Mount Baden Powell Trail

HARD 285 reviews
#8 of 195 trails in

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
2788 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

snow

Panoramic views from summit, unusual limber pine forest. 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 knarled 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
9 hours ago

I love this trail...definitely one of my favorite local hikes. I love that you get the great views of being at over 9,300 ft without too long or overly arduous hike like some of the other local peaks. I highly recommend this hike for those who haven't done it and I look forward to coming back and enjoying this one many times and I have done it twice in less than 6 months.

Parking- Vincent Gap parking lot off Hwy 2...we have gotten there early so it has never been an issue finding a spot and it is a rather large lot (you do need an Adventure Pass)

Trail- it starts near the restroom...the trail to the left going down will take you to Big Horn Mine and the trail going up will take you steeply up to Baden-Powell and there will be many switchbacks and many great views as you make your way up; at about a mile there is a cool wooden bench to catch your breath or catch the great view; it is about 4 miles to the top and you will reach a 1,500 yr old tree less than a half a mile from the top called "Wally Waldron" at a flat kinda narrow portion that is a mini Devil's Backbone; you will then make one final ascent up to the peak where you will see a monument to the namesake who was a Boy Scouts leader and a pole with a writing station that contains some notebooks to log your thoughts, message, etc... and just beyond that you should find the wooden sign that you can hold with the elevation and a US flag

Peak- there is a pretty large area at the top for you to find a spot for yourself/group to not bother others or be bothered by others and there are 360 degree beautiful views

Distance- about 8 miles
Elevation Gain- about 2,800 ft
Peak- about 9,400 ft
Duration- between 4 to 6 hrs depending of course on your speed, how many breaks, and how long you spend at the top
Difficulty- Moderate to Hard (definitely easier than the other SoCal peaks like Mt Baldy or San Jacinto)

hiking
21 hours ago

Ass kicker! Worth it!

hiking
2 days ago

Def all incline most of the way! The start and very end of hike were hardest for me! I got poles & they helped a lot! Worth the hike to the top!

hiking
3 days ago

First time here. Great hike. We got here at 8am on Saturday morning, parking lot was filling up. Don’t forget your Adventure Pass! This is a high trafficked trail, very easy to follow and all switchbacks.

There was a lot of PCTers which was awesome to see.

There are also bathrooms at the trailhead (no TP) and a few picnic tables.

I’d say I got about 50/50 shade and sun on the trail.

I logged 8 miles round trip.

hiking
8 days ago

This place was so beautiful! We spent the day above the clouds. It was windy and cold on the way up but really nice once we got to the top. The directions on my map from the app was not accurate but I eventually found it. You do need a parking pass FYI

hiking
9 days ago

The view is worth the work!

hiking
16 days ago

This hike is wonderful! easiest trail to find and follow that I've done thus far. If you are in good shape and have done hikes before I highly recommend this one. I recommend to start early because it starts to get hot by 10 am. I started at 7 and made it back to the parking lot by 11 and it was pretty hot by then.

hiking
1 month ago

An incredible hike through the quintessential wooded mountains. I tracked it at just under 8 miles. The last 1.25 miles to the peak are the hardest. We made it up and back to the parking lot in about 5 hrs with plenty of short rest breaks & lunch at the top. Weather was ideal at around upper 50s with a subtle yet steady breeze. Bring at least 3L of water, poles (the trail gets pretty narrow & there was unmelted snow), & 10 essentials.

hiking
1 month ago

Very fun, there’s a lot of switchbacks, but not as bad as can really be. There were some leftover snow patches that made me a bit nervous, but other than that, not too shabby.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 3/24/18. Highway 2 open to the parking lot. Really nice hike, woodsy + dozens of switchbacks until the ridge where it becomes pretty exposed with grand views. Come prepared for snow/ice conditions w/ spikes, poles, and maybe an ice axe if you plan to summit. The weather turned from mild to foggy/windy really quickly, so glad we were prepared. Once you reach the 24th or so switchback, the trail is lost in the snow and tracks proceed straight up to the ridge. Good hike for a sure-footed dog, though he was spooked by the roaring winds at the ridge and we descended from there.

