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great hike start to finish

very nice hike ...be prepared on hot days take lots of water and proper shoes

Fun hike. The cool weather helped us keep a brisk pace, completing the loop in 7 1/2 hours. Disappointed that there wasn't much snow, which was only at the top. Winter Creek was pretty full though, which we crossed 6 times. The mule deer enjoyed watching us trek by.

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!

very good hike. stars easy but if doing the whole loop it will be challenging...cool pictures spots n ocean view

My husband and I are avid hikers and this trail, although starts off easy the first 2.5 miles, gets very intense and difficult the next 2 miles. A 4.5 mile hike that truly has spectacular views once the intensity kicks in and the steep incline pounds your feet. It was a great day for a hike. Lunch at the peak along with some soup. Be sure you leave your mark at the box...

Did this hike on a Saturday after it rained on Friday night. The views were beautiful and clear the entire hike. Extremely light traffic. Only saw a few people midday on a weekend. I definitely plan on doing this hike again. It was great.

The previous post said it all

rained heavily the day before. definitely got out feet wet. not a chance of keeping them dry. left the trail several times to explore the west side of the river. again if you want the easiest route, stay on the east side of the river. hints: as you advance down the trail you will come to rock formations which seem to end the trail. if you climb these rock formations you will find the trail on the other side. we made several deviations off the trail because we simply didn't look far enough when the trail seemed to end. on the return trip back to the camp grounds we're stayed on the trail and only had to cross the river/ stream three or four times. as I said it rained heavily the day before and we were forced to Ford the river in areas where it normally would not be as deep. a great day, look forward to taking some adventurous friend back out to the bridge.

This hike is lovely. There are two trails, basically shaded and not, that run parallel to each other so you can still get to the caves no matter which you choose.

Not too much trash until you hit the turnoff towards the cave. It’s clear where to go as long as you know you have to turn right towards the mountain. There’s a sign detailing the rules of the park on the left - go the opposite way.

Yes there’s trash and graffiti, though not as much as described in some of these reviews. There may have been a clean up since they went. Once inside the cave there isn’t too much trash, but the graffiti is all over. There are also pigeons inside, which startled me at first then was really cool to watch them fly back and forth.

It’s kind of a scramble to get to the caves. Just a somewhat steep walk to get to the entrance but if you want to go inside you’ll need to scramble a bit. It was my first time here and I did this alone so I didn’t make the climb to castle peak - I didn’t want to risk a free climb, even as easy as it is, by myself so I just turned back around. The scramble down is spookier than up.

There’s a bit of traffic but parking is easy. Just park in the neighborhood on vanowen and the entrance is right there. I saw two couples, three dirt bikers, and two or three individuals hiking like myself. If you like to hike alone I’d say go around 7:30 am so the early crowd has left but the later morning crowed hasn’t quite arrived.

Over all - it was beautiful and I’d do it again. I recommend going in spring or after rain so it’s green and not California brown.

trail running
5 days ago

Excellent climb / trail run. I recommend starting on the steep incline because you will be rewarded with a 3.5 mile moderately technical downhill for the second half. I did not see signs for this trail but head up the concrete towards Seven Trees trail. This trailhead is just off to your right but you have to be looking for it. After you reach the summit you'll be up by some power line/poles....this continues for a bit but no more crazy climbing. When you reach the bench that is your turning point. Go right at the bench. If you stay on what looks like Verdugo Motorway (I think that's what they called it) thinking that the trail continues...well, you'll just tack on extra mileage like I did. So if you want to hit the 7.5....don't continue, but there's definitely a trail that continues.

Great afternoon hike with breathtaking views. Be prepared to get your feet wet, as you will cross the streams 10+ times by the time you get down to the waterfall and back.

Fantastic trail. Well worth the effort. Life affirming

Old dilapidated mansions, newts, swimming holes and rock climbing.

Insta: Venture_Renegade

Heading: 2 hours, we decided to go through the river jumping over rocks and through the mud vs the traditional route.

Return: ~1.5 hours, on the way back we took back the traditional road and only had to cross the river like 3x.

Weather: there is alot of overhead trees, thus not much exposure to the sun. It gets cold quickly if you go in the mornings. But once you reach the bridge, its pretty exposed and the feeling of the sun rays hitting your numb face is the best feeling ever!

Cargo: not a strenuous hike. Shorts, t shirt and a windbreaker (recommended, again not alot of sun and it gets windy in the mornings). Water proof hiking boots. You will get wet.

Summary: We did the hike with the intention of getting into the watering holes at the base of the bridge however it was extremely cold and probably would have got hypothermia jumping into the water haha. Regardless, the hike is really fun, especially running through the water. Hard to get lost, only really one way to go there and back. On our return, we saw big horned sheep!! I'll probably do this trail again when it gets hot to get in the water. Recommend to all!

Great day trip that is a nice drive out of LA and mostly shaded until you meet the cliff portion overlooking the canyon below (and beyond). The early part of the trail is almost flat and follows the creek until you make your way up and around the actual falls. You will eventually come back down along a relatively steep trail that will follow the lower part of the creek and finally to the falls. You can scramble your way up along the edges of the canyon to pools above the falls and in the summertime I would imagine that it would be crowded. Our rainy, Sunday in March kept the masses away and made this more enjoyable. Turn around and head back the way you came in but not before a side trip down bear canyon for more solitude and some more pools. The steep section of the trail that brings you back up will give you a (Very short) workout until you reach the flat and sheer cliffs up above. Perfect Sunday trip.

10 days ago

Went up the North side and came down the South. The loop takes about 2 hours and change. Beautiful views of the surrounding areas.

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.

Amazing weather amazing scenery

Beautiful, well-shaded hike through a canyon alongside a creek. Lots of trees, and the waterfalls were pretty cool. Not a challenging hike for me, but that was fine given the scenery.

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.

Great hike overall! Lost the trail a few times heading out to the bridge but when in doubt stay to the right side of the river and you will find the trail again. You will get your feet wet at the river crossings so be prepared. Suggest trekking polls to help balance on slippery wet rocks while crossing too. Bring plenty of water. We started at 8am and it was a cool 45 degrees, upon the return it was a toasty 77 and sunny! Our entire group of ten, experienced and not so experienced hikers enjoyed the day. Plan on 5-6hrs to complete the which gives you time at the bridge to explore.

This was a great hiking experience! I have done it twice and I am sure to return again.

It is not an easy hike even if there is not much elevation gain. It is after all 10 miles and you are stepping over logs, rocks, crossing streams, etc...some people have written that it is easy and they have done it in less than 4 hrs. which I find hard to believe...it took us about 5 1/2 hrs of hiking plus one hour spent at the bridge and in the pools. We started early with some shade but that only lasted for about 3 of the 10 miles total.

The sights and sounds of this hike are beautiful...no houses, power lines, traffic noise...just the beautiful sound of running water. The water not only sounded great, it looked amazing, felt refreshing, and tasted great. It looked so clean and felt so cool and refreshing that I not only got in the water at the bridge I tasted some of the water on the hike back and lived to tell about it.

Awesome trail! Great photography possibilities for Los Angeles and the Channel Islands.

12 days ago

Beautiful and relatively easy trail along a beautiful creek. Last third of trail is very narrow if you take the upper path and steep as well. Best to stay left along the creek which will take you to the falls. Will do this one again before it warms up.

Great hike today up to the bridge. Couldn’t ask for better weather

Beautiful scenery and a great easy hike. We truly enjoyed.

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