Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Angeles National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This is one of my favorites in the Angeles Forest. The parking is pretty plentiful but I would still get there early because it will fill up. The trail immediately starts off steep and is basically a series of switchbacks all the way to the top. You will have plenty of shade and some beautiful views even before you get to the top.
As soon as the switchbacks stop you will reach a saddle with the summit at the end of it.
This is a moderately trafficked trail. You will run into PCT hikers who are always interesting!
All of the photos I saw had a cool layer of clouds below the summit but I didn’t get that lucky.
I definitely recommend this hike!

BaddAssHike nice encounter with the long horn sheeps

What a view and strong wind!!! Went up via Ski Hut and down via Devil’s Backbone. The night before I was so nervous about Devil’s Backbone since I have fear of heights and read so many review about the drop on both sides. But tried anyway to go through it myself and succeeded. The trail is spacious enough for me not to think that I would fall even with high wind hitting from the side. It was spectacular view on both Baldy Bowl Trail and Devil’s Backbone. But the later is certainly my favorite trail so far. Garmin InReach log 11.5 miles of this loop.

Beautiful walk and waterfall.

Tough trail for beginners, the switch backs will make you feel like you’ll never get there but the trail is well worth going to the top. I definitely felt the altitude changes, make sure you take breaks often, it only took us 4 hours to do so it’s not too bad of a hike. Was really windy but was a good start to my weekend. 6/15/18

Beautiful hike with a lot of lush growth and some wildflowers! Nice payoff at the end with the waterfall. You can access the top of the falls and also the bottom via an old rope to aid you in getting back up. Be careful! Bring lots of water

Went on this trail yesterday and it was brutal! I did love it because it gave great views. I was above the cloud bank, seeing Catalina Island, and was even able to see deer! I did get aggravated during the last half a mile/mile because it was so steep and going down, it was easy to fall if you didn't have poles. I would suggest a lot of sunscreen because a lot of it isn't in the shade and the sun will hit you everywhere. It's extremely rewarding & you feel great once you get to the top so I definitely encourage anyone to try it! I will say that it is way beyond 12.5 miles- the health app I have clocked it in as 14-15. I know, I know, it's only 2 miles but once you get to a certain point those two miles will seem like 5 and you'll be clawing to the bottom.
**Park or camp out at Manker Flats and you just have to walk about 1/4th a mile to the trail head.

Very challenging hike. If you do not like heights or extreme drop offs on both sides then do not take Devils Backbone. I am not a fan of heights at all. Went up from Manker Flats to the ski lodge then up to Devils Backbone and could not do it. Started getting vertigo and all sorts of anxiety 50 yards in. Had to turn around go down and back up the Baldy Bowl Trail. Way better trail with less exposure and better forest views. I saw a big horn sheep on my way down by ski hut and a deer at the very bottom of the Baldy Bowl trail. 15.9 miles total and over 5,700 ft of elevation gain that day.

walking
5 days ago

Beautiful trail!

it's was on my list for the sixpack of peaks challenge. the devil's backbone is the toughest part. if you slip you can fall to a certain death on both sides. i wouldn't recommend taking children or animals on this part of the hike. it is dangerous & people have died there.

Amazing hike and views.

i parked at manker flats and road my bike to ice house after leaving my car by the trail exit, its all downhill to icehouse if u do this make sure your bike brakes are good but its a fun quick ride.

this trail has a.bit of everything scrambles, uphill,down hill, sun and shade, limited water except beginning my gps clocked it at 15.5 miles but i took the road down from thunder the slops were to steep for my liking. a very quiet hike once on the three t's trail. This is training for something more intense but will give u some burn enjoy bring lots of water on hot day lots of exposure.

4/20 gorgeous day but wind chill at the top was pretty cold. Very few patches of snow left, no spikes needed but poles recommended. Highly recommend this hike.

Nice trail with very nice views. Parking lot was already full by 7:30am! Wow. However, we managed to find someone just leaving. Will come back very soon! 5/5

Wonderful views with easy parking on a Thursday morning.

did this trail for the first time and wow what a butt kicker, but I loved it!!! Left Manker Flats at 7:10 am and got back at 1:50 PM. I was not prepared for the elevation about 8000ft and I had to stop alot to rest. At the notch I was sure which way to go so I took the trail on the left but took the trail on the right on the way down. The views along the way were awesome and the weather couldn't have been better. Unfortunately I had to call it quits at the switchbacks, my legs were done and the sight of that last climb crushed me haha. better safe than sorry. I made it back to the nothx and was so drained I was going to take the chairlift back down unti I found out it was $15!!! so i made the journey down very slowly. I will definitely be doing this hike again and hopefully make it to the summit next time.

