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This is a very unique and rewarding hike! We started at 7am sharp from the parking area just above Manaker Flats campground. The trail was pretty quiet being on a Thursday. After 3 hours and 15 minutes, we reached the summit. On the way up, we took the service road to the top of the chair lift and followed Devils Backbone Trail to the summit. Our descent was via the Baldy Bowl Trail, which was very steep and included many areas of loose sand and gravel. The terrain and surroundings are very unique and I would definitely recommend this hike to any experienced hiker!
Ascent: 3 hours 15 minutes via Devils Backbone
Descent: 2 hours and 30 minutes

very steep but rewarding.

This hike is definitely intense. Hiked up on baldy trail and back down on devils backbone. Going up is tough is 4000 ft of just straight elevation imagine stair master x10. When you hit the green cabin (there is a little outhouse) you’re about halfway. It’s gets harder after this. The summit is really cool. Great view. Down devils backbone is VERY narrow be extra careful but it’s totally doable. I think this is the best way down opposed to baldy trail its not as intense. Long but not as intense. Plus there is the Mt baldy lodge where you can relax possibly take the ski lift back down if you wish.

Tips: bring at least 2 liters of water. Must wear hiking shoes. Trekking poles are very helpful.

Didn’t notice any smoke today. Seems to be one of the few places unaffected by the fires.

Hiked this yesterday. Very low traffic, which was nice. Hazy at the top, got some weather for a few minutes. You can see smoke, but didn't interfere with the hike. It was a great day in the 70's, cooler at the top.

Awesome workout. Pretty steep and rocky at times but the views are amazing. Worth the pain

Can anyone comment on the smoke at the top? I did Bighorn on Wednesday and the conditions weren't the best.

Good hike given the proximity to LA.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike. The difficulty rating comes from the fact that you're climbing and descending 3 times and the last mile or so up twin peaks is pretty steep. At this point the trail is pretty loose/sandy/gravelly. I lost the trail for a bit on the way up, but there were cairns (rock stacks) to guide me. Much easier to follow on the way down. It took me about 6.5 hrs including a few longer breaks for lunch and enjoying the views (an awesome amount of great views). Overall the trail is probably 75% shaded which was great!

Start early in the summer, it gets hot, but everyone says that. I was prepared for the heat and started before 7 and was surprised how windy and cooler it was above Devils Backbone. Never took off the extra long sleeve until I arrived at the ski lodge on the return trip.

best mountain ever

Beautiful views with challenging terrain.

A challenging and rewarding trail.

This was way to hard for me and I didn’t realize it until I had already started. We did a night hike cause the full moon happing and I didn’t get that far cause the elevation plus the steepness of the hike was way to much for me and totally kicked my butt and I had to turn back around. If you are an experienced hiker and are extremely Athletic you will love this. The view is gorgeous at the summit from what I heard.

Did this as an overnight. Started at about 5:30 A.M. at Manker flats campground. Took our time going up not rushing. Started with 2 liters of water and brought extra empty bottles to fill up at the ski hut. The stream was flowing very well. From ski hut took 4 1/2 liters to the summit 1 1/2 liters was just for our meals. Wasn’t very windy at the summit until about 7pm

The sunset was SPECTACULAR. Words can not describe it. We saw a family of big horn sheep right by our camp site for an hour or so. Once the sunset the lights from Hesperia and the inland empire are incredible along with super bright stars, planets and the moon being super bright lighting up the camp site. We camped at the summit in between one of the rock wind barriers. It got a little windy through the night but not unbearable.

The next morning packed up around 8 A.M. and got down to the car around 11:30 but spent 45 min at ski hut drinking up water and cooling off by the creek. Super refreshing. Once the sun was up and we got below the ski hit it got hot quick. Bring lots of water if you plan on doing this in the summer along with a hat as there is no shade at the summit and hardly any shade along devils backbone.

