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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!

This hike was great!! I took my golden on a Wednesday. Only ran into a few people on the trails. It’s amazing how much canopy there is so close to LA. I needed that!

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.

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.

We used this as a trial run with our gear this past Sunday. wonderful amounts of vegetation on the lower trail. lots of little crossings that are very easy. because of the recent rain they're lots of fallen trees and loose dirt on certain sections. was a wonderful day to hike up make lunch n hike out. get there early or add a mile to your hike from parking.

11 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 was surprised by the lower part of the loop: lots of water...creek crossings, pools, etc. Very nice. Plan on doing an out and back to Mt. Zion sometime soon via lower WC trail. Looks like it is about 6 miles RT.

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.

Not a bad hike. Good weather and nice views. Can be a bit hazy at the Zion vista. The portion from the falls through the flats is fairly crowded. The rest of the train was only moderately trafficked. The trail markings are fairly poor and it is easy to make a wrong turn in the areas near the falls at 2 junctures.

Awesome hike! Beautiful trail with some good inclines. Parking is a struggle - get there early. TIP - the interagency pass (America the Beautiful) can be used for parking here so you don't have to pay for a single day pass

Gets busy in the chantry flats - leave early for the hike

This loop is actually 9.5 miles!

Beautiful trail, great workout. The waypoint for Sturtevant Camp on the map in this trail description is incorrect. Sturtevant camp in en route to Mt Zion peak located between Spruce Grove campground and the turn Mt Zion/Mt Wilson Trail junction. The location marked as Sturtevant is more likely to be Hoegee's Trail Camp

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 ;)

My favorite of all hikes

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!

Way too many people, easy hike, lots of mean dogs, rude teenagers, a lot of people playing shit music. Won’t be back unless I backpack to a cabin far away.

So many trails within trails ❤❤

23 days ago

this trail starts off very shady, relaxing and easy (although very rocky). Once you get a bit past the 2 mile mark, it gets very steep. Once at the top, you are greeted by amazing snow views and ice cold winds. Intermediate hike.

Great starter hike. Arrived 830a and found parking about half a mile away, trail was clear, nice cabins, pretty scenery, dont go in the toilets, enjoyed skipping across "river crossings" the water was flowing well at the falls. walked in a bit, the dog loved it.. but the incline on the way out could be an issue for some. lots of shade was a plus.

good little workout on this hike. enjoyed the scenery and the waterfall at the end was nice. it was extremely crowded and we had to park about a half mile down the road. the parking lot was full and many people were parking on random pull outs down the road (we did too). you'll need an adventure pass. there was a large group (at least 60 people) when we went, so it was crowded. nice overall.

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.

27 days ago

One of the most popular trails around the area. Expect large crowds! Come to the Chantry Flats EARLY if you don't want to hike to the trailhead, this place fills up faster than Mr. Krabs who saw someone touching his money. You will need a day/ annual adventure pass.

Check out some of photos from the hike! see the crowd for yourself :)

Good balance of grades

This is a pretty straightforward hike. Parking sucks unless you get there between 6-7am and requires a parking pass. My favorite part of the hike is toward the top where you’re surrounded by greenery everywhere. Hardly feels like you’re in LA.

Please be advised that the route in the “description” section is NOT 4.7 miles!! That distance is more in line with Hoagee’s to Upper Winter Canyon. The route described was almost 10.5 miles. That being said, it’s a super nice area to hike in. Get there EARLY as parking will fill up before 6:30am on the weekends.

This is a very cool short easy hiking trail. It starts with a 1/2 mile paved fireroad with about 400 feet of decent right out of the gate, then drops you at a bridge and a creek with another bathroom. The trail then turns to dirt and narrows and continues along the creek the rest of the way. It is mostly covered by trees so lots of shade. There are a couple easy creek crossings required and then boom, 1.5 miles in and your at the falls. It is nice and pretty clean. Lots of rocks or areas to sit and eat at the falls. I'd say this hike is very easy other than, oh yeah remember that initial 1/2 mile with 400 feet of decent?? Yeah that is all uphill at the finish, which again, for almost any hiker is still easy; however, for small children that part could be challenging, and that part is basically the only part that is actually direct sun as well. All in all still an easy beautiful family trail. The only reason I dont give this 5 stars is the parking. There is a small parking lot at the trailhead and restrooms. However, we arrived at 8am and not only was that full, with several desperate people driving in circles hoping to catch someone leaving, but cars were parked all along the road down the mountain (on both sides) which is pretty much marked everywhere either "No parking" or "No stopping" signs or painted "No parking" on the pavement. Despite all the signage, people were parked all over the area, with their vehicles sticking out into traffic way too much, along an already narrown road, which then causes all those people from those cars to have to walk up the mountain to the trailhead completely in the roadway, as vehicles were blocking the shoulder all the way. Extremely dangerous, especially for kids, which this trail is covered with. We were forced to park exactly 1 mile down the mountain from the trailhead, which hey, we're hiking, so not a huge deal, but the circumstances are less than ideal if you show up at 8am. Prior to that, i cannot speak for, but still a cool trail I recommend.

Nice easy hike, too crowded. Doing this hike once is enough.

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