Explore the most popular birding trails near Mt Baldy with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The Hike: Completed on 7/15/18
Parking at the trailhead fills up quickly I was in the lot parked by 5:30 AM and many others were already there,with less than half the lot left. This hike is very tough be prepared. It starts off with a very rocky incline that follows a stream for about 1 mile. You travel about 2 miles or so until you are out of the rocky incline. Then there’s about 2 miles of some steep switchbacks that take you up to icehouse saddle.

Ice house saddle is a nice place to take a break as it is shaded, but beware there are tons and tons of mosquitoes, flies and other bugs that will not leave you alone. I didn’t bring bug spray and it was really annoying I just continued on to take a break elsewhere.

After icehouse saddle there are some beautiful views along the trail and it’s an up and down trail for about 1 mile before the toughest part of the hike. 1 mile before the summit are some really really steep switchbacks that get you huffing and puffing all the way up ! I summited at 830 AM and stayed at the summit enjoying my lunch and resting for 1 hour.

The way back down was a breeze only because I had trekking poles without them the decent would have really been horrible as it is very steep m, narrow, and loose gravel. I was back in the parking lot by 11:50 AM

All in all 3 hours up, 1 hour break at summit, and 2 hours down. 6 hours total trip time !

My favorite hike to frequent as a local from Claremont. Not sure if I would rate this trail as difficult. Moderate for sure. Only moderately difficult part IMO are the switchbacks nearing the saddle. Nice mix of shade and sun and makes for a lovely hike as it parallels the creek. Lots of Columbine wild flowers, manzanitas and pines

Great bike trail not usually to crowded. As always start early gets hot in Mt Baldy. Have seen rattlesnakes and deer on this trail so pay attention. Great views from the peak.

Amazing trail for training. longer than Baldy, less crowded, more shade, what mire can you ask?

tough one, but so very worth it. I still dream about this hike. IronWill, CTAG

hiking
6 days ago

I was there on Monday, 7/9 to get out of the heat and to complete a six pack peak.. Boy, was I not disappointed! Due to some clouds it was enough to shield the sun’s hot rays and made for a great summer climb. Best part is no traffic on trail!!

We started 415am and got back to the car around 1230-40pm

All around great hike and quite the challenge with this heat wave towards the end once onto the last mountain side (get ready for switchbacks).

The rest at the top was well deserved!

Great Hike! Note that the actual mileage as shown on the map is 8.9 miles

Beautiful. Just buy your adventure pass and head there. You will not regret it.

Did this hike on 7/4/18 with my wife and it can be done in 5to 8 hours depending on your pace and break times. Got there pretty early around 5:45 AM and glad we did because it was really crowded as the day went on. Did this counter clockwise up to the ski lodge then to devils back bone and up to the summit. Proceeded down to the ski hut trail and manker flats.

Beautiful views but quite windy with winds at 15 mph up toward the summit. It is a strenuous hike but the sense of accomplishment felt at the summit makes all the struggle worth it . We summited at about 10 AM. (took a 20 minute break at ski lodge to eat snacks).

If you have weak knees be prepared as the downhill is a lot harder than going up. Took us longer to get down because of the frequent breaks. The loop down is very steep and a lot of support and stabilization is required. My wife was really struggling on the way down as she has an injured knee so it took us an extra 90 minutes to go down than it should have.

Instead of a loop I would do an out and back next time and return down devils backbone to ski lodge to save my knees.

Tips :
Trekking poles useful going down
Atleast 2 liter of water as the loop will take between5 to 8 hours
Sunscreen as there are many unshaded parts throughout the hike.
If you have weak knees, Do an out and back from manker flats- ski lodge- devils back bone- summit as it is the prettier side of this hike and then take the ski lift down.

Amazing views. Good and strenuous. A must-do hike for all SoCal hikers.

Great scenic trail! Really great for Whitney preparation. The stream running by the ski hut was flowering pretty good to my surprise. However that is pretty much the only water supply until the lodge.

Awesome hike! My favorite of the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks. The hike up was great. Challenging in certain areas and clearings that provides amazing views

trail to the was hard to hike. Unsafe in one area. Waterfall was nice once able to get their.

