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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

I hiked this very beautiful trail a few years ago, it was a very nice challenge. Bring lots of water if it's warm, there is a section that has no shade.

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.

昨天走upper Winter creek不过瘾,今天一大早5点半开始这条。一路树荫,凉爽,可惜没有什么水,带的4升水,狗2升,自己2升,9点到天文台重新补水。下山Wilson 到sturtevant falls 这一段比较陡,伤膝盖,后悔早上匆忙没带手杖。总体感觉不错!推荐。

Yes it’s been so hot this summer!! BUT this trail is nice and shady if you start as early as 6am. You would definitely need all terrain/hiking shoes. WATER and snack as well. Too many mountain bikers so Earphones headphones is not a good idea. Due to recent fires the view wasn’t as good but will definitely comeback!! Really liked the trail and if you’ve never hiked be ready for a great uphill downhill leg workout! :))

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.

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

really good hike.
I actually did 12.4 mile total.
I started from Sam Trailway worked my way up to Inspiration
( I took the longer way) I liked the challenge. Came back down the same way I went up. You definitely need at least 3 or 4 liters of water in a hot day. Took a sandwich and orange and u survived lol.

Yes this hike is recommended for advanced hikers.

I completed the loop on Aug 4, I really liked the nicely wooded trail, for the majority of the trail I was cover by trees and nice shade that protected me from the sun and the terrible heat.
I definitely recommend a map for this hike, there are so many different trails going in all directions, that even when I was following the Alltrails app very closely I still managed to take the wrong turn and ended 20 minutes wondering around.
I think that the entire loop is too long, by the end I just wanted to be done with it, I think I would enjoy doing this hike one way up to the Observatory then drive back to Chantry flats.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

I started this around 6pm and was in the shade the whole time which was nice. Single track, many flat portions. The beginning of this hike is not so great for the first 10 minutes as you walk by some construction and very soft dirt. The beginning of the fort trail past the construction was not super obvious.. After that it’s great. The last 50 feet or so are pretty steep to get to the top.

Great for the seclusion. As others have mentioned the summit is not much to look at but overall it was fun. Reward yourself with some junk food if the vendor is open when you go.

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.

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.

Hiked this trial with my best friend/hubby on 6/30. We left our house at 7:30 AM (wish we left earlier) and reached there by 8:30 and started our hike through Top Notch. At around 9AM we also saw people coming down already.
we started our way at slow pace since we know it was a hard trial and dint want to spend all of our energy in the beginning. By 11:30 AM we reached Top Notch Restaurant and took a 15min break. Cooled off ourself. Sun is all out by that time and we started to the real part of the hike. We reached Devils backbone at 12:30PM and pretty much tired already (again.. we are beginners) and our fellow hikers told the toughest part was still ahead. At about 1PM we reached to the last 1mile which was a killer hike. At this point, due to high elevation it became tough to get breath and we had to take a 30sec break for every 30 steps we took. That last 1mile almost took 1 to 1:30hr but we dint give up :)

Finally we made it to summit at 3PM (6 long hours). The moments of joy !! Manu had a bit of motion sickness and felt dizzy. We took few pictures and decided to get back. Now we have to decide if we want to take Ski Hut trial to make it a loop or just come back through same Top Notch route.

Top Notch route has an option to take cable car which take down to our car. since we were worn out and altitude has got our nerved we thought we would just take the cable car. we started coming back and half way down - we both got back our breath and we felt light as ever. We again took 30min break at the restaurant and cooled off. And decided to walk back 3 more miles. It wasnt that hard coming back although we just took our own time and laughing about out first summit experience. What a sense of accomplishment !!
If you think you are fit enough, you should go for this trial. If I can do it.. You can do it too !!

tips: wear long sleeved top to avoid sunburn. Take lots of water. hiking poles are life saviors.

Kind of a boring hike to be honest. You hike all that way to reach a parking lot filled with families that drove up there to eat at the cafe. Won’t be doing this hike again anytime soon. At least it was a six pack crossed off the list. There are much better hikes then this long, boring, mosquito filled, non-rewarding summit.

This a beautiful and fun hike. One the better SoCal mountains. Going down Ski Hut trail is a bit rough.

Did this yesterday as part of the 6pack peak challenge.

1st, like everyone says, definitely not 12.5 miles. My All Trails recording clocked in at 14.7 with 5100ft of elevation gain. Once you cross the bridge at the bottom of the canyon, we went right and loved the views along the creek all the way to Sturtevant Camp, so much so that I had to google the history behind all the cabins this morning.

The camp is a great spot to recharge for the remaining 3 miles to the top because they were brutal. Tons of switchbacks. lots of elevation gain. So glad I had my hiking poles with me.

Hung out for an hour up at the top, refilled our camelbaks and set out for the trek down. The first two miles were in direct sunlight through a burn area, so pack your sunscreen. But like everyone below, look out for the left turn onto Wilson Trail. Then another left. Lots of switchbacks down. Hard on the knees. Again, poles were super helpful.

Once you get back to the bridge, you then have to trek the .5 miles straight uphill in direct sun again to get back to the parking lot. That was “fun” after completing the 14 mile loop. But after all was said and done, it was a fun loop, great scenery with a little bit of history and I got to put my Adventure Pass to use.

Note: sunscreen, bug spray and lots of water were musts. I went through 3.5L through the whole thing. I even brought some Cliff Shot Blocks (with extra sodium) that saved my legs from cramping up.

If you have weak knees like me, I recommend to hike up through ski hut trail and hike down through devils back bone. It takes a little more time but saves your knees.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful Leisure walk going down. Definitely a tough hike. Incline coming up is a booty buster!

Easier going up the mountain than going down.. in my opinion. We took the service road to the chair lifts and cut across Devil's Backbone to the Summit and down the mountain along the Ski Hut trail. great day hike..

June 27.. started around 7 am, amazing hike. Went counter clockwise up to the notch and then devils backbone. Saw some staff testing some mobile WiFi for an upcoming race up to the summit. The last push to the summit is pretty tough, especially when your almost 10,000 ft . A nice hiker told us to stay right at a split about 250 yards from the summit, felt like it was easier than going straight up. Summited just before noon after taking a few stops on the way. Feet were dying coming down, might of been smart to take the chairlift lol. All around a challenging and rewarding hike.

Joined my co workers on the 6 peak challenge socal and this was our first one to climb. Ive done hiking before but this one was the hardest ive ever done but then again i wasnt on my fittest either but regardless of being fit or not its one tough cookie! Great experience and one for the books. I didnt get to make it to the top but proud to say i completed close to 11 miles total! Do recommend to take enough water to hydrate, early hike, sunblock, good hiking shoes/gear.

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