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About 40 min away Map
19 hours ago

Great place to hike!!!
We accidentally did the difficult course but was worth the reward at the end.
Warning for rattlesnakes. Some hikers reported one 30ft away from us on the trail but was gone by the time we arrived......phew!!!! Some narrow, sketchy areas on the tail end of the trail.

Hiked up Ski Hut / Baldy bowl and down Devil's Backbone loop Sunday March 18th.

Left at 7:15AM, arrived at Ski hut at 9am, and summited around 11am. We contemplated descending the ski hut trail, or completing the loop down Devil's Backbone. After talking with several people on the summit who hiked up the backbone, we decided on the backbone. We were lucky to have great weather and a solid path in front of us the entire day. We got the job done in our micro spikes but obviously preferred with crampons. There were certainly a couple sections where you want to be extremely cautious along the backbone, and most likely avoid after a storm or it's too cold / icy.

We stopped by the lodge for celebratory beers and ended back at the starting point around 2:30pm.

Overall this climb was far more impressive than I was expecting. The entire hike was beautiful. It's awesome to have this mountain only an hour from the beach.

I'd definitely recommend going with someone who is familiar with the route or experienced in the mountains if you decide to do the bowl or backbone on the ascent/descent in the winter. Shoot for a day with a great weather window as it will eliminate alot of the risk variables.

The sun didn't hit the mountain hard until noon, which then we observed several rock and ice fall as the mountain came alive. Try to be on your descent in the early afternoon.

Awesome hike. 5 Stars!

It's 6 dollars to pay or if you're okay walking further you can park in the neighborhood for free. Hike is pretty short, maybe 15-30 minutes, but mostly uphill to the waterfall. Just stay on the main path, there's a ton of side trails that don't really lead anywhere. Waterfall is super small and there's not enough water to swim in.
I went on a Saturday and there weren't a ton of people, but if you can go when no one is there its super quiet and peaceful.
Be safe, God bless.

Nice views ! Great place to bring your dog

Beautiful after a rainy day! Will definitely come back.

Beautiful views and very peaceful!

After the long walk, you’ll get to some signs and that’s when the real hike begins- so much fun!

I’ve done this hike multiple times and the last two times I’ve thought as I walked all the way back to my car how boring this trail is.

Besides the boulder scrambling portion & waterfall, this hike really sucks and is boring. It’s definitely a full body workout when you’re scrambling up the rocks but that portion is just too far and too boring to get to. Maybe I’ve been here too many times

This hike was great!! I took my golden on a Wednesday. Only ran into a few people on the trails. It’s amazing how much canopy there is so close to LA. I needed that!

Really fun trail. Lots of rocks and boulder so I highly recommend boots and some good socks. Not heavily traffic cause it is a lil tough. Recommend starting early too.

Lots of scrambling and light bouldering to make your way up. No water in the creeks or waterfall right now but still a fun experience! Will be back.

Trail was closed today due to maintenance/weather

It’s great view at the entry . We were there in the early morning. It is very refreshing. Unfortunately, the waterfall is not running.

On March 10, hiked up Ski Hut / Baldy Bowl and down Devil’s Backbone to the Notch, about 7.5 miles total. Took the chairlift down the rest of the way. The hike itself took 4 hours and 3min, but I set a very aggressive pace for myself due to time constraints. The first three miles up to just beyond the ski hut took 1h20min, the next 1.5 miles up to the summit took 1h20min (this segment abolutely kicked my butt) and the summit down to the Notch took 1h25min. I set out from Manker Flats at 5:22am (with a headlamp as it was not yet twilight) and got to the Notch at 9:26am. The trail was mostly clear of snow and ice for the first three miles. Microspikes were necessary for most of the upper section to the summit due to ice and snow particularly in the steep section beginning about 1/2 mile after the hut. I had downloaded a route into my Garmin watch, which was very helpful (read: necessary) because there are sections between the hut and the summit where it would be very easy to lose the trail. Hiking down Devil’s Backbone was a little scary in parts due to ice and snow along the precipitous drop-offs, however there was enough ground exposed so that I could easily identify and avoid the snow cornices. It is a little hairy right at the western entrance to the Backbone section as there is a lot of snow wedged in the corner next to a fairly steep dropoff. Overall it is a very fun and pretty challenging hike, with amazing views and spectacular scenery along the whole route. Well worth it, but this time of year use caution and tread carefully along precipitous sections of the Devil’s Backbone trail; and be prepared - I would recommend microspikes and trekking poles for the hairy parts, and also bring some layers because there can be very significant changes in temperature at the different elevations and much wind chill at the summit.