1 month ago

Hiked on 3/30/18. There’s still a lot of snow starting about 2-2 1/2 miles in, so be prepared. We lost the trail after a certain point because of the snow, but there were plenty of footprints to follow straight up to the ridge. The views were incredible and we geeked out over the old trees.

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

spikes are a must have

hiking
2 months ago

Good section of trail with great views, bring proper gear in the late season, ice is present and can really ruin a good day.

3 months ago

Solid hike! Good elevation over a relatively short distance. If you love switchbacks, this hike is for you! Gorgeous views at the top, and loved all the gnarly pines along the way. It is a good ways out on the Angeles Crest - maybe 40 mins past buckhorn- so give yourself plenty of time to get to the trailhead. As of early February, spikes were absolutely necessary. There have been three separate rescues off the same icy patch on this trail just this month- don’t risk your life with snow and ice!

3 months ago

Not as good as Mt. Baldy but a real calf killer with all those switchbacks. The views from the top are not to be missed. Please carry microspikes (=Kahtoola) and trekking poles.

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in the area. Icy conditions towards the top. Bring microspikes and warm clothes.

3 months ago

Went sat feb 3, started trail at 0945, 3 hrs to the top beautiful, 2 hrs down. need ur spikes and poles, of course there were people who didn’t have either and were slipping and sliding, not worth risking injuries!

3 months ago

Come prepared and take no risk ( spend a little money on your gear). Beautiful trail and view

3 months ago

1.27.18 Great hike. Highly recommend proper gear. Micro spikes is a must and and ice axe Incase of any accident.
There are ranger doing checks to make sure everyone is properly gear. Be safe!

hiking
3 months ago

Warning!!

This review is actually from a week ago.

NBC News reported there were two rescues from this area this past week.
https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Two-Hikers-are-Rescued-From-the-Same-Mountain-One-Day-Apart-471377334.html

There was actually a third accident, mine was on Sunday. There is heavy ice at the top and Microspikes although great, can be useless if you don't pay attention to proper footing. The only thing that saved me after a three hundred foot fall was my ice axe.

My Fiance and I were able to hike out, although I had considerable road rash but truthfully had we not had our safety equipment, there was a lot more of a fall below me.

Please equip yourself before you go up and prepare yourself that if something goes wrong, you may be staying overnight in the freezing temperatures.

Other than that it was as beautiful as always.

hiking
3 months ago

This was my first experience with Baden-Powell. What a BEAUTIFUL hike!! It was 19-ish degrees at the bottom, and with windchill, was about 5 degrees at the top. We had to put on our micro-spikes at about mile 2.5; we couldn’t have finished without them. It was snowing a bit on the way up, with strong winds approaching the summit. It was very icy at the top! We were the only people on the summit, which was amazing! No view due to the winds. I can only imagine the views on a clear day. I can’t wait to do Baden-Powell again.

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked Saturday the 13th and it was gorgeous! The weather was great. Plenty of snow and ice the last mile up. Some areas close to the summit were very slippery. Recommend crampons for sure. Lots of switch backs and steep inclines. Over all, I love it and I’ll be doing it again.

hiking
4 months ago

On Tuesday December 16, my friends and i decided to hike Baden powell via vincent gap. Thought this area was safe but little did i know that it wasnt. When we got to my car, my friends and i notice that my car window was shattered and someone went into my stuff and stole our belongings. It was such a chaotic day, because the rangers or police from Wrightwood were unable to help since it wasnt safe to stay by the trail. We ended up making a courtesy report in my area. Its a beautiful trail, i love it but i don't think it safe. Be safe and take extra precaution.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice hike with 6-8 inches of snow. Got a little icy last .5 mile or so. Microspikes highly recommended for safety. Large summit with great views.

4 months ago

One of my faves now! Lots of switchbacks but it’s totally worth it. Love that it eats a portion of the PCT. The 360-view is AMAZING! Take lots of photos!

hiking
4 months ago

Steady incline the entire way up. 2 hours up. 1 hour down. Nice views. Saw some really cool misty clouds roll in at summit.

hiking
4 months ago

Absolutely incredible hike - beautiful and so quiet and serene. View from the peak is gorgeous. Will definitely do this one again!

Beautiful day... great hike...conquering my fears...

hiking
4 months ago

Couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. Sunny, cool, and calm conditions all the way up and down the mountain. Spent about an hour at the top. Great 360 view.

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