This hike was great although I decided to hike in the afternoon... in June... with no clouds in sight! There are a few patches of shade but once in the gulch it's pretty much sun all the way. it was about 2.3 miles in to the falls so 4.6 round trip. I did it in 2 hrs and 6 min not including the short time i rested at the falls. Overall a pretty easy hike with a few inclines that make you dig in and push. Once you see the falls the fork will come up quick to a steep decent which a portion has a rope for you to use to hold on to. I wouldn't recommend it to the faint of heart, any timid beginners, elderly, people in improper hiking footwear or young children. there was water but the falls weren't magnificent. I'll definitely have to come back after a rainy day!

Very challenging with all the switchbacks. I made it to the top where the flag and wooden sign is. Great views all around. Very refreshing at the top. My group found a great spot to relax, eat, and nap.

Baldy bowl trail is a challenging yet rewarding hike. The incline definitely gets you ready for tougher hikes and a great trainer for Whitney. Completed yesterday in 2 hours 20 minutes. Finally saw my first big horn sheep at the summit and after years of coming here I thought that they were a myth!

Awesome hike!

Got an early start, around 8am, along with a good group of people planning on doing some trail maintenance! Nice cool breeze during the assent with plenty of shade along the way. Was a steep hike consisting of switchbacks all the way. Plenty of space on top to kick back and relax. Even got buzzed by a glider. Started to warm up on the way down but the trees shaded us plenty. Overall a very good hike. Would highly recommend! Trail is easy of the feet. Hardly any rocks or big steps. Enjoy.

Took us about 3hrs to hike the summit, only seeing one other hiker on the trail after spotting a few deer grazing along the hill side. Steady incline. Glad to have brought the hammocks! Made for a most relaxing and peaceful excursion once we made it to the top. Amazing and breath taking views! I highly recommend starting early in the day.

Trail isnt maintained very well but was really not too much of a hinderance. I walk in shorts and apart from brushing a few branches was otherwise unscathed. Trail was really easy to follow and the waterfall and views back across the canyon were well worth the climb in height. I hiked starting at 3pm and there were a good few parts in the shade as well as the sun which provided a good mix.

Myself, wife, and 13yr old son did this today. Same loop description, 12mi from Manker. Caught some wicked vertigo on Devil's Backbone, enjoyed a lovely view of the ground till it passed lol. Downhill on skihut was rough, next time we discussed taking backbone back, vertigo, 2 extra miles and all just to save knees and ankles. Overall a great hike!

Great training hike for things like Mount Whitney. We went counter clockwise up Devil’s Backbone. The descent was not the most pleasant experience due to the amount of scree on the other side of the mountain (Baldy Bowl). You really should bring at least one pole on this hike. If you don’t, you’ll be wishing you had one while you’re navigating and trying to balance yourself on all that loose scree. Other than the scree, it’s a very satisfying hike and the views up above the cloud line are amazing. Baldy is completely exposed on the top so be sure to bring a windbreaker or jacket in your pack.

Had a great hike there, first mile or so is shaded, after that be prepared to hike exposed to direct sun. We actually camped overnight at the campsite a mile past the waterfall. Great secluded campsite just be extra careful did come across a rattle snake on side of trail...

I’m a moderately healthy hiker and we did the loop counter-clockwise (up Falls Road and Devil’s Backbone, then down Baldy Bowl trail) in 6.5 hours. Including about 15 minutes break at the Mt Baldy Ski Resort, and 30 minutes at the summit.

The hike approaching the summit kicked my butt, I think partially due to the elevation, but the views were beautiful and absolutely worth it.

I just wish the trail was better marked in places. Signage isn’t the best. Some parts have multiple possible ways. Many parts of the trail involve climbing up or sliding down loose shale and dirt, so poles could have been nice to bring.

I’d recommend downloading a map ahead of time. We also had a Turn by Turn Guide from HikingGuy.com which was useful to reference at points.

Heads up that you are supposed to get an Adventure Pass to park at the trailhead in Manker Campground. You can get a daily pass for $5 and if you go to the National Forest website there is a list of vendors all over the state where you can get one in advance. (For a daily pass, you scratch off the month and day of your choice, and it’s good until 10am on the day after.) It’s useful to get one in advance especially if you plan to start the hike early and the nearby locations might not be open yet. We did see several cars without them, that weren’t ticketed, so I’m not sure how strict it is, but I’d rather not chance it.

Amazing hike! View was incredible!

I went up via the Baldybowl trail which is without a doubt the harder way up, but it was definitely better on my knees than coming down this way like I did two weeks ago, my knees hurt for over a week that time, but this time I took the chair lift down from the lodge and my knees feel so much better. Next time I will park at the ski lift parking lot as I can still get to the Baldybawl trail grom there.

Did this trail as an overnight. Added Baldy summit to it after staying at the Notch overnight. Did the three T’s day one and then Baldy from Devil’s backbone, down to Manker Flats on the other side. Recommend parking a Car at both Manker Flats and Icehouse, even if only about 2 miles, the road is dangerous to walk!

Fantastic trail with lots of changes in scenery and spectacular views! Camping at the moths let’s you beat the crowds up to the summit and the back trail via the ski hut tends to be less traveled.

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