Mt. Baden-Powell from Dawson Saddle

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Angeles National Forest

Mt. Baden-Powell from Dawson Saddle is a 9.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Valyermo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 9.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2,696 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

NOTE: Highway 2 is still closed after Islip Saddle. This is a great hike through one of the best places in the Angeles Forest. This is wonderful high country hiking along one of the best sections of the PCT in Southern California. Please note that the surrounding roads are subject to closures making it difficult to access the trail. Please check the roads before heading out. This trail is pretty straightforward, lots of steady up grade to the top, you can venture off on the side peaks as well. Throop and Burnham only add 350 feet in elevation gain and .5 to your mileage. Throop is worthwhile, Burnham is just a bump on the trail, but a must if you are peak bagging. The view from Baden Powell is spectacular, even on a day obscured by fires, or haze. The high country is amazing. You can even choose to follow along the ridgeline the entire way if you wish. One of the most outstanding things about this trail is that you can see where you are going and where you have been along the entire route. In my book, that always exemplifies a great trail.

hiking
6 days ago

Please note this is a beautiful hike however the google directions do not take you around the road closure! We had to turn around just after Crystal Lake turn off as the road just 1 mile further up is still CLOSED! We started our hike from The Camp site at Crystal Lake to Throop Peak which included 3278 feet of altitude gain and 11 plus miles.

hiking
9 days ago

Been hiking Dawson Saddle Since 2015. By far my absolute favorite approach up Mount Baden Powell. This trail offers a lot bang for the buck. I’ll start off by writing that this trail is essentially a ridge that straddles around 3 9,000 foot peaks. You can Summit 3 9k Peaks in a single setting (Throop Peak 9,140, Mount Burnham 9,001, And Mount Baden Powell 9,400) The trail starts at an elevation of 7,900 which happens to also be The Highest Point on Highway 2 and the highest stretch of road in all of Los Angeles County. Highway 2 is still closed after Islip Saddle unfortunately, which is very strange because Cal Trans usually opens the gate in late April. I don’t see a reason what Cal trans hasn’t allowed access, unless the road needs repairs, but i’ve been checking the Cal Trans road information for several weeks now and it does not indicate that, just some BS indicating “closed due to snow”, which i know isn’t the case anymore. Anyway this a superbly maintained trail that offers magnificent views of the LA Basin / San Gabriel Valley and High Desert.

hiking
off trail
rocky
snow
14 days ago

Amazing hike with stunning views on both sides of the SG mountains. We could see Catalina on one side and southern tip of Sierras on the other. The trial has only few patches of snow left, except for north face of Throop Peak which is covered in deep sloshy snow - not easy to traverse. I'd recommend going over Throop peak instead. SR-2 is still closed (we cycled from Islip saddle), but it's almost clear. I expect they'll open it soon.

hiking
1 month ago

Really excited to try this trail, but the roads were closed (from Highway 2 and Highway 39) to access the trail. So, make sure the check the map before you drive all the way out there

icy
snow
6 months ago

hiking
bugs
7 months ago

Since Angeles Crest Highway finally re-opened, I knew I had to do this hike before the snow starts coming down. There were a decent amount of bugs at the start of the trail, but they seemed to taper off. There's ample tree coverage, the trail isn't too rocky, and elevation gain is solid. I'd do it again.

Decent distance, decent elevation gain, lots of shade, and beautiful views. Forest is sparse but pretty.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail, beautiful views of Mt. Baldy throughout and nice varied terrain and elevation gain. Decent amount of shade, although lots of the trail is exposed too. One note: I would HIGHLY recommend you use the trailhead that is a little further east on the map instead of the one marked on the GPS map here near the sharp curve of the highway. If you start where the red line on the map starts, you’ll have to traverse a very narrow and unsafe section where it would be far too easy to have catastrophic fall down onto the highway. The second trailhead is much safer and can also be seen on the map, maybe 100 feet or so further down the road to the East. Both trailheads connect to the main trail very quickly after the beginning, so no time or views are lost.

hiking
8 months ago

love this hike. 2nd time in a month.

hiking
8 months ago

This is one of the best hikes I’ve done in the LA area. It’s hard to find the start of the trail because it isn’t marked at all, but if you used the gps tracks from All Trails it will help. The start is on the side of the road on the inside of the turn and is a set of very narrow switch backs with loose soil. This was the worst part of the whole hike (especially coming down it at the end). Amazing views and only saw one other person the whole time.

hiking
8 months ago

I would give this 5 stars but the first 200 yards are not ideal. The trail starts at Dawson's saddle and the trailhead is directly across the street. It rises up quickly to the top of a ridge but along the way there are some steep switchbacks with loose rock. Once past this section, the rest of the hike is much more enjoyable. I actually loved the section between the trailhead and Throop peak the best. Scenery was gorgeous and the hiking was easy going. Even the climb to Throop peak wasn't too bad. From Throop peak, you descend to a gap as you cross from one peak to the other. Next was Burnham Peak. This peak was a bit of a disappointment. There isn't even a marker there. From there you descend down and cross another small gap to Baden Powell. The trail to Baden Powell loops around a number of outcroppings tracing its way up the mountain. The views and scenery change often and its quite an enjoyable section. You pop up from the trail at a junction right in front of the Wally Waldron tree. From there you head right and climb up the last few switchbacks to the summit of Baden Powell.

