California hike that's JAW DROP.

I think if you continue reading you'll come to find I like hiking, A LOT. 

I feel like chicks love hiking? We're so weird hehe.

But, hear me out, I like it because:

  1. It's an activity you can do with a group, or just one other person (solo is sort of bold, you could die or get lost LOL).
  2. It's FREE.
  3. It's outside.
  4. You're seeing new shit.
  5. You can take pictures at the top with your back to the camera looking out to the distance to let everyone know you're reflective and deep hehe.
  6. Your MoViNg Ya BoDy. I love doing stuff that's like a social activity/workout.
  7. It's better than just getting mimosa buzzed at brunch then getting tired after and having to take a nap because of the sugar crash then waking up later like 'ugh my Sunday is basically over' so you just do your laundry and watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Anyway! To hike MOUNT BALDY IS TIGHT. Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, it's a trek to the summit that's considered a right of passage for all SoCal hikers (*hang loose hand sign*). 

The far-reaching panoramic views found at the exposed 10,064-foot summit attract plenty of hikers. There are two major routes to the top: The Baldy Bowl – Sky Hut Trail and the Baldy Notch – Devil’s Backbone Trail. Both hikes depart from Manker Flats and can be combined into one scenic and challenging 11.3-mile loop with 3,900 feet of elevation gain.
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Mount Baldy in the A.M. ^^

Most people camp here one night and do the loop in two days. 

Hikespeak details how to hike the loop:

  1. Park along Mount Baldy Road just past Manker Flats Campground at the bottom of Falls Road.
  2. Start hiking up the paved road toward San Antonio Falls (0.6 miles)
  3. A third of a mile past the falls, turn left up a narrow unmarked trail and hike up to the Sierra Club Ski Hut (2.6 miles)
  4. Cross Baldy Bowl and hike north up a ridge to the summit (4.5 miles)
  5. Enjoy the view from the highest summit in the San Gabriel Mountains
  6. Descend eastward down Devil’s Backbone Trail across a daunting ridge to Baldy Notch (7.8 miles)
  7. Descend the dirt road next to the operating ski lift, passing San Antonio Falls to return to the trailhead (11.3 miles)

As far as difficulty goes, I'd say this was more challenging than anything in L.A., or most in Denver (not the incline obvi), and as hard as hiking the Grand Canyon. Which was a betch but I made us do the whole thing in a day. LOL -> crazy. We did the 11.3 miles listed here at Baldy.

Different routes and starting points create a variety of lengths for hikes to Mount Baldy. The shortest hike to the summit, requiring the use of the ski lift, is 6.6 miles round trip with 2,350 feet of elevation gain and involves hiking up and back on Devil’s Backbone Trail. However, if you begin at the bottom of the mountain and hike up to Baldy Notch before crossing Devil’s Backbone Trail, that hike to the summit is 13.6 miles round trip. To complicate things further, if you do not start hiking from the trailhead shared with Baldy Bowl Trail, you can park further up at the bottom of the ski lift and use a connection trail to reach the dirt road leading to Baldy Notch, cutting out 1.2 miles of trail each way (see the Manker Flats to Baldy Notch report for more information on this variation). The trail that passes the Sierra Club Ski Hut to reach the summit is 4.5-miles long (9 miles round trip).

For hiking in CA, it's always good to check routes, bring water, bring snacks (I bring snacks when I hike/anytime I leave the apartment anyway).. There's mad experienced people on this trail so it was good to get their perspective and learn from them where to go. It's actually no joke, so start early, it will take around 4 hours in total (if you're going at a leisurely pace). 

I think these pictures are freakin' rad so if you don't want to hike you can enjoy da view! 

What did everyone do this weekend? It's fall everywhere how amazing is that? This cooler weather is the BOMB and I am so about it.

Love ya friends.

xo

Krista