Great time. Snow on the ground made it that much more enjoyable. Did the whole loop and Needed crampons for sure to help with the sliding around.

We used this as a trial run with our gear this past Sunday. wonderful amounts of vegetation on the lower trail. lots of little crossings that are very easy. because of the recent rain they're lots of fallen trees and loose dirt on certain sections. was a wonderful day to hike up make lunch n hike out. get there early or add a mile to your hike from parking.

This place is great for family hikes, easy and fun for kids...one big main trail and small fun rigid trails cut through it.

I was surprised by the lower part of the loop: lots of water...creek crossings, pools, etc. Very nice. Plan on doing an out and back to Mt. Zion sometime soon via lower WC trail. Looks like it is about 6 miles RT.

14 days ago

Review is for Black Star FALLS trail- starting at the sign (not the canyon’s fire road). As others stated, be prepared for boulders and rocks for a majority of the hike. I hike every weekend and found this trail to be very challenging simply due to climbing over rocks, trying to not fall in water and avoiding poison oak all around. I’m short which required me to use a lot of balance and upper body strength to get up and over the boulders. There were younger hikers who found this hike to be moderate (but definitely not concerned about how much it would suck if they scraped a leg or twisted an ankle which could EASILY happen and did happen to people I saw on the trail. Lots of scrapes and bruises.).

As for attire, I wore trail runners which worked fine. Hiking boots would have been best for ankle support and stability over the rocks. Wear long pants since there’s poison oak everywhere, especially at ankle height. Wear shoes with good traction since it is muddy and very slippery. Luckily, my leggings didn’t tear but I would’ve been better off with jeans or thicker pants (When you’re short, you end up boosting and sliding over boulders since you don’t have height to step up. I was paranoid all the rock sliding was going to tear a hole in the seat of my pants.)

The scenery is ok and is best in early spring after HEAVY rainfall. I did this hike once in late spring and it was miserably hot and dry with no water. It’s too bad there is so much trash and graffiti. Hence, the lower rating. (Spotted 3 different undies; smh)

Watch for the orange ties in the trees and blue arrows on rocks to guide the way. When you get half way up and spot a small sign covered in graffiti next to a rusted bike, the trail comes to a Y, turn left and follow the creek bed. Going straight will lead you to a disappointing dead end.

Hi all! I hiked through mud, bouldered the amazing rocks to the dry waterfall round trip in roughly 4.5 hours. Unfortunately, the waterfall is currently dry despite the recent rain. It will take a LOT more rain in order for this waterfall to come back.

15 days ago

We go hiking every weekend and have done a lot of trails, this trail by far is my favorite. First couple of miles is really easy road, and trail then you hit the trailhead and the fun begins. It’s a challenge a lot of rock climbing and maneuvering your way through massive boulders but it’s totally worth it. We will definitely do this one again.

Not a bad hike. Good weather and nice views. Can be a bit hazy at the Zion vista. The portion from the falls through the flats is fairly crowded. The rest of the train was only moderately trafficked. The trail markings are fairly poor and it is easy to make a wrong turn in the areas near the falls at 2 junctures.

15 days ago

Loved the trail!! Great for small kids and pets. Rest area with bench tables and restroom is available at the beginning of the trail. Recommend bringing your own paper or wipes and restroom not in the best condition (door doesn’t lock).
Took additional trail (Sunset Ridge Trail) on other side with amazing views overlooking Downtown LA. Other trails connect on top of Sunset trail if you have extra time and energy.

This was one of the most difficult hikes I’ve taken in a long time. Most of the hike you walk up a muddy path (2 miles) until you reach the Black Star Falls Trail sign. From there, it’s straight bouldering! Intense rock climbing experience, you definitely need to be a bit flexible for this one. When we got to the top of the falls, there was no water, but it was still amazing. Happy to say I conquered it!

Gets busy in the chantry flats - leave early for the hike

How do you go when it’s closed , is there security/cops that’s there watching?

Some challenging grades at the beginning of the trail. Views of the ocean and Laguna Beach at the top were nice. Second half of trail not a lot to see but a nice peaceful walk. No shade so I’m guessing it can get pretty hot in the summer! Bring a hat!

This loop is actually 9.5 miles!

19 days ago

We got so lucky to experience this majestic waterfall with lots of snow. Best part was that it was the easiest and shortest hike on a paved road for most of the trail.

Beautiful trail, great workout. The waypoint for Sturtevant Camp on the map in this trail description is incorrect. Sturtevant camp in en route to Mt Zion peak located between Spruce Grove campground and the turn Mt Zion/Mt Wilson Trail junction. The location marked as Sturtevant is more likely to be Hoegee's Trail Camp

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