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Such an amazing hike! If youre unsure of where to go there is a friendly staff at the nature center that offers you maps of all the trails available with their level of difficulty. The trails are clean and it is such a great way to spend a day out.

Great hike! Hard, but that’s why we do it. I’ve used this hike twice to train for Mt. Whitney.

Just hiked this trial this weekend. ALL snow. 24” of fresh powder made the summit impossible for our team. Setup for the night at High Camp. Great hike. Cold at 24°. Well worth the experience. Will come back for the summit soon.

I finally completed the 6 pack of Peaks. This hike is freaking hard. We left at 6:05 am and finished at 4:30 PM. Spent less than 15 minutes at the top for photos. 1st mile after you cross dry river bed is a killer. The last couple miles the same, killer. I did this hike about a month ago. All snow now I'm guessing. Mt Whitney next August!

Favorite hike in southern CA so far

Creds: AllTrails Pro. ‘Pro’ worth $30 a year to never worry about getting lost - lots of opportunity . 14.5 mi hike per ‘AllTrails’. I-Phone 8 - 15 mi. My friends Iphone6 - 16 mi. This was an 8 hr hike given the significant altitude gain 4,646’.

Parked and departed 1 Dec 2018 Saturday 8am at Chantry Flats. Have annual Adventure Pass for $29 from REI that provides access to all southern Ca National Parks.

Went counter clockwise. Trails well maintained. Creek and Sturtevant Falls flowing due to rain 2 days ago and trails not muddy. 90% shaded from beautiful canopy of Bay Laurels, Oaks, pine trees. Hot bowl of chili and coffee at Cosmic Cafe (now closed for season) at Mt Wilson half way point . Entire hike on beautiful trails . Beer garden at bottom end of hike at “Adams Packing Station” great way to celebrate accomplishment.

Light snow about 500 ft or so to summit( 11/28. Microspikes not needed yet but could come in handy in the next couple days since it’s forecasted snow tomorrow...ran down devils back bone it was fun.. went clockwise. Steady incline at the end but nothing crazy. People say their vertigo thing could be an issue which I do have that problem... I didn’t feel anything out of ordinary except when looking at it from a distance made me dizzy. But walking through I was fine. Just Incase anyone else was wondering the same thing? Happy trails

Good hike and great scenic views. I could feel the oxygen start to thinner out on my way up. I shouldnt have hiked alone but no one would dare go with me especially at a high level. Be careful when climbing up the rocks as they start to be slippery with ice building up. Overall it was worth it.

Did it on 11/17 and had perfect weather!! Chilly up top, slight breeze but I still had a T-shirt on.

Today: walked about halfway up the backbone from Notch. Chickened out at the hairpin turn around 8700 ft. as trail was very narrow and I had on ASICS with no trekking poles. Will attempt safely in the future. Lots of hikers. Beautiful weather. Bring a warm jacket and scarf. There is snow at the Baldy summit; you can see it from the trail.

This hike was perfect for an overnight trip. We started around 9am on Saturday and got to Lone Pine camp around 1:30. After resting for a little while we headed up to San Bernardino around 2:30 and got to the top a little after 4. The views were unbelievable with cloud cover at about 5,000 ft it looked like a blanket over the valley with picture perfect views of San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, Big Bear Lake, and Baldy a little further out.. There are a few ice patches before Lone pine but after the camp it is mostly crampon or micro spikes required. If you’re camping or need water the creek up about a quarter mile above lone pine is still flowing pretty strong. It is iced over by the trail but if you go up about 30ft you can access the water. The hike was pretty warm during the day but at night it got down to about 35 degrees. Worth the steep elevation gain and the cold temperatures for sure!

This was my first real day hike. Had to do it twice before summiting. It’s no joke. This hike will test your resolve.

Took an uber on my own from LA to manker flat. Not a lot of people on the weekend after thanksgiving. This trail has everything, waterfall, snow, and very amazing view. Around 11:30, decided to go counter clockwise, reached the top by sunset, very incredible view, but very windy and cold. Stayed for about 15 minutes then rushing to go down. Very challenging finding way down in the dark. But amazing experience seeing stars with naked eyes!
Arrived at the trailhead around 7pm and no phone reception to call uber, so decided to walk down for a phone reception but very lucky a very nice family offered to take me down the mountain even took me all the way to Pasadena. An amazing day, great experince, amazing views, fantastic thanksgiving getaway adventure.

Clockwise is the way the go this time of year. Top of the Notch restaurant is only open 11 to 5 so you get a good lunch break on the way down. Some snow at the top. Micro spikes are a good idea to bring along but full crampons and an axe was an overkill. We had great weather but it was a bit windy. Not a lot of people the day after Thanksgiving which was great. Definitely a great hike!

