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 pavedViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo shade
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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.

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 (1,075)
Photos (4,673)
Activities (773)
Completed (5,427)
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Michael Wong
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HikingGreat!

Just went up today after my kid got out of school for a scouting trip very little prep or supplies. We just made it a few miles up and did not summit but conditions are good, it’s not closed due to fire, and we did not see any snow.

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Ben Rodriguez
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Hiking

Loved it. There was some snow but the weather was beautiful and we didn’t have much supplies beyond water and sunscreen.

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Lila Atchison
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HikingGreat!RockySnow

That was a fun hike! Started at around 6:30am and was able to have a beer at the Lodge on the way down! Snow wasn't too bad at all, we didn't need crampons.

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Tyler King
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Hiking

Pretty steep at some points but you can make it. Might need trekking poles and microspikes but I made it without. Bring 3 L water and a Gatorade, lunch, snacks sweet and salty.

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Tyler Keys
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HikingGreat!IcyRockySnow

Hiked 3/20. Bloody HELL what a trek. Started at Flats and made it all the way to the summit and back! LOTS of snow and ice past Notch, but completed it without crampons. It was windy and cold, but the views were absolutely stunning and well worth the hike

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Marie H
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Hiking

Hiked yesterday 3/14. Had planned to go to the Summit, but I didn’t feel I could get much further on the snowy trail without crampons. I was grateful for my trekking poles, as they really helped with stability in the snow, ice and slush! I stopped at Top of the Notch, had lunch and slushed my way back down. :) I had to park about .5 mile down from the trailhead due to how busy it was on a Sunday (especially with fresh snow), so I did get a little extra mileage! The snow definitely added to the beautiful views.

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Rachel Rosen
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Hiking

Be prepared and have crampons and ice picks. Fresh trail about 3 feet in snow. I would suggested only experienced people to complete this. Amazing views and fun to be in fresh powder

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Cris Hazzard
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Hiking

Classic LA hike - and if you're apprehensive about the backbone section, Google HikingGuy Mt Baldy - there's a 360 video you can watch where you are able to pan around and see what it's like.

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Christian Simionato
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Hiking

backbone trail is 90% clean from ice and snow. only the top few short part of the trail has icy snow.

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Carlos Porras
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Hiking

First time in Mount Baldy!! Very difficult hiking especially the weather at top, very cold and windy. Some were icy. Hiking poles are good option. Amazing views a the top!!

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Jorge De La Rosa
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Hiking

Muy bueno solo mucho viento!!

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Brett Harris
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Microspikes not even required from the devils backbone side if you are careful. Snowpack is quickly diminishing. Wind off the north faces still carry a nice chill though.

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Jose Valentin Cortez
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Nature trips

Very windy along the ridge!

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Ivan Vargas
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HikingGreat!IcySnow

***LOST: Black Diamond Trekking Pole*** I was so excited to summit just in time for the sunrise that the 5-60 mph winds blew it away and I didn't notice. This happened at the summit and it must be somewhere between the Baldy Bowl Trail and Devil's Backbone Trail, as that's the direction the wind was blowing in. Conditions didn't allow me to really look for it. If you find it - please email me: ivanvargas415@gmail.com Thank you in advance! Beautiful day! Extreme wind only at the very top.

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nick jones
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Hiking

fair amount of snow, but it was packed well and with spikes it was fine base of the summit and the summit itself were incredibly windy, pretty awesome took a short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvSbo5_DXdI

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Alex Bingham
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HikingIcyRockyScrambleSnow

Hiked 2/15 devils backbone snowed and icy, very dangerous as trail deteriorated. Don’t go alone if scared. I’d recommend going up via devils backbone but going down another route (the ridge line straight shot down?). As it was my first attempt here I didn’t know devils backbone was so freaking scary especially in the snow and wind. Summit was ok, windy and paused during gusts. Was slow going from the wind, took shelter and rested. Great hike and will do again in spring without the snow. Up at 7am and back by 3pm

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Sal Lopez
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HikingGreat!IcyRockySnow

Very nice...hiking trail. I was super windy .

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