display your National Forest Service Adventure Pass in the window of your car; you can obtain this pass ahead of time online or at Forest Ranger Stations.
- If you don't feel up to the whole climb, there's a ski lift you can take, which cuts off about 1,500ft of elevation gain.
- If you're mountain biking, make sure you're extra prepared. It's a tough, tough workout. You'll be hauling your bike some of the way. And you should wear full protective gear because there's potential for big falls.