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Pine Mountain via Acorn Trail and North Backbone Trail

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Sheep Mountain Wilderness

Pine Mountain via Acorn Trail and North Backbone Trail is a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Wrightwood, California that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until September.

Length 9.4 mi Elevation gain 3,746 ft Route type Out & Back

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Description
Waypoints (0)

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (31)
Photos (311)
Recordings (35)
Completed (57)
Marco Rebolledo
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HikingBugsRocky

This trail is no joke. Awesome views and a hard workout.

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Jim Harnish
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HikingBugsRockyScramble

This review is for Monday, June 1st 2020. Warm, lots of sun exposure, semi-clear skies and good air quality. Snow was minimal and only in small patches near the very summit. First off, yes this trail is hard, but do-able depending on your conditioning. It’s an excellent trail to train on for more strenuous hike such as the Eastern Sierra’s. I’ve done this trail before to Dawson Peak. I’d like to use this route as an alternative route to Mount Baldy summit. The route starts at Acorn Trail. You can park in the neighborhood, just below the TH. You’ll need to walk up the residential road about a a quarter mile before you reach the TH which is marked with a big PCT welcome sign. Follow the trail marker sign and you’ll see a nice wood pile marker with Acorn Trail sign. From here it’s a consistent incline with few switchbacks for about 2.5 miles up to converge with a wide fire-road which is the PCT. The trail up is nice and wooded with lots of shade and great views overlooking Wrightwood. Once on the PCT (staying to your right from Acorn Trail) it’s about a half mile to the Big Sheep Wilderness sign. From this point, you will see the ridge line trail to Pine Mountain. The summit is mostly visible. You’ll descend about 200 feet from the PCT and then begin a gradual incline up the ridge. About half a mile along the ridge the elevation changes quickly and the grade becomes extreme. For the next mile you will be going straight up, with virtually no sun shade, across the narrow ridge line which requires some scrambling across loose shale and gravel. There’s some exposure, but barely approaching a class 3 scramble. Helmets might be desired if in bigger groups to protect from small falling rocks, but not required. There are two areas which require some caution and careful footing. Once you complete this, the trail opens up into a wide wooded area with some switchbacks up the remaining 500+ feet to the summit which overlooks Dawson Peak with an amazing view of Baldy. Along the way we hit some remaining snow patches, but not enough to require micro spikes. There is a summit log in a red canister near the rock pile at the summit but no visible marker. All-in-all, a strenuous hike with amazing views. Due to the snow melt, there were more insects around the wooded summit so you may want to bring some Repel wipes if you don’t like dealing with with flying bugs and mosquitoes. Round trip was 6 hours, we were moving pretty slow at an average of 1.8 mph.

Jake Bonacio
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HikingBugsRocky
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G J.
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IcyOff trailRockyScrambleSnow

Beautiful route. Early April, getting warm so the snow is melting but still prevalent. Whole route is buried once you get above 7000ft. Started early to take advantage of the hard snow. Snowshoes are a must unless you enjoy postholing to your thighs when it warms up. Utilized an ice axe on the steepest sections of the Backbone as it's essentially an alpine scramble. Truck to truck distance was 10.2mi, took just under 10hrs with frequent breaks to eat and take in the views.

Sean Reed
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HikingOff trailSnow

Last day of hiking last Saturday before all the trails to Baldy/ANF closed for Covid-19 (Acorn trail to North backbone). No signs posted in the morning, then tons of closed signs when I left the trailhead in the afternoon. Breezy up on the ridge, warm temperatures meant slushy snow by 10am. Before that crampons and ice axe were working great. I turned back about 1000 ft from the summit not wanting to descend that ridge section when it got any mushier as things heated up. Great views though, especially to the north. As usual, regretted not bringing snow shoes for the afternoon. I post holed over to Mt. Wrightwood on the way back. The bowl there looks like a lot of fun snow climbing as well.

Martin Locklin
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HikingScrambleSnow

Epic views and fun climb to the top! Can tell not too many people frequent the peak, although acorns trail to PCT seemed much more populated. Recent snows let to some off-trail within the last mile or so, but followed the ridge up for a pretty straight climb.

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Nick Bliudzius
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Hiking
First to Review

It is hard hike when you get to the backbone of Pine mountain. It almost mountaineering. The backbone is the hardest part. Very steep. Amazing views at the top. @nickrattler

Ian Ferguson
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Hiking
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Freddy Cortes
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Running
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Marcelo Waldheim
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James Vazquez
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Hiking
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Freddy Cortes
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Hiking
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Trey Blaubach
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Hiking
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Ron Pulido
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Hiking
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Jim Harnish
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Hiking
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Pamela Quick
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Hiking
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Jim Harnish
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Hiking
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Brian Weiss
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Hiking
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David Freeland
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Hiking
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Andrew Froning
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Hiking
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