Old Mount Baldy Trail

HARD 59 reviews

Old Mount Baldy Trail is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mt Baldy, California that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5816 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

forest

river

views

wildlife

This trail was made in the 1880's by Dr. Fairchild and Dell, who envisioned an observatory on the summit. The idea never materialized, but over the years the trail became popular and was used as the main route to travel to the summit from Mount Baldy Village. Trail begins at Mt Baldy Village and takes you through Bear Canyon, with its creek and rich canopy of Oak, Bay, Cedar, Fir and Pine. Bear Cyn emerges to open chaparral, which takes you to the ridge with an open Conifer forest and amazing views. You will climb the ridge for several miles and enjoy a treat of varied topography, shade, sun, and breathtaking views. After an incredible 6.5 miles and over 6000 feet of elevation gain, you will reach the Mount Baldy summit.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

No nonsense path to the summit.
Started just before 6am and reached the summit at 10:30. The first 2 miles is a fairly easy walk from the church parking lot to Bear Flats, from that point the next 3.5 miles are the toughest with almost 4,000 feet of elevation gain. The total mileage recorded was 13.5 with a net elevation gain of 5,900 feet. It was very windy at the summit with sustained wind of about 20 miles per hour making the temperature feel like mid to high 30’s. The decent only took about 3 hourswith my total time on the mountain 8 hour and 15 minuets including breaks. This was my first time on this trail and I will definitely be doing it again in the future.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is extremely taxing, both uphill *and* downhill. Don’t take it lightly! I’m bad about drinking water, and I routinely drink my full 3L supply by the time I return to the trailhead. But despite the fact that this hike is very difficult, I do enjoy it. The topography changes are dramatic, and the hike isn’t too busy so it’s quite peaceful.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

The Bear Canyon/old baldy trail was a tough one compared to the other more crowded trails to Mt Baldy, I loved the lack of people, although I met a few nice hikers and had a few inspiring chats along the way. Headed down the Bear Canyon trail for the descent as well, something I will prob not do again, the descent was hurting to much on my knees, even with hiking poles. Overall I felt this hike was harder than the San Gogonio trail I did from Vivian Creek two weeks ago, mostly because of the descent.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the harder ones for me. Of course my wife Rosa had no problem with Baldy.(She's done Whitney several times) Small group, we ate breakfast after hiking up to the Lodge. We took a few hours to summit. I was pretty spent. We went hiked back to the Lodge and rode the lift down to the parking lot.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

If you wanna test yourself you should defenetly check this trail out.
I was looking for a challenging trail and I found it.
I started at 8:40 AM from the church parking lot. The temperature that day was about 77 at the bottom and 67 at the top.
First 4K were easy, I thought I gonna reach the top in 2-3 hours. The sun was rising higher, the temperature was increasing. From 4K to 7K it felt a bit hot. When I reached the pines the wind was cooling. The hike became more enjoyable. The scenery closer to the top was stunning.
With comfortable pace, taking brakes, enjoying the view it took me 4.5 hours to get to the summit and 3.5 hours back to the village.

hiking
4 months ago

Started off at 5:20 am on the Bear Canyon - Old Baldy Trail. Temperature was about 67 degrees. Carried 17 lbs pack with 1.5 gallons of water to prepare for Cactus to Clouds. Reached the summit at 9:05 am. and had consumed 1 liter of water, and no food. My second time doing this, and it still feels like an unrelenting slog. Was windy and about 55 degrees at the top, but I had my shirt off during the entire ascent, and I was warm enough to keep it off for 10 minutes while enjoying the view. Good crowd of about 20 had already made it to the summit from Baldy Bowl and Devil's Backbone. Only 2 others I recognized from Bear Canyon ascent.

Descended back the same way, and it warmed up quickly. I actually consumed more water on the way down (1.5 liters) as the temperatures rose to 92 degrees. Returned by 11:50 am. Saw a lot of folks coming up, and I was aching to think how the climb must feel as the temperatures were rising.

Interesting to see several large groups of 10 or more Korean hikers. Is Seuk Doo Kim their inspiration?

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Really nice hike close to LA! So many people do either the devils backbone or the more direct Baldy Bowl trail as a training hike for Mt Whitney but honestly, this is the one to do. I just completed it starting from the road and alltrails had me at 12.1 miles with 5,830' of gain. Whitney really isn't a super hard hike, it's just long. If you can do this and reach the summit in about 3h and 45m or less, then you'll have no problem with Whitney. This trail maintains a steeper ascent than Whitney, although it still has some flat(er) spots throughout - particularly during the last 2 miles to the summit. I started at 6am and reached the summit in 2h 40m. The first 1.5 is pretty pedestrian and then you start to climb. Definitely try to reach the summit before the sun heats up everything. By 10am it already gets pretty hot and the less water you have to bring - and the less sunscreen you have to apply - the better. Views in the morning are really enjoyable, so don't forget to soak them up!

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent training hike! We did this hike on July 1st. We staged a car at Manker Flats then drove back down to the trailhead. Parking is on the street (inside the white lines) and it fills up pretty quickly. There is also a dirt lot about a 1/4 mile up the road on the left. I began tracking the hike at the Church parking lot. It took us just under 5 hours to summit. It was almost 7 miles and the elevation gain was about 5400'. This trail is steep, so make sure you are ready for the challenge. There are two miles where the elevation gain for each is just over 900' and one mile where the elevation gain was just over 1300'. We came down the Ski Hut trail, it too was steep but shorter. Our total miles for this hike were 11.31. I would not recommend this for anyone who is a beginner or has never hike Baldy before.

5 months ago

ugh man everyone is right. I was sore for literally five days after this and I do 10-20 miles a weekend. I was shocked. do not start this after 6am in the summer, you'll regret it. too hot.

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