Hiked this trial with my best friend/hubby on 6/30. We left our house at 7:30 AM (wish we left earlier) and reached there by 8:30 and started our hike through Top Notch. At around 9AM we also saw people coming down already.
we started our way at slow pace since we know it was a hard trial and dint want to spend all of our energy in the beginning. By 11:30 AM we reached Top Notch Restaurant and took a 15min break. Cooled off ourself. Sun is all out by that time and we started to the real part of the hike. We reached Devils backbone at 12:30PM and pretty much tired already (again.. we are beginners) and our fellow hikers told the toughest part was still ahead. At about 1PM we reached to the last 1mile which was a killer hike. At this point, due to high elevation it became tough to get breath and we had to take a 30sec break for every 30 steps we took. That last 1mile almost took 1 to 1:30hr but we dint give up :)

Finally we made it to summit at 3PM (6 long hours). The moments of joy !! Manu had a bit of motion sickness and felt dizzy. We took few pictures and decided to get back. Now we have to decide if we want to take Ski Hut trial to make it a loop or just come back through same Top Notch route.

Top Notch route has an option to take cable car which take down to our car. since we were worn out and altitude has got our nerved we thought we would just take the cable car. we started coming back and half way down - we both got back our breath and we felt light as ever. We again took 30min break at the restaurant and cooled off. And decided to walk back 3 more miles. It wasnt that hard coming back although we just took our own time and laughing about out first summit experience. What a sense of accomplishment !!
If you think you are fit enough, you should go for this trial. If I can do it.. You can do it too !!

tips: wear long sleeved top to avoid sunburn. Take lots of water. hiking poles are life saviors.

This a beautiful and fun hike. One the better SoCal mountains. Going down Ski Hut trail is a bit rough.

hiking
14 days ago

I'm just getting into hiking, training for a trip to the Italian Alps. This has been the most challenging for me thus far. The main reason is the constant incline up and rocks this trail has. I have asthma and had to take breathing breaks often. I'm sure part of that was the altitude. I made it 2 miles up. It's best to wear mid to high boots to protect your ankles. Coming down is hard on the knees. I zoomed down the mountain at a pretty fast pace though. The trail is very beautiful with the running springs and plenty of shade. I'd like to go back and try to reach the peak next time.

Challenging backpacking hike with fiancée, but a great view from the top.

Got a late start around 10:45am, there’s plenty of shade during the first 3/4 of the trail so the sun didn’t wear us out too bad. Pretty exposed on the last 1/4 so we went through more water than I would’ve thought. Finished around 6:45pm.

We had 25LB bags (we are training for Whitney) and we finished the full hike in 8 hours (5 hours up, 3 hours down). Local map said it takes 10 hours, but if you keep an upbeat pace, you can knock it out faster.

Overall, challenging hike with a great view. Probably a bit more enjoyable without a full pack :)

hiking
15 days ago

This is a well maintained fire road, perfect for a long morning hike with your dog. The road has beautiful views and vistas. Great view of Baldy at the summit. Just be sure to use some natural bug spray.

This was my first hike of the Six Pack of Peaks! It is definitely on the challenging end, but once you reach the Peak you'll realize it was all worth it! I definitely recommend it.

15 days ago

Don’t forget your water,walking sticks, snacks and a sweater, it gets pretty windy once you reach the top! And the view! Wow, just wow!! Must see!!

If you have weak knees like me, I recommend to hike up through ski hut trail and hike down through devils back bone. It takes a little more time but saves your knees.

hiking
18 days ago

Good hike especially if you’re training for other big climbs (Mt. Whitney, Grand Canyon R2R, etc.). It’s nice to have hikes like this close to where I live. I’m not sure I would travel far to do this hike, but if you live close, it’s worth doing and training on.

Easier going up the mountain than going down.. in my opinion. We took the service road to the chair lifts and cut across Devil's Backbone to the Summit and down the mountain along the Ski Hut trail. great day hike..

June 27.. started around 7 am, amazing hike. Went counter clockwise up to the notch and then devils backbone. Saw some staff testing some mobile WiFi for an upcoming race up to the summit. The last push to the summit is pretty tough, especially when your almost 10,000 ft . A nice hiker told us to stay right at a split about 250 yards from the summit, felt like it was easier than going straight up. Summited just before noon after taking a few stops on the way. Feet were dying coming down, might of been smart to take the chairlift lol. All around a challenging and rewarding hike.

hiking
18 days ago

Amazing view.

love the climbing

This hike was really challenging toward the top. Pretty steep. Worth it though. If you take the trail that runs under the ski lift on the way down it’ll save you a ton of time. Probably best to do it with trekking poles though. Started at like 10 and one other couple and I were up there. Pretty sweet.

on Timber Mountain

hiking
19 days ago

Good hike. Warm at the start with a fair amount of non-biting bugs in Icehouse canyon. The breeze and shade higher up made for nice conditions near and above the saddle.

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