Mount San Antonio Mount Baldy Notch Trail is a 9.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mt Baldy, CA that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
A strenuous 9.5 mile loop hike with nearly 4,000 feet of vertical elevation gain to the 10,068' summit of Baldy. Any Southern Californian can point out the white topped Mt. Baldy - actually it's real name is Mt. San Antonio. Baldy is a SoCal icon that stands out boldly as a snow-covered backdrop for much of the year. At 10,068 feet above sea level, the snow often sticks around well into June. This loop begins at the Manker Flats trailhead (National Parks Adventure Pass required), taking the winding fire road up Baldy Notch, then hiking the Devil's Backbone to the summit. The return route takes you down via the steep Baldy Bowl trail, passing the Sierra Club Ski Hut and San Antonio Falls on the way back to Manker Flats. This is the third of six southern California summits in the 6-Pack of Peaks bundle. Done in sequence, they provide great training anyone preparing for bigger hikes such as Mt. Whitney or Half Dome. Each hike in the 6-Pack is progressively higher in altitude, and all have respectable distance and vertical elevation gain. When you're at Baldy Notch, there are several paths that head towards Mt. Baldy (none of the marked). DO NOT take the far left path. That will take you to the foot of the Turkeyshoot ski run. It may be the most direct, but your legs will never forgive you for going up that run. Another hiker on the Notch recommended the far right path to have a more gentle incline, but I didn't take it, so I can't tell you how it is. No matter how you get there, though, all of the trails take you to Devil's Backbone, which leads you to Baldy. It's not so bad before the final ascent, but there are places where both sides of the trail drop away, and you could get some vertigo, if you're prone to it. But the ascent is the real butt-kicker. When you round Mt. Harwood and head for Baldy, the rest of your path is brutal and relentless. I had to count my steps just to get up to the top (I might've also been hit with some mild altitude sickness, so be ready for that at 9-10,000'). The views at the top are incredible, and there's wind-breaks other folks have constructed out of stones, so you can take a breather behind one of those if it's too gusty. From there, you have your pick of ways down, either back the way you came, down the Baldy Bowl/Ski Hut trail, or the Bear Canyon trail. Good luck, and make sure to check when the ski lift closes, if you plan to take it back.
it's hard for people whit out experience on hiking( like me) but very nice view and so much fun.
Nice challenging loop. I like it better when my wife does it with me and I carry her the last half up
Great hike for the average hiker looking to advance their hiking skills. Took us just under 7 hours. We hiked about 12 miles total. Get there early! It gets very busy.
Freakin amazing. Nuff said
The Big M.
Good climb, get there early, it gets crowded quick. Oh, and people, if your dog barks incessantly at every human being they see, please leave them at home; this isn't the trail for them.
Hike was great, was first Hike ive ever done and yes its a "real" hike but totally worth it.
Really cool trail. Good workout going uphill. Great food at the notch too!
Did the loop but from register ridge up. The ridge is steep and fairly unrelenting till you reach backbone trail. Went up and did Mt Harwood as well (it's right there so why not). Had a full pack as I was planning on sleeping on the summit but a severe wind advisory was blowing 60knots at the summit from the west so I decided to bail and ran down baldy bowl after snaping a few crazy cloud bust photos from Baldy summit. Note: for Baldy bowl when descending rule of thumb is always stay to the left, lots of false trails that head down will lead you cliffy loose scree/dirt areas towards the falls. Fun trail
Definitely a challenge once you are on the backbone, but very rewarding once you've reached the top. The first part of the hike to the ski lodge was easy with beautiful views. That in itself was worth it. However, after the ski lodge is when the real challenge begins until you reach the end. So it is about 3.5 miles of strenuous hiking at an incline. Definitely train for this hike beforehand and take snacks and lunch. Some people stayed to camp out at the summit which seemed like a great idea. I may do that next time, but also be aware that winds can be a bit high at the peak. I'd recommend bringing a sweater as well as it's known to get cooler at the peak :)
A tough, yet rewarding hike in an easily accessible area for LA and Orange County. The trail overall is pretty exposed, especially on the Devil's Backbone portion. I recommend doing the trail counterclockwise instead of the direction the trail points you in this map where the climb is not as steep.
Awesome hike; started at 7:30 AM and was at the summit about 11:10 AM. Then hike to the ski lift and down to parking. About 11 miles total. Unreal vistas and lots of fellow hikers, which I like to see. I would recommend for sure. Make sure you prepare a little and bring some Gu Energy Gel. You'll need it as you approach the summit.
Clockwise up Ski Hut trail to summit in just over three hours. Lots of awesome pictures. Look for the 1950's plane wreckage to the west about 3/4's way up. Very few hikers at summit on Tuesday morning. Down Devil's BB to the Notch for a Snickers, then back to Manker. Hooked up with "Jerry" at ski hut and hiked to summit with him. Amazing trail that needs to be enjoyed instead of just completed.
Great hike! Went the fire road to Devils backbone. Will try it again clockwise next trip! Just under 5hrs for the loop, feelin it now!
Beware: the directional point used on this trail description doesn't take you to the parking for the trail, but generally nearest to icehouse canyon trailhead, which is NOT where you want to begin for this hike. Also there's no service once you get in this area so plan ahead and note clearly that where you want to start is the parking near San Antonio Falls.