Mount Baden Powell Trail is a 8.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Valyermo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2,788 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Note: Crampons and proper gear are recommended during the winter due to snow. Some roads leading to trailhead may close seasonally, so check with Caltrans in advance. This is a strenuous hike up to the 9400 foot peak of Mount Baden-Powell. The hike, up 40 switchbacks, takes you through an amazing range of vegetation. Along the way you will see Oaks, Jeffery pines, Sugar Pines, Incense Cedar, Lodgepole Pines, White Fir, and near the summit the gnarled Limber Pines. The views from the summit are breathtaking, looking over the Mojave desert and Southern Sierra. This is a great training day hike for a future backpacking trip.

hiking
icy
off trail
snow
27 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

(May 2, 2020) Road was closed so started at Jackson Lake TH. The trail from Jack Lake TH to PCT JCT (~3.5 miles with 900' gain) (TH for Baden Powell) is really nice. I did the ridge from BP to Mt Hawkins dropped down South Fork Big Pine Creek hoofed to BP TH and back over to car at Jackson Lake TH. Top 1/3 of BP still had snow, bottom 2/3s on and off snow piles. Ridge to Mt Hawkins had snow but enough was melted off along the sides (if you are uncomfortable walking on snow). North side of Mt Hawkins had solid snow enough to easily get down to the Hwy 2. I did Waterman Mtn and Twin Pk on May 8, 2020 and from the looks of it no visible snow along ridge from Throop Pk all the way to South Hawkins, no visible snow along ridge from Smith Mtn to Mt Islip and no visible snow above Windy Gap ridge to Mt Hawkins. Most of the snow on northwest face of Mt Hawkins seemed to have melted ..melting off fast. I could not see the ridge going from Islip down to Windy Gap (probably mostly melted off)

hiking
off trail
snow
1 month ago

This review was for our summit hike Sunday April 26th. The 2 highway was still closed so we parked at 8:30 am close to Big Creek Rd over by the Forestry Conservatory/Prison. From here, it’s about 1.9-2.0 miles up Big Creek fire road to the Vincent Gap trailhead. The switchbacks were present for about 500 ft of elevation gain and then the snow forced us to go off trail. With gaiters and micro spikes we were able to cut straight up the 50+ switch backs pretty quickly and make the summit by 3:00 pm (about 6.5 hours). Heading down was a fun combo of glissading and big steps to make the steep descent in the 3 ft of snow. Temps were surprisingly warm, almost 70 degrees at the summit. Unless one last big storm hits SoCal, my guess is in the next two weeks 80% of the snow will be gone. Great little training hike; beautiful mountain. From the summit we could clearly see Gorgonio, Baldy and Jacinto.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Did it last Saturday and we parked at Big Pines and hiked five miles to Vincent Gap due to road closure. Hiked straight up then went straight down to intercept the road, east of the trail. Had to plunge step down and snow was thigh high sometimes bc we left our ice axes in the car thinking we would not do the whole thing. Was too steep to glissade without it. Def need crampons that day but maybe hiking boots with microspikes were ok if you stayed on the trail. The road hike was kinda fun with a bunch of PCTers on it. Very beautiful hike and was nice exercise and nice weather.

hiking
icy
off trail
snow
1 month ago

April 4th 2020 Had to park at Grassy Hollow. 2.4 miles from Vincent gap. Trail disappears pretty much after first switchback and you need crampons right off the bat. But micro kinda work as well. Hard pack in early hours but softened up a lot with afternoon sun. Lots of postholing. More on descend. than ascend. Good hard hike.

skiing
snow
2 months ago

Epic, backcountry powder day. A little extra hike, but weel worth it!

hiking
off trail
snow
2 months ago

NOTE: Highway 2 is closed 2-3 miles east of the Vincent Gap trailhead; had to park at Grassy Hollow visitor's center This adds about another hour each way to the hike. We went left of the trail fate towards the mine trail, and then went straight up a coilour starting at 8:30a where the trail splits to the east. The gully was filled with soft snow, but trail breaking wasn't too bad. We brought snow shoes and cramps, but didn't use either. My first time hiking - some of the most amazing views of snow covered Mt. Baldy/Iron Mountain I have ever seen! We averaged 1000ft/hr until the last 500 feet, which took us about 2x longer. Arrived at the summit around 1pm, and back to the trailhead by 2:30. Glissading conditions were not great higher up, but got better as we descended. Would definitely recommend this as a great winter hike

hiking
2 months ago

Great easy —> moderate trail

Fue una experiencia en la nieve que para realizar esta aventura se necesita ir muy bien equipado y con mucho positivismo y energías.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

hiking
icy
off trail
snow
3 months ago

Absolutely need an axe and crampons but a beautiful awesome hike with them!

hiking
icy
off trail
snow
3 months ago

Switchbacks exist for the first 1000 feet or so but then it’s straight up the mountain. There is a mix of deep snow (1-3 ft) and ice, especially near the summit. This cannot be done without an ice axe and traction (crampons or micro spikes). If you have the right gear, it’s beautiful and serene!

hiking
icy
off trail
snow
3 months ago

Start ascending at 10 a.m in the morning and back to the parking lot from the summit at 5 p.m. Heavy snow starts almost at trailhead, and no clear trail path in most parts of the route, we just follow the path from the previous hiker. Crampons and ice axe are highly recommended, especially on the top area of the mountain. The trail can become extremely icy and hard to put you traction on. Anyway, when you hit the summit, just relax and enjoy the marvelous view. Enjoy and take care folks.

hiking
off trail
snow
3 months ago

Went on Feb 7 and about a half mile in, already had to put on crampons. About 1.5 miles in you just go up the switchbacks and the conditions got icey. Def needed an ice axe and crampons. Hell of a view of everything when you get to the top. Had the summit to myself and it was a great hike. Will def try again in summer.

hiking
icy
muddy
off trail
snow
3 months ago

It’s extra fun and beautiful right now due to all the snow. It’s currently a 6-7 mile hike since the switchbacks disappear and tracks start going straight up. It’s not safe without microspikes and trekking poles. There’s a lot of. Ice and snow that’ll probably be there for a while. Some of the roads/highways to the trailhead were closed so check cal trans beforehand. We went up through the 138.

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