The trail is very well signposted and easy to follow. Started about 6am and wasn’t bothered by the heat at all! Managed to see a family of Bighorn Sheep going down the Devils Backbone which was amazing

Loved this hike. Don’t be.afraid to wear standard Nike free runs or other types of non boot like shoes.

Hike was for sure a tough climb, if you aren’t used to pushing yourself through steep hills and long elevation gains than this is a hike you will have to gain some will power. One step at a time. :)

The view was incredible also, most definitely going back.

Great hike. Did the entire loop. Hiking to Telegraph had me on my tippy toes at some points but I enjoyed the challenge, as I’m training for Whitney! I’d recommend breaking for a snack at the saddle, on timber Mt. and then eating your main meal (if you pack one) on Telegraph. I stopped for a Pizza Port SIPA at Baldy Notch too. How fantastic is it to have a restaurant up in the mountains? It reminds me of Germany.

I really didn’t like taking the paved road from Manker Flats back to our car at Icehouse Canyon. It’s not safe. Ppl drive fast and some are not accustomed to mountainous driving. Instead of enjoying the final stretch, I was constantly having to listen for cars. Also, you will have to cross back and forth over the road multiple times to remain visible to the traffic. If you’re able to have someone park at Manker Flats and Icehouse Canyon, do it.

Amazing views! Bring trekking poles :)

One of my favorite hikes to do to prep for major peaks. It’s nearby for anyone living in the LA basin, the lodge at the top of the notch is a great place to relax or snack up if you need to, there’s always lots of people so you are not alone, and has plenty of steep places for a challenge.

Beautiful views! Several spots to set up camp after the ski hut. Only a couple water sources in early July (at ski hut) you can find water/creek information in the town of Mt Baldy at the visitor center entrance.

Hard but was a good trail beautiful

Enjoyable summer hike on a weekday in June. Left at 8:30 in the morning and only met 5 hikers until reaching the summit. As others suggested, hiking poles are most definitely recommended- I went without. The hike is strenuous particularly the section where the brown trail marking poles are found about one half mile
From the top.

I am a 57 year old in very good condition but not a frequent hiker and not used to the altitude. Great day but challenging. Definitely need very good hiking shoes and highly recommend poles.

Excellent views the whole way up

Did this hike on 7/4/18 with my wife and it can be done in 5to 8 hours depending on your pace and break times. Got there pretty early around 5:45 AM and glad we did because it was really crowded as the day went on. Did this counter clockwise up to the ski lodge then to devils back bone and up to the summit. Proceeded down to the ski hut trail and manker flats.

Beautiful views but quite windy with winds at 15 mph up toward the summit. It is a strenuous hike but the sense of accomplishment felt at the summit makes all the struggle worth it . We summited at about 10 AM. (took a 20 minute break at ski lodge to eat snacks).

If you have weak knees be prepared as the downhill is a lot harder than going up. Took us longer to get down because of the frequent breaks. The loop down is very steep and a lot of support and stabilization is required. My wife was really struggling on the way down as she has an injured knee so it took us an extra 90 minutes to go down than it should have.

Instead of a loop I would do an out and back next time and return down devils backbone to ski lodge to save my knees.

Tips :
Trekking poles useful going down
Atleast 2 liter of water as the loop will take between5 to 8 hours
Sunscreen as there are many unshaded parts throughout the hike.
If you have weak knees, Do an out and back from manker flats- ski lodge- devils back bone- summit as it is the prettier side of this hike and then take the ski lift down.

One of my favorite hikes on the list of six pack of peaks. I’ve hiked this twice. Once with backpacking and once as a day trip. Just like everyone says, the first mile is quite an incline and got me huffing and puffing. Then the last two miles to the summit was a struggle. I had to stop every couple steps to catch my breathe. I don’t recommend camping at the summit because it’s super windy and could not sleep all night as the tent kept shaking. The top is usually windy and a bit chilly

Amazing views. Good and strenuous. A must-do hike for all SoCal hikers.

Great scenic trail! Really great for Whitney preparation. The stream running by the ski hut was flowering pretty good to my surprise. However that is pretty much the only water supply until the lodge.

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