Mount Baldy via Devil's Backbone Trail

Mount Baldy via Devil's Backbone Trail

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Angeles National Forest

Mount Baldy via Devil's Backbone Trail is a 14 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Baldy, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, mountain biking, and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length14.0 miElevation gain4,268 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingMountain bikingForestPartially pavedViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Getting There
• Due to extreme fire risk, the Forest Service has temporarily closed access to all National Forests in California. The closure is in effect from Aug 31, 2021, to Sept 22, 2021. For more information, please see https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd949147.pdf The Mount Baldy via Devil’s Backbone Trail is one of the most popular trails in the San Gabriel Mountains. It is a great hike with expansive views of Southern California and the Mojave Desert. The trail passes the famous San Antonio falls, Baldy Notch, and ends at Mt. Baldy. Mt. Baldy, also known as Mount San Antonio, stands at 10,064 feet and is the highest point of the San Gabriel Mountains. Not far from Los Angeles, this trail is heavily trafficked. Display an adventure pass on your car at the trailhead. The trailhead is located off of Mount Baldy Road. The trail begins on a fire road. Some options to extend your hike include the Baldy Bowl Trail or Mount Baldy Loop.
Park off to the side of the road near fire road entrance. A $ 5.00 Adventure Pass is required and can be purchased at the visitor center in baldy village.
California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543
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.
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Reviews (1,300)
Photos (5,857)
Activities (999)
Completed (6,155)
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1,300 Reviews
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2021
HikingGreat!

Went on the 31st, right before CA Nat’l Forests closed temporarily. Began from the parking lot at 8:45 AM and reached top of Turkey Shoot at 11. Ski lifts are not operational btw. Reached the summit at 1:40 PM. Took quite a few breaks, since it’s been awhile. Cloudy at first, then it got chilly with some rain near the top, and then sunny at the summit. Bring a windbreaker if you get cold easily, just in case. Bring lots of water! I brought a total of 4L and was finished with my 3L Camelbak as soon as I passed Baldy Notch on my way down. Overall a great hike! Prepare to spend most of the day here, to get acclimated and enjoy the views. Bring water and snacks, just take your trash with ya :)

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 30, 2021
HikingRocky

Hiked down from Mt. Baldy summit

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2021
Hiking

It was very challenging specially from Devils backbone to the summit where there was no shade and it was hot. The last part of the hike right before the summit was very hard because it gets steep and makes your legs wanna quit, but it’s all worth while once you’re up there. Bring lot’s and lot’s of water trust me.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2021
Running

This mountain is always a challenge! Start early because it is exposed and can get pretty warm.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2021
HikingGreat!Rocky

stunning views. there are some significant grades post the notch, mt harwood and the baldy summit climb. life changing kind of hike.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 24, 2021
Hiking

Hot!! Start early folks, we started at 8 and it was too late. Bring atleast 3 ltrs Ski hut was closed

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2021
HikingGreat!

amazing trail, but the hardest one I've done so far. all steep up hill climbs. your legs will be burning! the "scary parts" aren't that bad, except for one part. most of the trial (even on the ridge) is wide enough to feel safe. it's windy though and got a little chilly towards the top. bring lots of water and some snacks to keep you going. trekking poles come in handy on this trail.

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Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 18, 2021
Hiking

Test

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2021
Hiking

awesome to take this route coming back down

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2021
Hiking

Amazing trail. If you leave early you get shade cover. Halfway up there’s water and bathroom refill. The final send to Mt San Antonio is grueling. Make you pause and adjust to the elevation. I honestly don’t recommend doing the second peak - west baldy - it’s pretty bare and an extra mile after you’ve already summited. I also recommend taking the baldy trail back down, saves you some time but only if you’re okay with sliding down a few slopes. There’s a restroom halfway down that trail as well. Last mile is pretty toasty. 3L of water served me well.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2021
Hiking

Stopped recording at the ski hut

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2021
HikingGreat!

