Mt. San Antonio & Mt. Baldy Notch Trail

HARD 446 reviews
#3 of 139 trails in

Mt. San Antonio & Mt. Baldy Notch Trail is a 9.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mt Baldy, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
9.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4114 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

A strenuous loop to the 10,068' summit of Baldy. Any Southern Californian can point out the white topped Mt. Baldy - actually it's real name is Mt. San Antonio. Baldy is a SoCal icon that stands out boldly as a snow-covered backdrop for much of the year. At 10,068 feet above sea level, the snow often sticks around well into June. This loop begins at the Manker Flats trailhead (National Parks Adventure Pass required), taking the winding fire road up Baldy Notch, then hiking the Devil's Backbone to the summit. The return route takes you down via the steep Baldy Bowl trail, passing the Sierra Club Ski Hut and San Antonio Falls on the way back to Manker Flats. This is the third of six southern California summits in the 6-Pack of Peaks bundle. Done in sequence, they provide great training anyone preparing for bigger hikes such as Mt. Whitney or Half Dome. Each hike in the 6-Pack is progressively higher in altitude, and all have respectable distance and vertical elevation gain. When you're at Baldy Notch, there are several paths that head towards Mt. Baldy (none of the marked). DO NOT take the far left path. That will take you to the foot of the Turkeyshoot ski run. It may be the most direct, but your legs will never forgive you for going up that run. No matter how you get there, though, all of the trails take you to Devil's Backbone, which leads you to Baldy. It's not so bad before the final ascent, but there are places where both sides of the trail drop away, and you could get some vertigo, if you're prone to it. But the ascent is the real butt-kicker. When you round Mt. Harwood and head for Baldy, the rest of your path is brutal and relentless. The views at the top are incredible, and there's wind-breaks other folks have constructed out of stones, so you can take a breather behind one of those if it's too gusty. From there, you have your pick of ways down, either back the way you came, down the Baldy Bowl/Ski Hut trail, or the Bear Canyon trail. Good luck. Make sure to check when the ski lift closes, if you plan to take it back.

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike with lots of beautiful views. This trail is very busy during the weekends.

2 days ago

took 3 L of water. refilled at water falls with minifilter. refilled some more at ski lodge restaurant on way back down. bring enough water and sunblock! trekking poles helped A LOT. it gets hot.
try to start early as possible. started at 8 am.. wish we started at 6.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
2 days ago

2 days ago

trail running
3 days ago

Took the front side to the green house and came back down via Backbone. Quite"traffickey" going up - but everyone was cool. Coming by down was quite warm (11a). But good trek overall

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

Tackled our 3rd peak in our Six pack of Peaks challenge. Mt. Baldy. Was 10 miles with elevation over 10,064, elevation gain was 3,900 and took us 9 hours. Devils backbone was no joke. it was a gorgeous day out and was about 95 degrees with a winds all day. We went up via Mankers Trail head and the lifts were closed so we had to hike all the way up and down. Mankers trail down is a nightmare and I would strongly recommend poles coming down. The creek was a nice treat for washing the dust, cooling down and soaking feet. This trail has lots of dust, boulders and loos rocks the entire way and massive tree roots to climb over. It is not marked well so easy to get off trail.

7 days ago

Honestly, I think there are way too many people here. I don't think I would do this hike again for that reason. If you are an avid hiker and want to mark this one off the list, then yeah do it, but if you love the solitude that accompanies hard hikes, then this isn't for you. I did it on the weekend so that's definitely a reason why. I'd recommend Icehouse canyon hikes, and one of the peaks there if you want more solitude.

7 days ago

Went up devils backbone and down the ski hut/mt baldy bowl starting and finishing at the campground. I brought about 3 liters of water and ran out just before the summit. It was HOT and very exposed with little tree cover. I underestimated this trail a bit and it kicked my butt, I definitely had a harder time with it than San Jacinto. Very steep sections and a good trainer for Mt Whitney. Beautiful views.

hiking
8 days ago

First time doing Devil's Backbone. We went up the Ski Hut trail and down the DB, which seems much better than the reverse. The Notch trail would be long and boring to come up, though the less steep grade is nice on tired legs. It's very windy at the top, so make sure to have a warm jacket if you intend on staying. Devil's Backbone is completely exposed and very windy.

hiking
8 days ago

Absolutely Gorgeous! Manker Flats to Ski Lodge to Summit via The Devils Backbone. Then down via Baldy Bowl Trail. Definitely a workout!

hiking
9 days ago

9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

went up through baldy bowl to the peak and came down the devil's backbone end. Saw a rattle snake on the trail so becarful and keep an eye of your surroundings. I packed 3 litters of water and finished it up by the the time I returned to my car. Great hike, that incline is no joke

10 days ago