On November 11th, we arrived at the Mill Creek ranger station to pick up our camping permit. We arived before they opened to increase our chances of getting a walk in camping permit. With it being a Sunday we lucked out and had our choice of campgrounds. The ranger station sets aside one walk in camp permit per sight per day. Our plan was to hike to the summit and camp at the summit camp site that night. We arrived at the trail-head around 9 am. our packs weighed about 35 ibs each. We started with 4L of water and a filter to resupply our water at high creek camp ground. We carried extra food, fuel, first aid kits, layers, cooking supplies, and the normal camping load. The extra gear was due to the extreme weather that was forecasted. The first mile is by far the steepest. After two hours we arrived at half-way camp ground. Don't let the name foul you, it's only 1/3 of the way to the summit. We reached this site in about 2 hrs. After a quick break, we pushed on to the next camp site, High creek. High creek is around 6 miles in. At this point we were at about the 4 hour mark. High creek is a very nice camp ground and is defiantly the most popular. I recommend applying for this camp site well in advance. But if not, just show up earlier and if your first in line, you'll be a walk on! Whats nice about this camp ground is that its protected from the weather, a nice water source, and great camping spots! We spent about an hour here. We refilled our water from the creek via filter and cooked a nice mountain house meal. As we started pushing for the summit another 3 miles up the mountain the temperature started to drop fast. The last 2 miles are pretty exposed. You'll hear countless people comment about how windy and bone-chilling it gets the last 1.5 miles as they descent. Don't worry to much, if you have layers and a good windbreaker, you'll be fine! Also be sure to bring a good pair of gloves and a beanie. Once we reached the summit at around 5pm, we were welcomed with a beautful sunset on top of the highest peak in SoCal! There was a few small patches of snow. The summit camp ground is about 50 feet away from the summit and is extremely exposed. Although they're about 6 manmade rock shelter to reduce the wind hitting your tent, it still makes up for a windy night. As we set up camp we both experienced our hands going almost completely numb from the cold. As the sun disappeared we set up our tent just in time. At this time it was a rush to warm our hands and jump into our sleeping bags. It was so cold that we decided not to cook that night. The forecasted called for the low to be around 5 and with the windchill to be around -13. We were told the winds would be around 15 but awoke to a wind advisory of 50+ gusts! Luckily we had the proper gear! Our phones stopped working due to the cold and our camel bac froze. At around 1 am we woke up do a midnight summit. It was truly a special moment being on-top of SoCal and only us were crazy enough to experience this that night. I'll never forget all the stars and the sense of purpose that night Brough to us. A sense of belonging that only nature could bring. At around 8 am we broke camp and hiked down making stops at the same camp grounds as before. The climb took us 8 hours and the descent took us around 5. Ultimately, This was a very fun hike! Although a day hike is doable, backpacking this trail seams more enjoyable. Next time I'd love to make this a 3 day trip. Camping at high creek the first night, hiking to the summit day 2 and sleeping back at high camp the 2nd night. That would be more relaxing. This hike is tough but worth it.
Side notes: altitude sickness is possible after 8,000 feet. Both my friend and I got sick at the summit for about two hours after we set up camp, This was due to the heavy packs and fast paced hiking to reach the summit before sunset. If you become sick just stop where your at for a little while until you feel better. If you don't feel better turn around below 8,000 ft and adjust!
Bring a water filter so you can save weight by refilling at high creek.
Start early! It gets dark fast!
Look out for wildfires! We saw multiple firetrucks putting out such fires as we drove home.
Hike with a friend! Trails like this are safe, but weather/ injuires can happen fast and to anyone.
Leave no trace, keep this place beautiful.
Have fun! Enjoy not just the summit but the journey that leads up to it. As you climb notice the different ecosystems!
Camping at the summit was a great time but I wouldn't recommend it with the summit being so windy!

Did this trip in August. Absolutely loved it! Beautiful scenery! First backpacking experience. Camped midway which was fun and hiked to peak next day. The altitude was a new challenge, but not too hard. A wonderful getaway!