AMAZING TRAIL 3TIMES ALREADY I LOVE IT ITS VERY HARD BUT MADE IT AGAIN

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2021
Hiking

Great trAinforLiFE hike

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2021
Hiking

Amazing views. The devils backbone was the best! You have to come out, just bring plenty of water

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2021
Hiking

The elevation gain is a butt-kicker! The way back down is a breeze.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2021
HikingGreat!

If anyone finds a Samsung cell phone on devils back bone please call me at 760 5150424 there is a small reward if you find it. Lost it yesterday in that area coming down from the summit

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2021
HikingGreat!

I hadn’t hiked to the summit of Mt San Antonio since 2007. And this time around didn’t disappoint. In fact, I had the summit to myself before the crowds of the day showed up. I started at 5:20am, hiked up the fire road to the top of chair 1 and then navigated up the Devils Backbone Trail. Temps started around 68 and remained in the 60’s throughout my hike until the end where they increased to low 80’s by 11am at the trailhead. I wore running shorts and a T-shirt the entire time. I first summited Mt Harwood, then Mt San Antonio, and finally West Baldy. I returned to San Antonio before descending the Baldy Bowl Trail. As I was leaving the summit of San Antonio on my way to West Baldy, I saw a bighorn sheep checking out the view. I took a few pics before it hopped away down the north western slopes. After summiting West Baldy, my route brought me back to San Antonio, and I saw the same bighorn sheep again. I took some more pics, one of which is the best from the day and posted here. I’ve been hiking in the Angeles National Forest for over 30 years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen one. What a treat! Follow me on IG: @mikebodenphoto

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2021
Hiking

Great hike! Got going early at 6 am and reached the top at 8. Beautiful weather, it’s windy at the top! Take some food and at least 2L of water.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2021
HikingGreat!

Excellent hike! Manker Flats to Baldy Notch isn't particularly thrilling, but after that it gets much more beautiful. The Backbone is great, though it does get a little gusty. No crowds at all on a Friday afternoon--just one other group at the summit. It got a little late, so I ended up taking the ski lift down. Awesome views and a great challenge.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2021
Hiking

Nice day not too hot until the end. Not crowded!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 20, 2021
HikingNo shadeRocky

Pretty intense climbing the whole way up. Beautiful views, a restroom is located at trail head and one at a bunker a little before half way up. Pretty heavily trafficked, but worth all the views. This was a pretty intense/strenuous hike but felt great after. A local must do… :)

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2021
HikingNo shade

It took us 10 hours, so be prepared. I drank 5 liters of water in this route since I started pretty late in the middle of the heat. Definitely go lightweight on everything except the water.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2021
Backpacking

This trail is great very steep. Go early beat the heat

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2021
Hiking

Definitely need to be prepared for the incline. It’s a ways up be so worth it. Hike your own hike and take breaks when needed. Water and snacks a must. All in all totally worth it.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2021
Hiking

Awesome views early in the morning. Took a break for a beer at the ski lift hut on the way back

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2021
Hiking

Bring 2L-3L and electrolytes. Strenuous and be prepared.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2021
Hiking

Super steep but beautiful

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2021
Hiking

Did this trail last Monday, July 12. I started at 4 am. There were only 3 other cars in the parking lot at that time. The trail on the way up is really easy to follow. I took the Mt Harwood trail off of Devils Backbone. It's a rocky hilltop. There was a small cairn somebody built right at the top. From Mt Harwood summit it is a rocky trail back to the devil backbone trail. It's fairly easy to follow. You can see the devils backbone in the distance so just kind of keep hiking in that direction. The way down the ski-hut trail was pretty steep. Going up the ski-hut trail must be painful. it is like up and up the whole way. There is one part after the ski-hut where the trail kind of breaks up. I went off trail and I was happy I had the All trails map to check myself. Beyond that the trail down is easy to follow. I made it up and down in just over 7 hours. I was off the mountain before 12 pm. Overall a great day! I'm doing Iron Mountain via Heaton flats next week!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2021
Hiking

Algo difícil pero exitoso

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2021
Hiking

The first part from the parking lot to the restaurant (Top of the Notch) is quite boring and next time I’ll do the trail, I’ll take the chair lift on the way up at least

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