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Tough brutal hike, great workout, well worth the effort when you reach the peak.

I consider myself a relatively experienced hiker, having done many of the smaller peaks in the San Gabriels without much of a struggle. But this trail surely handed it to me. The elevation gain is not to be taken lightly - I started struggling about 2 miles in! I’m a 26 y/o female and this hike took me a total of 5 hours on the ascent (I had some nasty blisters to deal with, so that may have added some time), and about 3.5 hours to descend. But man, did I feel accomplished when I reached the top - it truly is a rewarding hike if you’re looking for some inner strength! Highly recommend for those looking for a challenge.

Definitely a hard hike. Be careful with sun radiation on the peaks. I'm dark complexion and was wearing sunblock with a neck buff and developed blisters in the back of my neck. Completed the hike in September.

Took this route to drop a water cache at Baldy for a hike of the entire San Antonio Ridge. We were there before the lift was open, so we hiked all the way up. This is a nice hike and it's quite convenient to have the restaurant there for water and food. Be sure to have a lot of water and start early to avoid the heat and dehydration. Fairly steep and direct, be sure to have good shoes, it gets a little loose and sandy in a few spots.

My wife and I hiked this Saturday 9/8/18. We arrived to a full parking lot at the trailhead at around 7:15 Saturday morning. We did find a spot along the road where we could get off to the side adequately. As everyone says though, get here early for a spot. It was going to be 100 degrees in the valley so wasn’t sure we’d hike the entire way today but it was very comfortable temperature in the mountains and much of the trail was covered so not fully exposed to the sun which was great.

It starts off along the creek and the sound of the water is very nice as you hike along!

My wife and I aren’t ones for “dangerous” hikes and we felt very safe along the entire route. Although there are switchbacks and walking along the mountain sides, I never felt uncomfortable. Highly recommend trekking poles and good hiking boots though as there are rocks and gravel areas where you want good footing and poles for balance as well as take weight off your knees etc.

Took me 3.5 hours up with a couple short stops to talk to other hikers. And 2.5 down non-stop. The views are awesome. As for the last few hundred yards to the summit, I’ve read people think it’s steep and the hardest part of the hike....I’d have to disagree as it wasn’t the kick in the teeth I was expecting and really not much harder than any other part of the hike. The hard part of this hike is that it is long....it says 11.6 but by my GPS it was 14. Don’t think you are doing this hike if you haven’t had some training or aren’t at least fit as it is a long way up and back!

Have fun. It’s doable!

Being out there in the mountains is "Heaven on Earth" as far as I'm concerned. The scenery is absolutely majestic, and awe inspiring. The only thing that's ever taken my breath away is mountains and women. So you need to get out there, and "wash your spirit clean."

Completed my second Summit of Mt Baldy today. First summit was 2 weeks ago, up and down via Devil's Backbone. 2nd time I went up via Ski Hut/Baldy Bowl, and down Devil's Backbone to Manker flats campground.

I felt routes we're on par in terms of difficulty.

Met some nice people along the way. "Hikers generally are a good bunch". However, there are some hikers along the trail who will not stop talking (non-stop)which drives me nuts when your on a single line trail. Then there are those who are blasting music out of their phones for all to hear. This too drives me nuts (Get some damn earphones!). I go out to hike the mountain to get away from the noise, and the city life. It blows my mind some people...my apologies for the misanthropy, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around why these people are out on a trail.

It's awesome there is a restaurant ' Top Of the Notch' in the vicinity of Devil's Back Bone to stop, rest,bathrooms and eat if you need to. And if you get exhausted you can take the ski lift down (No I didn't cheat - but I did think about it).

Parking was not too bad. Left at 6am got there at 7:30am and there was plenty of spots. Left Manker at 8am towards Ski Hut Trail, and made it back to the car a little after 2PM. Hiking at that elevation with no shade between 1PM - 6PM your going to get some sun on you..something to keep in mind before hand. In the summer make sure you have protective head gear, and wear sun tan lotion.

My first Summit of Baldy the sun kicked my butt more than the actual hike itself, because of extenuating circumstances (my friends brought his kid), the hike ended up taking 12 hours so we were still hiking during the hottest part of the day (They took the ski Lift).

There are a few spots where YOU HAVE to watch your footing (But you should always be watching your footing..right!?). Nothing major in the summer,but you need to be vigilant at a couple of spots because a slip, and your going to end up with more than just a few bumps and bruises. In the Winter I wouldn't do it, not without mountaineering experience (which I don't have). Summer, no problem, just go slow, and watch your step on a few narrow spots.

