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Vincent Gap to Mount Baden-Powell via PCT

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Sheep Mountain Wilderness

Vincent Gap to Mount Baden-Powell via PCT is a 12 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Valyermo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 12.0 miles Elevation Gain: 3,868 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from La Canada, CA: Vincent Gap is on the Angeles Crest Highway 53 miles from La Canada or 5.5 miles from Big Pines, if you are approaching from the Cajon Pass. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for your vehicle while parked in this area.

hiking
11 months ago

Finished the trail today - the elevation gain was equivalent of walking up 200 flights of stairs (according to my iPhone) I counted 41 switchbacks and one “park bench” - met numerous hikers with small dogs, I thought the trail was well traveled for a Monday morning, several local hikers and 3 PCT hikers. The trail is well kept with lots of wild flowers, spectacular views and this day only one small patch of snow. You will find lots of shade all the way up. This hike is rated Hard which I find fair.

hiking
snow
11 months ago

With Madrim, Jen, Liz on Nat’l Trail Day. Ran into many PCT thru hikers along the trail & at summit. At mile 3, microspikes needed for snow patches. No real trail, switchbacks are basically follow the tracks, some snow, & some dirt. A little sketchy & very slushy. Poles helped too. Lessened the mileage since we went straight up after mile 3.

hiking
snow
11 months ago

We hiked this today, Memorial Day weekend. About the top 3/4 mile is still snowy, and the snow is packed to ice in various spots. Bring crampons if you want to complete the summit. Even if you can't complete it, it's still a beautiful hike with plenty of shade and views of both mountain and desert. We saw a couple of trail runners as well.

An amazing hike with really early elevation gain. Since there was snow following the usual path was unnecessary, letting people hike straight up the side. Was able to shave off a mile each way.

closed
muddy
snow
Tue Mar 05 2019

Road is closed just past the entrance. only hiked about 1.6 miles in and lost the trail as there were no marks or footprints. lots of mountain lion prints and decided that it was unsafe to continue. Dawson saddle entrance inaccessible.

Tue Jan 29 2019

Did this trail 1-27-19 and only made it to the Baden-Powell summit. I had microspikes and my pup. Most people had crampons, much better idea with how buried the trail is from all the snow. Probably could have gone all the way but the group I was with turned around and I didn’t feel safe alone. The view from Baden-Powell was worth it though. Awesome day on trail!

hiking
snow
Sat Jan 19 2019

An hour and a half drive from downtown LA, this trail is best to arrive early at because of all the traffic from Mountain High, a neighboring ski slope that is before the trailhead on the road in. Plan to arrive at 8am or a little earlier to beat the traffic. On 1/19/19 the trail was covered completed in snow after the first quarter mile. After the first 2.5 miles, it was hard ice covered. It was about 60 degrees and sunny so not many layers needed. The top gets colder so packing a layer in case is important. Pack spikes, poles and crampons to ensure you have everything you need to make it to the top of the hike. Gorgeous views at every turn at turn. Will be coming back soon! Enjoy!

hiking
Tue Dec 04 2018

We hiked on Sunday, 12/2. So fun! Lots of snow. Pretty cold too, bring your mittens. Looking forward to hiking this one in the springtime.

Mon Nov 26 2018

great hike went on 11/24/18 last two miles ice and snow don't forget your micro spikes

Sun Sep 23 2018

Kicked my butt! Ole sir Baden-Powell, yesterday was the last time i will see the summit, my 3rd time up, and now to find my bucket list...

Sun Sep 09 2018

Many great hikes with scouts from Troops 737 and 164. Beautiful views and a good test for longer hikes

Sun Feb 11 2018

This is NOT hard but is moderate. It's a very popular hike and the views are excellent on clear days.

hiking
Mon Jan 29 2018

1.27.18 It’s a great steady incline. There is still a lot of snow and Icey trail after 2miles Mark. Micro spikes is recommended.

Sun Dec 03 2017

Fantastic three peak hike! We tagged Mount Baden-Powell first then went on to get Mount Burnham, and Throop Peak last. We went back the way we came except by by-passing Mount Burnham and mount Baden Powell on the way back by staying on the PCT. Once you get up to the ridge line before summiting Baden Powell you will have amazing views the rest of your journey. The switchbacks going up Mount Baden Powell are nicely graded and not too taxing. There were just a lot of them! I believe 40 to be exact. See my recording for my track and stats as the track listed here does not include summiting the two extra peaks.

hiking
Fri Oct 13 2017

Mt. Baden Powell. Named after the founder of the boyscouts. It's about a 9-10 mile hike with an elevation gain of about 2,600 ft. Peak elevation is at 9,400 ft. It's known for its 40 switch backs. Along the way you will meet Wally Waldron, a 1500 year old tree. At the peak there's a concrete monument dedicated to Lord Baden Powell and the American Flag. You'll have beautiful views of the Mojave Desert and the San Gabriel Mountains. You will be able to see Mt. Baldy and Mt. Gorgonio on a clear day. Enjoy! Check out our video YouTube search: SoCal Hikes and Beyond Or https://youtu.be/P1fi-w26nHE

hiking
Sun Aug 27 2017

This is my 6th time to the summit. Great hike, best views of any mountain in Southern California and can't figure out why it's not part of the 6 Pack of Peaks. I would like to say that the road is open now from Grassy Hollow to Vincent Gap parking lot and trailhead. They are still working on sinkhole but road is open.

