Mt. San Antonio & Mt. Baldy Notch Trail

HARD 529 reviews
#3 of 141 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.

20 hours ago

hiking
1 day ago

Took this trail up the first time, but started late in the day, at 11:00 am having the mindset to make the loop back down but stopped on the way up, as it was getting a little late in the day, and thunderstorms developing at the summit area. The second time around, I changed it up, started at 7:30 am at Manker Flats trailhead, took Baldy Road up to the notch restaurant, then began my hike to devils backbone and onward and upward passing Mount Harwood. Finally getting to Mount Baldy, hung out for a bit, then started the downward decent through baldy bowl to the ski hut and finally back on the fire road, towards manker grounds. This was an awesome hike, simply a self accomplishing goal and I will definitely come back and take the other trails that lead to the summit. No doubt about it. It's not going anywhere and there is plenty of time to them. Be prepared with food, snacks, and plenty of water, no doubt. You will use them.

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trail running
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18 days ago

We went up through Devil's Backbone and down the Ski Hut Trail. The hike down was a bit challenging. Check out our video:

https://youtu.be/ORkIEMMZ4tI

19 days ago

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