Did it on 11/19/18. We were planning to clockwise. Started from Manker around 10 to 10:30, then through paved wide drive road reach the split of badly bowl and fall road?. we took badly bowl. steep at beginning, slower in the middle, reach ski hub, then easier ascent. before summit, there are two strenuous ascending. On first one, the trail became really steep (>45%), with multiple possible ways, with dirt or loose graves ground. Then we were thinking it was almost summit, but one hiker told us it would take another 30-40 minutes before summit and suggested devil's backbone is a more dangerous down way. Right before summit, it was about 30 minutes 30% ascending. We arrived summit at 2pm. Since we knew sundown time was 5pm, devil's backbone is a much longer trail, our phone was out of battery, and it was our first time, we took the advise deciding coming down from badly bowl. My knees got killed. Slipping a few times per person. Yesterday was cloudy. when sun downed at 4:30, we reached the split. At 5pm, we backed to Manker flat parking lot.

Don't know how dangerous down from devil's backbone. But, down from badly bowl is asking for hammering on your knees.

Parking lot & turnouts full. Paid $20 for valet parking near store. Started hike off Sturtevant trail at 8:15 a.m. Took us 4 hours to reach summit (Observatory) and 3 hours to return/ loop around through Wilson trail (Upper Winter Creek). Return trailhead is off the cafe parking lot, however it is not marked.Tracker recorded 15.5 miles.Don't be deceived, it's a strenuous hike. Beautiful mountainous views.

Short version: I've done it twice this year. Last February and this weekend (Nov 17). Beautiful but difficult. I'm in my mid fifties and in relatively good condition. So, for you young folks... read this review with that in mind. I've hiked Whitney once, San Jacinto a half dozen times, and have covered 15 - 20 mile days in succession on short sections of the PCT. Don't read anything more into all that other than I am an experienced novice that loves to hike.

This little trail is harder than all of my previous hiking.

Long version: Unless you are in hiking shape... not running or surfing or weightlifting shape... but hiking shape with the body used to having 30pds+ strapped to it and walking up hills for hours... regularly and who is? I recommend making a 3 day trip out of it.
Day 1) parking lot to High Creek camp which is 3000'+- of climbing in 6 miles with full pack
Day 2) High Creek Camp to the top and back, which is 2500'+- up then down over 6 miles with day pack
Day 3) 6 miles and 3000' downhill back to car.
This pace would seem to offer what I go to the mtns for which is both a challenge as well as time to put the feet up, get a book out and kick back in the trees. Both times that I've done this hike I've only camped one night. Both trips were awesome but somewhat painful and slightly rushed. Why not add one more night and slow the whole thing down a bit is the realization I came to this morning after downing another post weekend Ibuprofin with my coffee.
If your schedule is tight then the Redbull 10hr+- up and back in a day with only a day pack seems the most popular.
For me hiking is challenging, slowing down is more of a challenge. Probably more than you wanted to know but hope it helps.

Finally, I researched this mountain well prior to my Feb hike as I was considering going solo. I found out that even for experienced hikers with snow and ice gear hiking sometimes on beautiful weather days... this mountain has been very deadly; be careful!

I completed this hike yesterday. It was an awesomely beautiful day with high clouds and a slight breeze. I started around 6:20 AM, summited around 10:30, had an hour lunch up top with a couple celebratory beers, and then was back down to the parking lot by 2:45 PM. About 7.5 hours total hiking time. The trail was relatively uncrowded and I only saw a couple dozen people all day. Timed the summit perfectly as I had it all to myself for several minutes until others arrived. San Jacinto was poking out of the mist but the views were almost unlimited in all directions. Could see Big Bear Lake to the north, Gorgonio nearby, Saddleback in the distance, and the Inland Empire in between.

The trail is very well defined and smooth. Towards the top, the trail gets a little rockier but for the most part, it is pretty smooth. Just steady uphill with a leveling off around Manzanita Flats before it starts climbing again. Nowhere near as steep as Baldy, just a steady if not relentless climb. Highly rewarding to get to the top as you traverse a lot of ground. The snow was all gone with the exception of an icy patch around 9,500 feet beyond the end of a switchback.

All in all, a beautiful hike and one of my favorites to date.

Did it on 11/17/18 very nice weather just a bit chilly at times .

35 degrees at the summit. The Devil’s Backbone was the easier trail coming down.

Wow! A tough hike for sure, especially if you’re hauling enough gear to camp over night. Weather was amazing, clear but somewhat cold. The temp over night was around 20 degrees. The trek to High Creek Campgrounds with 40 lbs. worth of gear was a challenge. From Forest Falls to High Creek is a 3k elevation gain in 8.5 miles. It’s a haul! Then the summit is another 2,400 ft to the top. Round trip is really 22 miles back to the car. Took my 14 year old son, we both got a workout! Watch your time, both the hike in and out we ended up hiking in the dark with headlamps for the last few hours. There’s water at High Creek so you can replenish there if you have a pump/filter.

