Mt. Baldy via Devil's Backbone Trail

HARD 277 reviews
#7 of 151 trails in

Mt. Baldy via Devil's Backbone Trail is a 12.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mt Baldy, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3602 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

trail running

walking

views

wildlife

Taking the 10 - 60- or 210 fwy exit Mountain Ave. and head north. Mountain Ave. turns into Mt. Baldy Road, take this road all the way up to Manker Flats Road, located about 100 yards past Manker Flats campground on the west side on the street.

3 days ago

Did this hike 1/6/18.. started from Baldy Bowl trail down Devils Backbone. Weather was perfect... no snow and little wind at the summit. Devils Backbone is not as scary as the reviews. There are some narrow parts but well worth the scenery.

6 days ago

Absolutely loved this trail! It is one of my favorite hikes! It is challenging and exciting. The ridge (Devil’s Backbone) can be a bit challenging sometimes due to high winds (be careful and take it very slow in these conditions), but that adds to the exciting experience of the trail. Descending the Ski Hut trail in cloudy conditions is absolutely amazing! The mountain comes alive in a myriad of colors while the deer, squirrels, and other wildlife come out to feast on the banquet that the mountain has to offer! I highly recommend this hike!

hiking
12 days ago

On a windy day, devils backbone must be pure terror. Today was very calm and I still felt a little sketchy at parts where the trail narrowed to 1-2 ft.

The payoff at the top is simply amazing. Well worth the effort. I didn’t take the lift up or down, and I’m glad I didn’t. The views from the road are great and I didn’t want to miss them. On my way down I met some hikers who told me that the bowl trail is quicker on the way down. Will have to try that next time.

12 days ago

Did this trail on Nov. 26. Definitely a tough one. We ascended via Mt. Baldy Bowl Trail. And descended via Devil’s backbone and down the ski lift area. We clocked in about 13 miles. There are lots of rocks here and at times up the trail I felt I wasn’t moving so it made it tougher. Trekking poles are highly recommended. And it was super cold and windy at the top. Great views at the top all rocks at peak. Fun hike...proper hiking shoes and layering is recommended..and lots of water.

hiking
14 days ago

I’ve only done this hike twice so far but it is without a doubt my favorite. In the summertime there’s a scenic view around every corner and the winter brings the punishing cold right to you. Word of warning if you hike with snow, watch your footing!

24 days ago

One of my favorite trail, with awesome views at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Such an amazing hike! It was extremely difficult but definitely doable and worth it! A hat, warm jacket, and lots of water are necessities! When you get to the peak you will definitely need layers and gloves as it is extremely cold and windy. Other than that, it's an incredibly rewarding hike with beautiful scenery!

hiking
2 months ago

Take this way down. Safer but still be careful...just be smart.

2 months ago

Warning!!! It's freezing cold on the peak. Take clothes to dress warm for it because I regret it today for not having pants and gloves.

Over all good hike. Almost no visibility with all the clouds though, so because of that my next trip will be in the summer.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous and very challenging trail ! Definitely wear layers and take windbreaker and warm clothes for the top. Warm hat and gloves are must ! It is EXTREMELY cold and windy at the top ! It is a very difficult hike at such high altitude but it is well worth it !

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely a hard hike but all worth it. Make sure you bring warm clothing because even though the wind has died down a bit, the top is still brutally cold (for so cal weather.) and bring plenary of water! Other than that enjoy the incredible views.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely love this hike! The view is incredible from the Summit. It is sometimes difficult hiking along the Devil's backbone due to fierce winds, but well worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

My first time climbing a mountain peak since I was a Boy Scout! Good challenging hike in preparation for more adventures!

hiking
3 months ago

Went on Sept 25th and it was incredible! Camped at Manker Flats and left at 3:50am to reach the summit at 8am. We started the trail via access road instead of what's shown here. The views are incredible!

hiking
3 months ago

Because I was late getting to the trail head and was on a bit of a time crunch, I started the hike from the top of the ski lift. It is still very challenging from there but definitely good if you're short on time. Total time was 4.5hrs. I absolutely loved the hike and would definitely recommend. I plan on going back and doing the full hike (sans lift) soon.My only warning to folks would be to pay attention to the weather and dress accordingly. There were moments on Devil's Backbone where the wind was very strong and bitterly cold. I saw several folks turn around because they weren't dressed appropriately.

4 months ago

fun and hard

5 months ago

not hard at all ...

hiking
5 months ago

I wrote a review a couple weeks ago and forgot to mention one thing. If you are afraid of the Devil's Backbone and it's holding you back from this hike, you have nothing to worry about in good weather and no snow. I was going to video hiking across Devil's Backbone to post on YouTube, probably because I have no life and nothing better to do. The Devil's Backbone is so innate that I didn't even realize I crossed it until on the other side and looked back. I shit you not. I didn't even know I was crossing. So if you haven't done the hike because your afraid of heights, you have nothing to worry about. Some people like to exaggerate and this is one of the most exaggerated "scary" hikes I have ever been on as it's not scary at all.

hiking
5 months ago

Started too late in the day, started at Manker Flats campground area and began on Falls Road and then Baldy Road, continued all the way up to the top of the notch restaurant. Passed the restaurant and continued on the road to devils backbone route, continued hiking up next to the ski lifts with a fence on my left side, went quite up towards the end of the ski lifts in this section around the beginning part of the backbone section, but made a stop at this point. Not because I was done, but because of the late start and it being my first time up here, didn't want to take any chances, as well as the workers at the restaurant said to be cautious by the developing thunder showers. I played it safe, and I have to say it was very disappointing, I stopped and headed back. All in all, what a good hike out and back from this point but by no means any success to the top. I will definitely be back in two weeks, but with a major change in my plans. I will start very early, around 7:30 am, and not later than 8:00 am. Do take lots of water. You will need it.

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