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this was a tough hike straight up and slippery rocks but worth it for the view at the top and it's a short hike just under a mile

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.

hiking
3 days ago

Parking is easy and free. Light traffic. No shade, so be smarter than I was and go hiking as early as possible during the scorching heat months. Super steep climb the entire time until you get to the top.

Did this but I started near the Zoo.... went up to Amir’s Garden then up towards the ridge. Took some random side trail along a smaller peak to Mt . Lee, and then on to Cahuenga... total trip 6.4 miles

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.

Steep incline to start, but a great hike if you’re looking for a workout with a view at the top. You can even hike it to the back of the Hollywood sign. We didn’t complete the loop on the way back because it was getting dark so we took the same way down. We will definitely return and complete the loop. Highly recommend.

hiking
11 days ago

This is a great trail. Challenging but the perfect amount of time.

Flat and shady!
Only ~500 ft elevation

Great run for the dogs
Keep dogs out of the sun
Cross a couple streams so fresh water for pups

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

This is a vigorous hike. The trail was clear, but is was sometimes difficult to stay on track. The app really helped. It took me a little over 6 hours to complete this hike because of the heat. I would stop often to cool off whenever I could find some shade, which is difficult at times. I will do this hike again when it is cooler. There are a lot of uphill sections. Bring lots of water!

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.

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.

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

hiking
1 month ago

There was a short, very steep elevation gain. After that, the rest of the trail has very little elevation. There were lots of bikers!!

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.

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.

trail running
1 month ago

Please be careful if you do decide to attempt this counter-clockwise.

I made the mistake of assuming this will be a reasonably moderate adventurous run (since I'm very familiar with the trails around here and am often found there when not working). The trail is washed out so you'll be bouncing left and right across the creek quite often. It gets slippery at certain parts (when most of the rocks have algae / moss). If you're careful and have good traction shoes, that part can be doable. But please be careful! Now when I hit the artificial waterfall, I didn't see anything there (I somehow missed the rope leading up the wall). I instead traced back 0.1mi and found a way to scramble up on the left side to what seemed to be a trail. I had tried to go somewhere on the right but the gates were all locked up and my mab showed that left side was reasonable. But I think the trail I ended up on was abandoned, since it ended. I slipped at one point and kept on sliding. Managed to find a way to hold on to branches, and out of fear of falling kept going up, holding on to whatever I can (which is hard given that there were only a few degraded sandstone pieces that were breaking off, a minimal amount of branches, and lots of dead leaves.) Ended up needing rescuing. Never thought I would ever need that in my life, and certainly not in my backyard.

I admit my decision-making seems off (fear does wonders), but please be careful and don't underestimate this path. And as people suggested, perhaps try to go clockwise or go with a few friends so you can keeo each other in check and not get lost / hurt.

Enjoy the trails and be smarter than me!

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