Explore the most popular dog friendly 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.

This is a very unique and rewarding hike! We started at 7am sharp from the parking area just above Manaker Flats campground. The trail was pretty quiet being on a Thursday. After 3 hours and 15 minutes, we reached the summit. On the way up, we took the service road to the top of the chair lift and followed Devils Backbone Trail to the summit. Our descent was via the Baldy Bowl Trail, which was very steep and included many areas of loose sand and gravel. The terrain and surroundings are very unique and I would definitely recommend this hike to any experienced hiker!
Ascent: 3 hours 15 minutes via Devils Backbone
Descent: 2 hours and 30 minutes

This hike is definitely intense. Hiked up on baldy trail and back down on devils backbone. Going up is tough is 4000 ft of just straight elevation imagine stair master x10. When you hit the green cabin (there is a little outhouse) you’re about halfway. It’s gets harder after this. The summit is really cool. Great view. Down devils backbone is VERY narrow be extra careful but it’s totally doable. I think this is the best way down opposed to baldy trail its not as intense. Long but not as intense. Plus there is the Mt baldy lodge where you can relax possibly take the ski lift back down if you wish.

Tips: bring at least 2 liters of water. Must wear hiking shoes. Trekking poles are very helpful.

Didn’t notice any smoke today. Seems to be one of the few places unaffected by the fires.

Hiked this yesterday. Very low traffic, which was nice. Hazy at the top, got some weather for a few minutes. You can see smoke, but didn't interfere with the hike. It was a great day in the 70's, cooler at the top.

Can anyone comment on the smoke at the top? I did Bighorn on Wednesday and the conditions weren't the best.

hiking
10 days ago

Hiked to Bighorn on Aug. 9th. Scenic and quiet. I saw deer, and a rattlesnake. Neat! Just FYI, the smoke from nearby wildfires is affecting this area. Baldy Village was smoky in the morning but when I got up to the saddle, the air quality seemed great. At that point, I decided to continue on to Bighorn. I didn't encounter smoke until I was almost to the peak. As the day progressed, the smoke from started to roll in fast. Air quality was not the best.

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked to Bighorn and Ontario on a Thursday, and it was pretty quiet -- only saw 5 other people on the trail from the saddle, and only 2 people that were heading for Ontario. But this trail is NOT 12.1 miles -- it is at least 2 miles longer if you hit both peaks. Although I did not record a track, I logged over 41,000 steps from the parking lot -- that's NOT a 12.1 mile hike. Check the recorded tracks below for both peaks, and you'll see a number that are over 14 miles. My best guess is that doing both peaks is a 14.2 mile RT hike -- 3.6 miles to the saddle, 2.8 miles to Ontario Peak, and .7 miles to Bighorn from the ridgetop junction. Roundtrip that and you have a 14.2 mile hike.

Did this as an overnight. Started at about 5:30 A.M. at Manker flats campground. Took our time going up not rushing. Started with 2 liters of water and brought extra empty bottles to fill up at the ski hut. The stream was flowing very well. From ski hut took 4 1/2 liters to the summit 1 1/2 liters was just for our meals. Wasn’t very windy at the summit until about 7pm

The sunset was SPECTACULAR. Words can not describe it. We saw a family of big horn sheep right by our camp site for an hour or so. Once the sunset the lights from Hesperia and the inland empire are incredible along with super bright stars, planets and the moon being super bright lighting up the camp site. We camped at the summit in between one of the rock wind barriers. It got a little windy through the night but not unbearable.

The next morning packed up around 8 A.M. and got down to the car around 11:30 but spent 45 min at ski hut drinking up water and cooling off by the creek. Super refreshing. Once the sun was up and we got below the ski hit it got hot quick. Bring lots of water if you plan on doing this in the summer along with a hat as there is no shade at the summit and hardly any shade along devils backbone.

hiking
22 days ago

Saw a horned toad lizard. Good workout. Great view of the sunset and mars

The trail is very well signposted and easy to follow. Started about 6am and wasn’t bothered by the heat at all! Managed to see a family of Bighorn Sheep going down the Devils Backbone which was amazing

Loved this hike. Don’t be.afraid to wear standard Nike free runs or other types of non boot like shoes.

Hike was for sure a tough climb, if you aren’t used to pushing yourself through steep hills and long elevation gains than this is a hike you will have to gain some will power. One step at a time. :)

The view was incredible also, most definitely going back.

Operation on Target - 2018. We used this Peak to signal other mountain tops using mirrors. I have never sweated so much. We didn’t ride the ski lift. It was operating on our way back. Views were great. We saw the tops of Cucamonga, Bighorn , and Ontario Peak. Started at 5:45am and reached the top at 9:05am. Great hike!

Great hike. Did the entire loop. Hiking to Telegraph had me on my tippy toes at some points but I enjoyed the challenge, as I’m training for Whitney! I’d recommend breaking for a snack at the saddle, on timber Mt. and then eating your main meal (if you pack one) on Telegraph. I stopped for a Pizza Port SIPA at Baldy Notch too. How fantastic is it to have a restaurant up in the mountains? It reminds me of Germany.

I really didn’t like taking the paved road from Manker Flats back to our car at Icehouse Canyon. It’s not safe. Ppl drive fast and some are not accustomed to mountainous driving. Instead of enjoying the final stretch, I was constantly having to listen for cars. Also, you will have to cross back and forth over the road multiple times to remain visible to the traffic. If you’re able to have someone park at Manker Flats and Icehouse Canyon, do it.

hiking
29 days ago

The parking lot is no longer available. There are No Parking and Fire Lane signs. We had to park on the side of the road.

We arrived at 6:30 and finished in 3 hours. About 45 minutes was just taking in the views and taking pictures. This is a great hike to take a beginner on since most of it is on a fire road but you still get the amazing views and a bit of rocky terrain. If you’re going early morning or after sundown, I suggest taking bug spray and a bandana. The gnats are horrible on the trail!

Overall, the hike was ok, but the views made up for it.

Great final peak to this at Thunder Mountain. Very remote with incredible views

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.

great hike, will make you work for it, but I think the finish line has much better views than Cucamonga peak, but that's just my opinion.
I can't figure out though it says its 12 miles but I used 3 different pedometers, 2 apps on my phone and 1 on my belt and 2 came up at 17 miles round trip from the ice house parking lot and 1 came in at 16 miles.
Anyone have any thoughts?
Anyway, a fun hike.

I actually prefer this hike to Cucamonga Peak because of the scenery and the views from the top as just as good. Trail is easy to follow. Took at break at the saddle and hung around Kelly Camp for a little bit, not sure why! About the same level and difficulty as Cucamonga.

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.

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
1 month 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.

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.

Semi annual hike to these peaks. A 5:30 am start saw few people on the trail up to Icehouse Saddle and none on the trail to Ontario. After a 20 minuet break on the peak others began showing up as I headed off to Bighorn. Another short break at Bighorn and I headed down the south ridge to Cucamonga saddle and back to Icehouse saddle and the trailhead. The main trail is getting more and more crowded each year as I probably passed more than 100 people, an early start is recommended if you want some solitude, at least on the way up.

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..

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