Apparently, the Ski Hut Trail (Baldy Bowl) and the Devil's Backbone are the new 'short' cuts to Mount San Antonio. The original Baldy Hike is from Bear Canyon but much harder (and less crowded). I may have to give this a try soon, along with the 3 T's.

Wow what a butt kicker. Diffidently more then 12.1 miles. A good amount of shade through Icehouse but more open to Ontario Peak or Bighorn.. Trail can be confusing when you hit Kelly camp just remember to stay left.

the only reason for 4 stars is signage is not great coming down the the bowl . other than that, it's a kick ass challenge for anyone especially an old man at 62 like me. Did it yesterday, and unlike a lot of people that leave reviews on how fast they can do a trail, I took my time and did it in 12 hours. went up through the skilift trail, then all the was to summit, the down through the bowl. Great hike, part of the six pack challenge, not sure at my age I'd do it again but 3 down and 3 to go. Special thanks to Lisa, who was an angel and gave me extra water from her supply.
if you think the world is short of great people these days, go on a hike , you'll meet plenty. it will restore your faith in mankind. Go Clemson, hope you see this!

hiking
12 days ago

I love this trail. It is a brutal, gruelling hike up with about a 6000ft elevation gain in under seven miles.

This route is way more steep than the Baldy Loop (Manker Flats, Devil's Backbone, ski lifts, the Notch restaurant, etc). None of that is on the out and back trail. But it sure is beautiful and considerably less crowded.

I found this trail by mistake after summitting Mt San Antonio from the Manker Flats/ Devil's Backbone route, then mistaking Old Baldy Trail (Bear Canyon Trail) for the Baldy Bowl Trail. By the time I noticed my mistake, I was well into the descent so I decided to just go with it. I didn't realize that meant ending up in Baldy Village, about two miles downhill from where we parked. But the owner of the Baldy Lodge restaurant kindly gave us a lift back up to Manker Flats.

I'm honestly so glad we made this wrong turn, because we saw the most gorgeous views here. And we didn't see a single person on our descent in April. I came back yesterday (this time beginning on Old Baldy Trail), and the incline is a beast! There is very little shade past the first 2 miles, so facter that into your time and water planning.

If you're a real hiking fanatic, I highly recommend trying this route up Baldy. It is very trying and equally rewarding!

Beautiful, varying, winding, lovely

Such a fun trail and a real butt-kicker! I took the $20 round trip tram ride up to Top of the Notch to skip the exposed fire road in the beginning. The half mile after the restaurant is steep no matter if you take the Turkey Shoot or the more obvious trail to the center-right. Devil's backbone is semi-narrow, but not as nerve racking as people make it out to be. Stay to the LEFT to avoid going up to Mt. Harwood. The real challenge is the 0.6 miles to the summit. A TALL, steep incline of switchbacks taunts you as you make your way up. Stay to the right to avoid a pure shale incline. The summit is incredibly rewarding, best views I've seen so far on a mountain top. Round trip of approx 7 miles took about 5 hours with rest stops. The tram ride down was more enjoyable than up as you can imagine after a tough hike. ENJOY!

Gorgeous. Challenging. Unique. Ascend the Baldy Bowl and descend Devil's Backbone to the lodge and have a beer.

BUT we didn't know the annual Race to the Top event was happening on Labor Day, so there were more than 500 people on the devil's backbone trail...

I love this trail! It is definitely a harder hike but it is definitely worth it. The views at the top are great because you can see all of the inland Empire. I would recommend filling up your water at the stream at the beginning of the trail because there is none closer to the top. HAVE FUN!!!

Difficult, but rewarding. Amazing view!

I've done this hike three time in a six week period with the last two being over-nighters on consecutive weekends! At this point, its my favorite place to summit because of the view! Especially at night! You can take in the view of pretty much the entire Inland Empire as well as the High Desert!

Now to the terrain. The trail is definitely challenging once to pass Icehouse Saddle. The trail has some ups and downs as well as some very deceptive inclines! once you reach "The Tree" you start the last leg of the trail which is pretty much switchbacks the whole way but the views are spectacular! I can't wait to do a winter hike up there! :-) Finally, you'll come to a fork in the trail where you'll see a post that is supposed to have a sign attached to it. You'll want to stay to the right of that because the other pathway will take you to Etiwanda (so I've been told). That last couple hundred yards seems to be the most grueling! I'm not sure if its just because you've hiked almost six miles of rugged terrain or if its actually the hardest part of the hike!

