Vincent Gap to Mount Baden-Powell via PCT

HARD 83 reviews
#35 of 197 trails in

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 is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

12.0 miles
3,868 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips




wild flowers


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.

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

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.

7 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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!

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10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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!

Saturday, October 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

Wednesday, October 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.

Sunday, October 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.

Wednesday, August 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

Sunday, July 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

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.

Thursday, June 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

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

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

Sunday, November 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, 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!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

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

Thursday, September 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.

Friday, September 18, 2015

It was a hot day for a hike, so I decided to go up "on the roof" where it would be cooler. I had wanted to do this hike for some time, and I was fortunate in picking a good day for it: not too hot, not too cool, and not too hazy. Reviewing my GPS track, I count 40 switchbacks on the nearly non-stop climb up to the summit from the trailhead at Vincent Saddle. The trail snakes up the north and east faces of the mountain, passing from oak and pine scrub through pines and into alpine tundra near the top. There's no reliable water in summer (Lamel Spring was a small puddle of stagnant water), and the trail will likely have you huffing and puffing, so pack plenty of water. Like I said, the weather was not hot, and I went through 3 quarts before reaching the summit. I also managed to bag a few geocaches along the trail, making it a very nice way to spend a warm afternoon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's a non-stop upward climb but it sure is nice. You really feel like you're somewhere different on this hike. Crisp air, mountain scenery, it's really beautiful. I like this one better than Baldy.

For turn-by-turn directions, check out my blog:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Awesome challenging and strenuous! Beautiful sunny and warm day. Cinder'Ella'and I ended up on this trail quite by fate. Planned to do miner gulch, but last weeks rain washed it out, so 4 hours later we finished the hike to the top of this summit, spectacular 360 views, clear skys, great pics, after the rains. Two words-steep, steep.Didn't bring enough water for Ella, so I prayed a hiker would ask me if I had enough water for my dog, and that's exactly how it went down. Ella was offered enough water to satisfy her need. (Thanks to God - who answers prayers/provides). After reaching the summit, we ate couple handfuls of trailmix and a few atkins peanut butter bars, took a brief boots off ten minute snooze then headed back down, which took 2 more hours. Friendly hikers, smell of pine and great views along the way up as well. Personally, I would say this was not difficult, but very strenuous and gruelling at times, but well worth it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

This hike is up all the way there is no straight or down just up. The first one is the steepest and after the 7th or 8th it is less but always up. That said well worth the climb. Incredible 360° view for a hundred miles in some directions.

Monday, July 20, 2015

This was an excellent hike and I still had snow and ice to contend with on portions of the upper trail. Stellar views, great SOTA activation and all around killer day! See video blog on my website for footage of this hike and others.

cross country skiing
Sunday, June 28, 2015

It was a tough hike.. But worth it!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Great hike, but it kicks you in the teeth right from the get go. The first quarter-mile is steep and then you get to negotiate some of the longest switchbacks on earth. Seriously, each one carries you a quarter of the way around the mountain. Be happy they do though, because this is the steep side of Baden-Powell and those switchbacks are taking most of the bite out of this mountain. Once you get off the switchbacks there is a ridge that you need to cross that has a really dramatic drop-off on both sides; not for the faint of heart. Views are pretty good from the top, where there is a monument to Lord Baden-Powell.

Monday, June 15, 2015

just did this hike. very nice views. The 41 switchbacks you do get a little bit tiring. More so because of the altitude. I have a phobia of heights so I only made it to the Walden tree. Over all a good and safe hike.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Beautiful trail and you can't get lost on it. Start at 6565' and end up at summit at 9399'. The altitude gave me a little shortness of breath but got used to it after about 30 minutes. There was some snow on the trail at higher elevation and it started snowing really hard on the way down. Kind of a nice touch. Views at the top are amazing and worth the effort. Just drink a lot of water, take your time if not used to altitude, and enjoy the scenery of which there is a lot. I came in from San Bernardino area, I believe on 138 and when you turn off on CA 2, it is 14 miles to the parking area. Road isn't that curvy so if you get sick on those type roads you don't have to worry about it. Lots of parking and restrooms at the trailhead. I did the summit, took some side trails on way down, and did 8.78 miles in 3 hours and 37 minutes. That is actual hiking time based on app MapMyHike. If Baden-Powell is checked off I guess Baldy is next. Enjoy and if your like me, take a lot of pictures.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

This is a nice hike - mostly shaded, which was really nice on a hot August day and with the elevation, the temperature was nice. It was about 95 in the SFV, and about 75 there. It's not particularly hard, it's just constant. For the 4 miles up, I don't think there was a single moment of flat or descent. It's not particularly steep, so the descent is easy, but it is constant. And although the summit is beautiful, all the switchbacks up the same side of the mountain get a little boring. I'm not sure I would make the 50+ mile drive on Angeles Crest Highway to do it again.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Really nice hike - I continued along the ridge to a couple of the other peaks. Great day out.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

This is a fantastic workout. I met a guy on the trail who ran up and down past me THREE TIMES!!! He was in great shape and put me to shame. I had a laugh when I saw the "track" on my phone. It was literally a zigzag the whole way illustrating the never-ending switchbacks. I found that this trail is really not that steep….it is not a toe killer on the way down. So I would have to rate it a moderate challenge. I went beyond the peak to Throop Junction. That part of the hike has a whole different landscape going on. What a contrast. It was truly beautiful. A must see. PCT through hikers abound!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I completed this trail on 5/4/14 afternoon. It was great hike, elevation gain, elevation and distance all has moderately. For me this was difficult, I had to take a good rest just at the fork where trail to peak forked from pacific crest trail. Switchbacks are never ending!
I met a wonderful couple who are doing PCT and they were on the trail already for a month!

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