hiking
9 months ago

This hike has truly fantastic views, and a relatively modest amount of elevation gain considering it leads to a 9,400' foot peak. It's better to use the trailhead (and parking lot) that is about 100 yards east of the "main" one - the trail there is less steep. I first hiked to the top of Throop Peak, going straight up the ridgeline (rather than the main trail which goes past it, then has an option to double back southwest to the peak). Throop has great views of the western San Gabriels that aren't as visible from Baden-Powell as Throop blocks them. From there I descended east and joined the PCT, bypassed Mt Burnham (heard it didn't have sufficiently different views to warrant a few hundred extra feet of climb), and proceeded to Baden-Powell, summitting via steeper western trail. The views there are incredible. I could easily see the white stone top of San Gorgonio Peak, and in a gap between peaks I could also see San Jacinto Peak, as well as Orange County to the south, and all 4 islands off LA, plus vast swathes of the Mojave Desert. If you want to see the 1,500 year old "Wally Waldron Tree", it's northeast of the summit of Baden-Powell. I descended that way and then rejoined the PCT for the remainder of the hike, bypassing Burnham (again) and Throop. Some of the best views are the south-facing views in-between Throop and Burnham, then in-between Burnham and Baden-Powell... one can easily see Pine Mountain, Dawson, Baldy, Ontario Peak, etc and stunning mountain valleys. Distance: about 9.5 to 10 miles Elevation gain: 2518' (Baden-Powell and Throop, skipped Burnham) Temperature: 65-70 degrees (start time was 9:50am) Time: 5h 24min moving, and 55min of resting/lunch. A little slower than i usually go, but that was to be expected between the stunning views and high altitude. You'll want to save a little mental determination for the return trip to Dawson Saddle, as there's a fair amount of 'climb' (400' or so) on the 'way down' even if you take the fastest route as I did. The trail was dry and easy to follow. I tried to summit Throop last Thanksgiving weekend but a storm had just blown through and ice was still on the PCT and I decided not to risk it even with spikes (I was both alone, and tired - having done Mt Islip earlier that morning)

hiking
9 months ago

some sections are shady. some are exposed. plenty of up and down but broken up nicely. on the way back a few tough uphills but overall very nice. much easier than the other side. NO WATER. I drank 3 liters on a mid 70s day.

Great morning on one of my favorite trails. Just went to Burnham today on first hike after being on the disabled list for a few weeks.

This is a great hike to bring friends on that want to be pushed. Beautiful views the entire way.

hiking
9 months ago

Great ridge top hike! Take the trailhead on the left side at Dawson Saddle. Right side is a sketchy use trail. Views rival Baldy!

Awesome trail. Bagging the extra peaks along the route easily bumps it up to a difficult rating though.

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing views of Baden Powell and surrounding areas . Not a soul the entire hike.

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

I'd put this as a moderate+

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail with amazing views. Started before sunrise and didn't see another hiker until we reached Mt. Baden-Powell.

hiking
10 months ago

I'e done Throop peak but never all the way through to BP. This is most definitely my new favorite way to get there! Much less elevation gain then from Vincent gap (this is actually the second highest trailhead in the San Gabriels - so I have read). We left one car at Vincent gap so actually just one way - and it was great. Not bad at all. The trail at the very beginning (Dawson saddle section) was a bit "broken up" - wondering if the recent earthquakes disheveled it a bit. Don't be intimidated by the steepness at this entry point - it is brief and the rest is just a wonderful hike.

hiking
11 months ago

Steep incline right out of the gate then gradual until you reach the PCT. Then a series of inclines and declines until you reach the "Wally Waldron Tree" and the turn off to BP. Great views of the high desert and LA basin. Great photo opportunities. I would love to do a point to point from Dawson's Saddle to Vincent Gap. No snow, bug were a nuisance.

hiking
bugs
muddy
snow
11 months ago

Still some snow on the trail 6/10, but all doable with a trekking pole and some calculated footing. There's also an option to take the ridge up the final push to the top to avoid a pretty large patch of snow. Parked on a turnout just past the shed (with an adventure pass) and there was only one other hiker/car. Met 4 others on the peak that came up the other side... but otherwise had the trail to myself. Started at 8am and, with about an hour on the summit, was back on the road by 1:30pm. Bugs were pretty heavy, but only swarmed when I slowed my pace on the snow. Glad I chose to hike up from Dawson saddle, it was a nice gradual climb with a couple side peaks to bag. The views were amazing even though it wasn't very clear that day. Overall great hike and the little bits of snow kept it interesting. On to the next peak!

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