Explore Summer 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2017 Map
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Daring hike up the cone! The temperature difference is pretty crazy.

Road closed for THREAT of snow 01/12/19

Such an awesome climb to the Baldy summit today. The views were incredible. Crampons AND Poles are a MUST and that is the minimum. I would’ve felt safer with an ice axe. The temperature was freezing and my hydration pack froze while I was climbing the backbone. Kind of annoying, but that’s why I came hydrated.
I took the fire road route up to the Baldy Notch which lead to the Devils Backbone and up to the summit. I got lost on the way down when the fog set in HEAVILY. I ended up taking a wrong turn and ended up on Register Ridge which was SKETCHY (I loved that).
Come prepared, have patients, and be safe.

“Mountains are not Stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion”
-Anatoli Boukreev

IG: @TheSoCalHiker94

Probably better in summer. Cold and windy near the ski lift. Bar was closed. Took about 30 minutes hiking down to thaw my face and hands. Pretty views and steady incline. Watch for ice

Loved it take enough water in the summer, hat and food!

I did this hike just a month ago and it was absolutely stunning!!! I highly recommend!

This is a great hike to challenge yourself! It has a great scenery and a bar with food near the lift. I took my walking sticks because coming down is hard and rocks and dirt slide. I really enjoyed this hike! Bring lots of water and it’s cold at the top so be prepared!

One of the best hikes. This hike actually is not really hard as people say. I took my three older sons with me (13,10, 10) and they completed it with no issues. Mind you they have been backpacking since age 2.

We had a great time! Snow at that time was perfect.

backpacking
1 month ago

One of my favorite short trails! Gorgeous mountain and lake views with abundant water sources (passing through seven lakes in 3.5 miles)! Nice campsites along Heart Lake, Chickenfoot Lake and Gem Lake. Fishing is good in most lakes. Perfect for older dogs. Very crowded and hard to find parking during summer. Permits are hard to come by, but walk-ins are very doable.

just a great hike with shade and fantastic views

Pretty lakes & mountains with snow caps

Nice hike up to the saddle from Devil's Slide. Just a short trip from here to Tahquitz Peak or a longer trek to Mt. San Jacinto. Great views of Suicide Rock going up. Don't forget to get a pass at ranger station in town. I believe this trail has a sign that says "No Dogs" but I always see lots of dogs on trail. Last time I was on her to MSJ I saw a baby rattlesnake. Great small hike.

All incline so be ready to up hill it - it ends meeting up with several trail junctions so there are options to keep on with another trail with less incline. Beautiful views! And close to town center.

hiking
2 months ago

Really cool trail to hike. It was so amazing to see the Cinder Cone. It’s steep, but short. There were kids doing it, so definitely family friendly. It a pain to get to, there not a lot to see around Butte Lake, so unless you camp at Butte Lake (which I did) you would have to drive an extra 40+ minutes to the trailhead from the main part of the park (Manzanita area).

Probably the most unique hike I’ve done! I’d call it a moderate hike, first part is easy it’s like walking on sand (annoying but easy) then hiking up the cone is the killer part. It’s only a half mile up, but your legs are going to burn. The painted dunes are what I was looking forward to the most, and they exceeded my expectation. Very unique and beautiful! Also I’d recommend hiking down in the the back trail of the cone, you get great views of MT Lassen, Brokeoff, and you get to walk in the lava flow and dunes a bit.

Very nice hike. Most of the hike was through the forest and therefore shaded. It was fun talking to the through hikers on the PCT. Spectacular views of the Mojave Desert and the ranges of the San Gabriels. Significant elevation gains at the beginning of the hike and as you approach the summit of Mt. Islip. The middle of the hike is much more gradual.

Nice trail moderate to easy. Beautiful views.

This hike was intense. I will for sure do it again. The view is amazing .

Keep in mind the change in temperatures from the bottom to the top.

Outstanding hike and views! We missed the fall color up here but still well worth the trip!

Oh yeah. Trail starts you at 10000 feet and hikes you incredible views of the eastern escarpment of the Sierras. Not bad for a 7.4 mi day hike.

One of our favorites

Did the Devil's backbone on the way up, came down Baldy Bowl trail. Coming down was a killer. But a great challenging hike!

Great way to get up high into the Sierra Nevada without having to climb far. Trailhead begins about 10,000 ft, next to good campground facilities. We did full-on steak, wine, the works, at the trailhead, then left non-hike gear behind...all "smellables" in the roomy bear-boxes. Plenty of water on the trail. Everything beyond the trailhead rises to "no open fires" altitude. So, bring warm camp clothing, and enjoy the stars.

We loved this trail! Great for a hot day. There are clear cold lakes to jump in every half mile or so. There were a lot of people but everyone was very friendly and didn’t even make comments about my dog off leash. My pup is very friendly but she is a pit bull so many people make incorrect assumptions about her. We all had a great day. I was wishing I had brought sleeping gear. I wanted to keep going and going!

Awesome experience! I recommend it

Beautiful trail, the lakes are amazing,our dog enjoyed it too. The trail starts at mosquito flat, just follow the rock creek road to the very end, the road to parking lot gets narrower but the parking lot is huge.

Just came off this trail. it has a well earned "moderate" rating as it is approximately 2.6 miles of constant grade from the trailhead the saddle.

Trail is well maintained, switchbacks are well graded. All in all, this is a great hike with nice access to the PCT, Taquitz Peak (1.4 miles south from the saddle), and San Jacinto peak via the PCT (7 miles north from the saddle).

The hike was amazing. Will confirm what all others have said, first part is easy to moderate, it's just like walking in sand at the beach. It's annoying and works your calfs but it's not the worst thing in the world. Plus you get to walk parallel to the lava beds and it's kinda cool. So much rubble and then it just stops. Kinda cool to think about how it happened back then.

And then you see it. The cone. And the steep incline. And you wonder if you can make it. Here are the only two things I would say a) it looks a lot worse than it is especially if you notice how tiny the people are as they are walking up and b) please take sticks. My husband made me a stick from a dead tree close to the bottom and I don't know how I would have made it without. Everyone tells you how it's one step forward and two steps back but with a stick it rarely happens. And then, seriously. Don't let anyone rush you. The path is wide enough people can pass you. Take your time. Let your quad muscles relax again before you keep going. Slow and steady wins the race as the say.

The good news is that it only goes around the side once. So what you see is pretty much it. There's a last bend that you don't see from way down but really that's it's.

Then enjoy the top. Use the inner trails if you don't like heights but want to see some views.

But my biggest lesson (and maybe it's just my perspective). THE INITIAL SLOPE UP IS WAAAAAY EASIER THAN THE BACK ONE. Just in case there's confusion: the darker one is what I can the initial slope. It's the first one you see when you come from butte campground/Lake. That is way easier up and mainly wider. Less stones so less sliding. The back one, meaning the one on the side of the painted dunes, is half the width. We walked down it and it was horrible. Plus when you're done, the "flatter" hike is twice as long as if you take the main slope.

Lots of detail here as hopefully it's useful for those of you, who, like me, feel like they need to read up a lot on things before venturing.

Bottom line, as with all things that seem difficult, you'll be so proud once you've done it. You hiked up a freakin' volcano for goodness sakes!!!!

Such a great hike. I did this in June. I was just starting out for the season. Was hard for me to the meadows. Meet PCT hikers at the meadows. Will be back to go up go the peak

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