If you haven't already been there, it'll seem like forever to take that last few hundred feet but as you reach the top, and the IE down below comes into view, you'll forget all about the last few hours!

All in all, I HIGHLY recommend this hike.

As I stated before, at this point, Cucamonga Peak is my favorite peak to summit! maybe its because I've been there and camped out, the spectacular views or the hike itself... whatever my reason, I promise, you will not be disappointed!

~LSO~

Sept 1, started at 7am. Trail was already busy. Did the route counter clockwise. Coming down the baldy bowl trail is brutal on the quads. The summit was rad. Lots of hikers, and one crazy guy on a mountain bike. I asked him if he rides it down devils backbone. Dude says yes. Crazy. Bring at least 4 liters of water, lunch, and be ready for the burn! 6 hours from start to finish. Awesome waterfall just off the trail. Definitely doing this one again.

Very difficult! Bring plenty of water as the trail is hot this time of year. Beautiful views from the top though! :)

A must do. Not a beginners hike. Beautiful.

This was my favorite Southern California hike to date!

So beautiful once you get up there, it’s super hard but totally worth it.

I went with my Friend Kathy. Took the chair lift to the top. This cuts off a lot of the really steep section of the hike. From the top of the ski lift it is a 6.4 mile round trip. Very steep kike. We had beautiful weather and the views were amazing. Spectacular first date.

Did this one yesterday and it was just beautiful the whole way. Gorgeous views! Be careful of all the hornets at the saddle. It was a little intense but easy to move away from. We went straight up to Ontario Peak and skipped the out and back to Bighorn Peak. My Garmin said 13.12 miles for just Ontario Peak so I agree with others in the comments below who also came up with "extra" mileage.

Parking lot fills FAST. We were there at 6:15am and there were only a couple of spots left.

Started early Friday at daylight. Views going up that day were amazing. Spent the entire day exploring and photographing this majestic mountain area. It has everything; a waterfall springs, a running ski lift, a scary devils backbone to cross, an airplane wreckage, gnarly rock maneuvering, beautiful manzanita, pines and wild flowers, an old ski hut & astonishing views. I will definitely be back to this area for more exploring. I may do this in reverse next time or take the Register trail and do Mt Harwood also. The scramble up the rocky side to reach the peak was intense. Think that might be better suited for a descent. No snakes, or bears, only cute lizards, chipmunks & squirrels. I do recommend trekking poles for some sections of this hike. I brought 1.8 liters water and finished it all.

Started early Friday at daylight. Views going up that day were amazing. Spent the entire day exploring and photographing this majestic mountain area. It has everything; a waterfall springs, a running ski lift, a scary devils backbone to cross, an airplane wreckage, gnarly rock maneuvering, beautiful manzanita, pines and wild flowers, an old ski hut & astonishing views. I will definitely be back to this area for more exploring. I may do this in reverse next time or take the Register trail and do Mt Harwood also. The scramble up the rocky side to reach the peak was intense. Think that might be better suited for a descent. No snakes, or bears, only cute lizards, chipmunks & squirrels. I do recommend trekking poles for some sections of this hike. I brought 1.8 liters water and finished it all.

hiking
23 days ago

We arrived at the parking lot at 6 am, filled up quickly. We started our hike at 6:30 am
This hike was a difficult once since I hadn't been keeping up with much of an exercise prior to this hike. It took us 4 hours to reach the peak. I had to stop frequently to catch my breathe and let my heart rate settle down.
Once we reached the peak, the views were amazing. We stayed for about 90 minutes prior to heading back down. The decent back down was rough. Not sure if the incline or decline was tougher. My hips, knees and ankles were hurting due to the twisting from the loose rocks, uneven rocky trail. The stream once we arrived down felt amazing as we cooled ourselves off by using our cooling towels.
Tough but beautiful, hike. My calves were tight for at least 6 days.
A must hike, but be ready for a tough one

Just finished our hike leaving from Icehouse Canyon (8/25/18), Trail was in great condition, parking lot was already crowded by 6:30. There was construction happening, so beware that there are less spots!

Did the for real loop for the first time. Probably the easiest way up Baldy, but very beautiful none the less, especially when you get to the Devil's Backbone. Ski hut trail is getting more and more eroded every time I hike it. Probably better to go back down the Devil's Backbone instead if you want to save your knees.

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