Sun Jul 23 2017

Great trail! FYI, as of today, July 22nd, highway 2 for 2.5 miles in each direction from the trailhead is closed, so plan for an extra 2.5 miles in and out in addition to the trail!

hiking
Sat Oct 22 2016

Friday oct. 21 we did the whole up n down and took a break of 40 mins to have lunch up on the summit... started at 9:50am from the Vincent gap n hit the peak at 12:17... and we made it to the car at 2:20pm .. 20mins more then what I was planning.. weather was just perfect.. my friend almost die but she didn't lol.. planning on doing it again soon

hiking
Wed Oct 12 2016

Wonderful shady trail with constant up. Once we cross the longer switchbacks the trail ends on a scenic note. Perfect weather to do trail run as well.

Sun Oct 09 2016

hard hike not as bad as the six pack peaks. The sign says 4 miles (8 round trip). The whole trail is nothing but switch backs.

hiking
Wed Aug 31 2016

Supper fun hike but a TON of switch backs(44 to be exact) Great views from the top and plenty of shade until you summit. Also a very well marked trail and in good shape. Good to get started early so you have enough time to finish

Sun Jul 17 2016

Beginners. Our first summit. We've been doing easy to moderate hikes. This was our first "big" one. 8 miles round trip (according to the sign at the trail head). 2800ft elevation gain. 9399ft at top. Start 8:39am Summit 1:30pm Descend 2:11pm End 4:27pm QUICK OVERVIEW: Adventure Pass. Water. Snacks/food for refuel at the top. Camera. Hiking poles/sticks was helpful for us. Sunscreen (high elevation). Take Hwy 2. Park at Vincent Gulch. Good size parking lot with bathroom. Trailhead is a couple of miles from Grassy Hollow Visitor Ctr. It starts steep with no end in sight. A bench to rest about a mile up. Magnificent views along the way. Trail well maintained. Shaded 90% of trail. Certain parts are rocky. Minimal bugs Cool temp (7/9/16) as you get higher of course. We made many stops to take pix/videos and had snacks along the way. As everyone stated, MANY, MANY, MANY switchbacks. Especially steep the last mile but the view was all worth it.

backpacking
Thu Jun 09 2016

A 2 day Backpacking trip with my brother up Mt Baden Powell on Memorial Weekend 2016. The views were incredible. Remember to bring water, there isn't any on the mountain. You are required to have a adventure permit to park. If you plan to stay the night the wind starts about 8 pm and doesn't let up until about 7am. It is truly an amazing place. There is more about it in my blog along with pics http://lovz2hike.com/2016/05/30/mtbadenpowell2016

hiking
Tue May 17 2016

Wow, what a Hike. better be in pretty good shape to go the distance. I went on a Weekday and can only imagine the trails on a weekend, went on a weekday and purposely timed it so i would run into some Pacific Crest Trail thru hikers, just wanted to chat and live the dream through there eyes a little... had a Nice long visit at the summit. decided to go another mile or To My Burnham, very cool the beginning is just a long queit walk in the woods then a 1/2 mile from the summit it gets spectacular and the walk to Burnham was unreal. a storm was coming in and had great views at the beginning and just fun weather being IN the clouds near the end. will do again... on a weekday! Always take a GPS and treking poles

Thu Apr 21 2016

Loved it. Lucky we had a GPS in the group. The result was snowed over towards the top. Worth it :)

hiking
Sun Nov 15 2015

Because it's close to Los Angeles. Wrightwood is an awesome little, tiny, town...The Village Grind...Outstanding service, food, and the espresso is awesome! 44 switchbacks, steep, continual, climbing, switchbacks on this hike. It is pretty awesome. Best time to go..mid-November..cool, but not freezing...will do it again. Sign the book at the top! Next time I plan on taking a waterproof bag to put the logs in because one day...they might be needed. Or someone may want to see if any of the friends or family have been there. The old trees are beautiful. Bristle cone pines...lovely...The trails are maintained nicely and of course, if I see any trash or especially plastic..I pick it up. We all must do our part. Thinner, cleaner air...pace yourself. Have fun and keep it smart and safe folks!

Sun Nov 08 2015

I had a great time doing this hike today, very well taking care of trail

hiking
Thu Sep 24 2015

This is the second half of my two favorite hikes in the San Gabriels, still can’t decide if I like Mt. Baden-Powell or Cucamonga Peak more. My wife Tracy and I arrived at Vincent Gap at around 6:00am and got hiking so quickly that I soon realized I had forgotten to change into proper hiking shoes. I turned around and changed and we were on our way. We stopped a little beyond the halfway mark at my favorite break spot and after a few minutes we continued climbing. The sun rising through the forest made for a magical day and some pretty good photos. We reached the summit and walked just beyond to a nice fallen tree, which made for a great bench facing Mt. San Antonio. We noticed that no one hiked passed the summit to where we were seated which was surprising since it offers a comfortable place to sit and have a snack and or nap with incredible views. After about an hour-long break we began our descent. On the way back on Angeles Crest Highway, we stopped for a picnic at Charlton Flats Picnic Area. I only mention this because it was hilariously windy at the picnic area, so much so that a full can of soda wouldn’t even stay on the table without blowing over. We finished our lunch in the car and laughed all the way home.

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