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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!

Beautiful after a rainy day! Will definitely come back.

11 days ago

I remember this place as a kid. I used to go camping with my parents at Mountain Lakes which is just up the road a little further. We would meet tons of people at Mt. Lakes all around our age. This was back in the 80's (I was like 8-10) and I guess one of the others (teenagers) knew about this place. So we all went and it was amazing. We walked the whole way so it was a long walk but well worth it. I have seen waterfalls in Hawaii so obviously this doesn't come close to those, but to see one in the middle of that area was amazing. It was like a secret place then and there wasn't really any graffiti or things like that. There was a path, kind of, we climbed up and around to get higher up too.

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.

13 days ago

We thoroughly enjoyed this waterfall, minus the tagging on all the rocks of course. Today was beautiful. There were giant clouds bringing in some light sprinkles, and the waterfall had a steady, strong flow. I'm personally a fan of climbing over rocks, so that plus the waterfall is why I rated this a 5. In all, we saw only 4 other people doing this hike, so I enjoyed the opportunity of sharing nature with just my boyfriend. I definitely plan to visit this hike again!

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.

16 days ago

This was a really fun hike. I spent 2 nights at Kelly's Camp and an interesting snowy night the last night. This trail is really beautiful with lots of views.

I went yesterday March 06, 2018. I was the only person in the whole trail all day which is fully covered in snow. (A few dry patches here and there) First 2/3’s of the hike, the trail is easy to figure out, just follow all the footprints from previous hikers. There was snow recently, so the last third was difficult. No trail to be found, sometimes I followed footprints that randomly stopped somewhere. Had to take shortcuts, deep snow in some areas, I fell quite a lot. Wearing crampons for 16 miles takes its toll, eventually I made it right before sunset due to a late start, at 9:30 am thanks to horrible traffic since I drove from San Diego. Cold at the top, took pics, went down immediately, my fingers were getting numb and darkness was coming in fast. Back to my car right after midnight. The first and last thirds have switchbacks, sometimes steep. It was a tough day.

This hike was perfect for the day we went. We ended up going right after a mild snow day, still some traffic but not heavy. It was absolutely beautiful. We didn’t make it to the top, we stopped at about 3.5 miles and turned back, I didn’t wear the right shoes for how slippery the ice was. Regardless, hiking in the snow was beautiful, temperature was mid 30s, making it perfect for a cloudless day hiking in the snow.

this is a great hike, I've been up there multiple times and it never disappoints.

19 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.

Such a great hike with versatile terrain. There is ice and snow on the hike after Saddle Ranch but I did it in wool socks and hiking sandles and my feet never got cold. Do not stop for lunch at Saddle Ranch! It's freezing (not my feet). Walk a bit further. Great views and not nearly as cold. High winds after Saddle Ranch but a storm was a brewing. There is a cove under the main rock for cuddling ;)

Good workout. A lot of steep areas. Pretty view .

Amazing Hike. Ice house lives up to its name, so cold. The ice and snow is a bit tricky but totally worth it. I did the entire hike in shorts and hiking sandals. Mexican sherpa Lol!

One of my favorite easy hikes near LA. There are never too many people, there’s always water and the terrain is shady. It starts at a nice small campground and ends at a pretty waterfall. If you want to continue to dawn mine you can. Love this hike

Super fun hike, as easy or challenging as you want to make it! We only spent 1.5 hours, but did a bit of bouldering and had fun in the couple inches of snow on the trails. Heads up: you need to buy a pass to park your car at the trailhead, but some locals told us they visit often and that the rangers usually only check in the evenings. Still, I would go for the pass over a hefty fine!

Did this on Presidents’ Day 2018. There was snow at the trail head and it snowed on us when we first started. We didn’t need the crampons until about 8000. We didn’t make it to the top because of the storm that rolled in. The hike was beautiful, especially in the snow.

Great waterfall! There was ice down the side adding to the beauty. Trail is hard to determine, but there was enough traffic to figure it out. Have to do a lot of boulder walking so that makes it moderate, but it is a very short hike. Other than the boulders it was not too bad for a lady with two knee replacements!

Such a gorgeous, clean, & enjoyable hike! Great for a family and even the dog. The trail follows the trickling creek most of the way. Keep an eye out for icicles and frost around winter. There are great look out points once you round the sunny side of the mountain. Curve back around the shaded side (creek side) and follow the trail up to Bear Flats. It is uninspiring without a view, but it’s a great shaded area to rest and have some lunch. The hollow tree is interesting. Took me about 2.25 hrs with slow pace and plenty of stops to enjoy the woods.

Best Waterfall ive seen. I hiked to the top of the water fall, little dangerous but good experience. i liked going inside the bear caves and enjoyed the cold breeze and the rocks

excellent trail running along a creek that changes monthly. lots of fallen trees and rock. so many great stops, including old cabin foundations.

although it's rated as difficult, the first few miles are pretty easy.

any one down to go early morning tomorrow 02/20/18

1 month ago

1) first part of the hike you have to cross a creek. You will get wet. *there is a bridge that is on "private property" that we used so we wouldn't get wet
2) 1/2 of the hike is very very rocky! Wear good shoes.
3) graffiti is everywhere though I don't mind seeing the art
4) must purchase a parking pass from the Ranger station for $5 (or AMPM from other reviews)
5) very windy today and there were some rocks that fell from the mountain so don't walk too close (in the rocky area)
6) over all this was a great hike with a beautiful waterfall at the end. There were enough people around to ask "which way to the waterfall?"

It’s awesome. It takes 8 hours for the round trip. Get your energy bar. You need it.

Great day too have done this hike today. After Ice House crampons are definitely recommend since there is snow and the trails are more narrow. Unfortunately the Cucamonga Peak elevation sign was missing...but nonetheless still was a great hike and the weather as well.

1 month ago

Easy to miss! Keep left! Don't go right! Spent most my time going up the stream on the right and ended up too far from where it was. If you spent more than 20 mins to get there then you probably went the wrong way. Look for a sign covered with graffiti. And yes, there is only one parking space and you need the day pass from the ranger station.

Hi guys, wanted to get a water report. Were there still streams running up halfway point?

This is another of the premiere hikes to be done in these mountains. Starting out around 7 am, there was a biting cold wind that was avoided after getting past the falls. We kept a good pace along the service road to the lodge. I was glad to get some hot coffee there before moving on. The climb got a little tough initially, from getting used to the elevation, and then I found most of Devil's Backbone to be a steady climb. I diverted over to the summit of Mt. Harwood and then came back down to the main trail. My favorite part of this stretch was seeing into the Mojave to Victorville and other areas to the east, The wind was cold a fierce along the Harwood part of the trail, and finally it was blocked on the last stretch to the summit. A break there was nice, and so was the geocache. We came down the Ski Hut trail and it was fairly easy going most of the way. We hit the service road at sunset, and it was a short time back to the parking lot.

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