I should have added that I was the first one down. No one passed me. Two of the groups that were at the summit while I was there arrived at the trailhead about 20 minutes after I did. I think it's justified to call this a 9-10 hour hike for the majority of us.
And to clarify a potential issue: the difference between my mileage (17.3) and AllTrails (15.1) is 2.2 miles. That's more than an hour at my pace. So if I had relied on AllTrails numbers and started later, I could have been coming down in the dark.
I understand that it's difficult to accurately measure distance, even with a GPS in hand. But a chronic shortfall in reporting trail distances points to some issue.
Hikes in Patagonia are marked not by distance, but by the amount of time the able bodied elders in the community take to make the hike. That's a very useful metric. Not sure how to make that work here, other than honest reports.

Hiked this on Veterans Day. A heartfelt thanks to all who served.
Beautiful weather. A bit of wind but not as bad as predicted. The top was almost calm.
Definitely a workout. The manzanita plateau might have been my favorite part. Then the flats near John's Meadow marked with an ancient wheelbarrow.
Not too crowded, I only saw about 2 dozen people the whole day. Pretty good for a weekend.
My Garmin marked 17.3 miles roundtrip and TripSummit has it at 16.8 miles. The Garmin was spot on for vertical gain at 4600 ft.
Glad to see the previous reviewer post how long it took. Six hours is realistic in my opinion. It took me 5.5 hours to reach the summit, and 9.5 roundtrip. I passed three groups on the way up and kept pace with another. I assume they were the first to reach the summit that morning as I didn't see anyone on their down. I summited about 11:30 about 10 minutes after the first group. This was after a 6:15 start.
Great hike and I recommend doing it, but unless you are an extremely fit individual who is well acclimated to altitude, plan on a 10 hour trip to make sure you don't have to hike it in the dark if making the summit is important to you. Regardless, even a hike part way up is well worth it.
AllTrails, I (and from the reviews, several others) clock every hike you describe at a greater distance than stated. I feel this could cause someone a significant issue sometime. I paid for this service to help me plan. Inaccurate information doesn't fit well with that purpose.
Time to get up from your computers and get feet on the ground!

Spectacular views. Can be hard for folks who take time in adjusting to altitude low pressure at 10k ft

First of all... it’s 15.5 miles from the Baldy Parking lot.
Second, it’s hard. But....it’s great. Great view at the top. Take lots of water. Be ready for a decent climb.

Completed this hike 11/10/18, weather was perfect and the views were amazing! Thanks to all who posted helpful tips on this hike. I found the information to be very helpful. Here’s a few additional tips that may help your hiking adventure to SB peak:
I found this incredibly helpful locating the parking lot to the trail head: 34.14612, -116.97826 (thanks to who shared this on this app!!). You’ll need an Adventure Pass for this trail; however, permits are no longer required for day hikes (but recommended) www.sgwa.org. I did call to confirm information was correct. Always check with Ranger Station for changes and current trail updates before you go out.
Dress in layers. We started at 6am and in the shade it was pretty chilly. You may find a hat and gloves helpful. Bring lots of water! I went through my 3L and 16oz Hydroflask before I finished. No snow on this trail and the spring water was frozen. The trail itself is very well maintained and easy to follow.
The time it took my friend and I to summit was six hours. The first two miles’ish in the beginning I found most challenging on this entire hike. You’ll then go through the Manzanita’s which is fairly flat for quite awhile and you’ll end up at Limber Pines. Once you pass Limber Pines you’ll notice a steady gradual incline to the peak. At the peak, the views are beautiful. Very nice panoramic views of the mountain ranges and surrounding cities. Descending took us a little more than three hours.
Of all the Six Pack of Peaks, this a top favorite! Happy hiking!

One of the best hikes I've done since I've lived here. Gorgeous vistas all along the way and pretty isolate. Camped 2 miles from the top, lots of camping spots, just have to go online and get a permit. They gave me mine the same day I applied so its quick, but it was also shoulder season. I would try to nab it at least 2-3 weeks beforehand during peak season to make sure you get a spot.

Fantastic hike!!!! One of the best that I have accomplished this year. It is 11.4 miles, not 13, but if you don't like going down hill, the last 2.5 miles will feel like 5 miles. As others have said it is that first (and last) 2.5 miles that are the steepest. The middle is relatively easy (if you are used to big hikes) while the switchbacks make the last mile quite doable. Very pretty, no steep drop offs, lots to look at, the rock and tree formations are fantastic. The Forest Service office in Idyllwild opens at 8 but you can also get a permit in the outdoor kiosk.

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