Mount San Antonio the crown jewel of the San Gabriels Mountains. Its the only 10,000+ foot Mt in the SG Mountains. Ive summited this beast at least 15 tjmes now and have approached it from 3 different trails, The Devils backbone from Manker flats, Baldy Bowl, and Register Ridge. Bear canyon, Iron Mt Ridge and the North backbone are next on my list. Anyway baldy bowl is an amazing hike, gain is about 3,900 rt is 9 miles. I recently did this after a snow storm last week, snow was shin deep in certain places. Its a great mt to hike just about any time of the year, but of course if you plan on doing it in the winter, i suggest you hike it from the baldy bowl and not The devils backbone (unless you have crampons and an ice axe)
I hiked in with a 40lb pack, and enough provisions for 3 days on the mountain. I started at Maker Flats, and it's a steep incline all the way up. I started my hike at 3pm so by 5pm it was dark. I found and helped rescue one lost hiker who lost the trail and ended up the top of the falls, and was stuck. I was able through our headlamps talk him back up to the trail. After I hiked on up in the dark to camp the night at the Sky Hut. It was literally the first flat ground I saw where I could throw my mattress and sleeping bag and bed down for the night. It got down to about 27 degrees. I was up by 7am and pushing for the summit. I reached the summit by noon, and was on my way back down via Devils Backbone which is a much flatter and easier hike even though there are some sketchy parts where people have fallen to their death. It's a much easier exit out. My pack severely slowed me down, but it's always a good feeling to know I have everything on my person I need to survive on the mountains for days at a time if need be.
We went up Devils Backbone and down Baldy Bowl... sort of. We went right and ended up above the Waterfall, I knew the trail was to the left, so we just cut left and we were alright. But the newbies that were with us had a rough time hiking down. - TRAIL is NOT MARKED and it is very easy to go wrong. Why it's not marked is a mystery. The rescue helicopters must surely know this? They circle overhead as other hikers were lost too.
So, if you want to try this steeper trail, I suggest going up this way and down the other. And the trail head UP is also NOT marked and easy to miss. But at least you wont end up on top of the Waterfall!
I love this trail!!! Scenery to the ski hut is gorgeous ! The trail is challenging and fun... A lot of inclines!! Didn't have enough time to make it all the way to the summit. This hike is pretty challenging. I have stuck with long moderate hikes. I thought I was ready for harder hikes but this one kicked my butt!! But I can't wait to hike all the way to the summit!!
This way up to the peak totally kicks your butt! It's such a great workout. The beginning is difficult and then about 30 minutes in it gets a lot easier. Past the Ski Hut it gets hard again. Be careful in the snow if you don't know the trail well. It can be very hard to follow.
Hiked the Ski Hut/Baldy Bowl trail on 9/3/16. Take plenty of water, its uphill the whole way and pretty strenuous. The views at the top are amazing. I was very grateful for my hiking poles on the way down, and make sure you have shoes with very good tread.