Mount Baden Powell Trail is a 7.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Wrightwood, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. 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.

Length7.8 miElevation gain2,775 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingRock climbingSnowshoeingBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Getting There

FIRE CLOSURE: As of February 2021 there are closures in this park or area due to wildfire. For more information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/angeles/alerts-notices. SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURE: Roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closure. For more information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/angeles. Get your Adventure pass ($5) at the Wrightwood gas station. 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.

US Forest Service, 661-296-9710

Take the Angeles Crest Highway (2) for 53 mikes from La Canada to the Vincent Gulch Parking area. The signed trailhead is at the northwest edge of the parking area.

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Reviews (2,105)
Photos (2,317)
Activities (1,926)
Completed (3,124)
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Jack Bassett
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Hiking

The hike was pretty good. The trail is comfortably shaded for some of the time by mixed conifers, but there are no features (creeks, waterfalls, nice vista points etc) along the way and the views are occasional (mostly partially obscured views of the Mojave desert cities to the north). The switchbacks are unrelenting, and at 775ft altitude gained per mile, it's fairly steep by California standards. However, the summit makes the slog worth it. 360 views from the peak, most impressively to the southeast of Mount Baldy's north face. There's a number of millenium-old gnarled up limber pines at the summit too, which are super cool. There are better approaches to Mount Baden Powell that I am excited to try when they open up, from either Dawson Saddle or Islip Saddle, both following a ridgeline from Throop Peak to Mount Baden Powell with epic views on both your right and left. The trail from Vincent Gap was not fun, and I wouldn't do it again unless I was just training, which it was definitely good for. TRAIL CONDITIONS 4/11/21: Mostly snow-free through 7000', intermittent snow patches through Lamel Springs (7750'). Would recommend spikes and poles past Lamel Springs, as snow fields go from intermittent to completely obscuring the trail. Past 8600', there are no tracks that follow the trail, so you'll basically just head straight up the mountain until you get to the top ridge at 9200'. Top ridge is clear through to the peak.

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Aimee Bogle
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Hiking

Beautiful trail! Nice leg burner right from the jump, but the views on the way up are absolutely worth it. Trail is still a bit icy and snow packed though, so wouldn’t recommend going without crampons and poles.

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Ralph Guerrero
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Hiking

Followed the trail for most of the trip. Snow eventually covered the trail so just went straight up through the snow.

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Gabriela Cortez
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HikingIcyMuddySnow

Hiked yesterday. Still a lot of snow and it gets deeper about 2-2.5miles in. Highly recommend spikes/crampons and poles as other fellow hikers have mentioned. Beautiful views and very challenging hike with the snow. Did not make it to the top but I will come back once the snow is gone. Not gonna lie, hiking back was dangerous as the snow was more slushy from melting in the afternoon and made it more difficult to pass through in very narrow areas. Which also made it more scary since a brush fired started in Big Pines and Big Rock Creek Road. We started smelling and seen the smoke really close to us and at the time we didn't know where it was coming from, but we knew it was very near. If anyone decides to do this hike in the snow, be very careful.

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Jonathan Salinas
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Hiking

Amazing hike, killer views, %90 cover on ice and deep snow. Make sure you bring the right gear to be safe.

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Luis Moreno
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Hiking

Good workout bring plenty of water

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Korina Salas
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Hiking

A challenging trail! if snow is still there tack on another 2hrs to your hike. We saw some people slide down but if you trek it down it's definitely at least 5hrs for an overall roundtrip. The views were amazing, but the snow depths and constant pulling myself out of snow sinking ate up my energy. Carry some cold brew or green tea with some water ofcourse because you'll need the boost!

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Abbey Everson
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HikingIcySnow

So amazing! Very snowy. You really need to be determined to get all the way up there, new dusting of snow on top of 2’ or more in places. After the “bench” things get trickier. As temperatures rise going into April things may improve but for now and the foreseeable future spikes/crampons, ice axe (not necessary but helpful). Because of the conditions the couple of miles up feel really long and arduous, don’t think you’ll be finishing this quick, plan for cold cold temps (you’re on the backside of the mountain...) Cold and windy up top as well (27 on my thermometer with 20-40 mph gusts brought the wind chill down dramatically). We caught a beautiful sunset and trekked down under an amazing moon rise! Couldn’t ask for more. I also suggest making a warm hearty meal at some point to help with the calorie burn. I didn’t quite believe the trails label as “for experienced adventurers only” but after trying it during winter conditions I’d have to say that’s 100% true. Be safe out there!

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Jim W
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Strenuous hike and a great challenge as soon as you leave the parking lot your hiking in the snow the last mile or so before the top your the trail disappears and then you scrambling straight up the mountain the rest of the way to the summit. And yes very cold and super windy crossing the ridge up to the summit. Views always amazing

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Christopher Abbey
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HikingIcy

It's a cold one up top but bring your crampons and your poles and you should be good! I would also recommend bringing your stove and cooking up a warm ramen at the top!

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Nico Macias
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Hiking
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Jessica Aiwazzi
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HikingSnow

I knew there would be a lot of snow and probably wouldn’t be able to summit, but a lot of snow is an understatement. First off the road is closed, so you have to walk 2+ miles to get to the start which is completely covered in snow. There’s a clear trail still, however almost 2 miles in it it was to my knees. Very beautiful day, but with those conditions we decided to turn back. No regrets as it was breathtaking, but just FYI if you go, expect the snow. I wore crampons, and brought snow shoes, but the snow shoes were impossible with the slope. I only saw 1 other person on the mountain today who also turned back a little after 2 miles.

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Cris Hazzard
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Hiking

Fun hike that's a good workout. When there's snow and ice, it's best to wait until it's clear. Google HikingGuy Baden Powell for a video and tips on what to expect.

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Ilisen02 User
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Easy hike

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Stefan Schweizer
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The trail is packed snow with stretches of dry ground on the lower 2/3 of the climb. Microspikes are very helpful, especially on the steeper sections where the trail traverses steep slopes. On the upper part there are multiple tracks leading up. The snow is firm, so no need for snowshoes. If temps move up there may be postholing. Overall an enjoyable hike that’s very popular.

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Mariana Talavera
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Hiking

Pretty good, recommend micro spikes

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Vignesh Patel
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Hiking
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Tony Barrera
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Hiking

Awesome hike. Lots of snow towards the top. The trail disappears about a mile from the summit so you have to snow plow straight up. Definitely need micro spikes and trekking poles.

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Sean Reed
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HikingIcyRockySnow

Hiked March 6, 2021 Walked west on HW 2 for about a half mile to the bridges, then put on crampons and hiked up the second gully. Started around 730am. Rockfall started to get scary, so I eventually switched over one gully to the east. Nice snow/ice climb up to 8000, then rejoined the standard trail. Took the climber's trail to the ridge at 9000 and called it a day. Fun climb, and plenty of snow on the north face. Will go back to explore more north face gullys, but plan to start much earlier to avoid rockfall.

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Reed Thompson
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Hiking
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Ludovico Busalacchi
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Hiking
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Alicia Artola
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Hiking

Microspikes and ice axes needed as of 3/5/21. Awesome trek. First mile had ice almost immediately. Last two miles were in deep snow. Beautiful views.

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Sal Torres
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HikingGreat!IcySnow

We went February 28 and started the hike around 9 AM. It took us about 5 1/2 hours to go up and down but you definitely need micro spikes that are sticky. Snow everywhere and lots of ice. Little windy at the top but was a beautiful hike Drove to the trail head. 

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