Explore the most popular forest 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.

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

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

Beautiful views! Several spots to set up camp after the ski hut. Only a couple water sources in early July (at ski hut) you can find water/creek information in the town of Mt Baldy at the visitor center entrance.

If you're looking at this route, you've probably already bagged these peaks. This is just stringing some of them together. Personally I like to park at Icehouse, go down to the village then climb San Antonio via Bear Canyon, eat a burger at the notch, then mop up Three T's. If you add Cucamonga to the mix, you'll top out at over 10000ft of gain for the day.

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

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.

Enjoyable summer hike on a weekday in June. Left at 8:30 in the morning and only met 5 hikers until reaching the summit. As others suggested, hiking poles are most definitely recommended- I went without. The hike is strenuous particularly the section where the brown trail marking poles are found about one half mile
From the top.

I am a 57 year old in very good condition but not a frequent hiker and not used to the altitude. Great day but challenging. Definitely need very good hiking shoes and highly recommend poles.

Excellent views the whole way up

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.

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.

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..

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.

on Timber Mountain

hiking
20 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.

Paved, with a considerable elevation gain for 20-25 min. once at the falls, there is a bit of scrambling on a dirt trail to get to the falls itself. lots of water year-round.
Once there, it is possible to reach the upper tiers but very difficult.

Did this hike on Saturday, June 23rd. We went clockwise passing the falls 1st. This hike was much harder than Mt Wilson and Cucamonga Peak. Better be on your game immediately cuz its starts up hill from the start. Fewer people going this way. When we hit the top we took a small detour to West Baldy a half mile down and up to add some distance. Went down Devils backbone and thats where it gets busy.A lot of people take the ski lifts up and start hiking. young old big small, dozens and dozens of people going up the backbone as we were coming down. We stopped for a beer at the Top O Notch Restaurant and its a 3 mile fire road back down to Manker flats. Its hard, beautiful, and rewarding. Hiking the 6 pack of Peaks. Baldy was #3. Mt San Bern is next. Lastly, trail was very well marked, and with so many hikers hard to get list, and I would not call it dangerous at all. Trail is wide enough and its not hiking along cliffs.

On a hot June 24th I hiked up Baldy Rd to Devils Backbone, summited Mt Harwood, then continued to Baldy. I returned via Baldy Bowl. Read below from pros/cons on the route choice, but no matter how you summit this is the best climb in SoCal. Yes, I said it... Better than San G, San B, and San J. Why? Neighboring mountains make the views more epic, the Backbone is bomb, and little ridge bumps like West Baldy and Harwood let you bag a few peaks in one push. Enjoy!

Pros:
•Fewer people. It seems most opt to climb up Baldy Bowl and return on Devils Backbone to Baldy Rd. It was great to hike on a Sunday and not be in a line of people.
•If you don’t like steep climbs this is the route for you.
•You cross a creek twice on Baldy Bowl so you have access to cold water (ie splash your face and neck) at the end of your hike.

Cons:
•Lots of sun exposure early in your hike. There’s no shade on Baldy Rd... so if you’re a baldy, pack a hat.
•The decent on Baldy Bowl is slick as whale snot. I lost my footing a few times and everyone I encountered had the tell tale “dusty butt” from their plummets.
•BEWARE OF BEES on Mt Harwood. At the summit I was stung several times. If you’re allergic you better pack your epi or a final will and testament because you’ll have Harwood all to yourself since no one wants to climb the additional 200 or so feet.

I love the hike, but it's extremely crowded on the weekends.

Here is my suggestion for this ass kicker. Park at the bottom of the ski lifts (no adventure pass needed) and head to the trail on the far left of the parking lot. Trek up to the top of the first incline and go left back to Baldy Bowl trail... there is a little tiny sign on your right. Hike up the ski hut and have lunch and then prepare for doom. It’s so steep and challenging and the sun is beating down but you’ll feel so accomplished when you get to the top. Don’t miss your picture with the plaque at the top like we did!! Head down Devils Backbone. The trail is beautiful and scary at times (I’m afraid of heights) but I made it. When you get the ski lift, save your knees and go left. It’s a nice walk down to the notch restaurant. Have dinner. We paid for the Moonlight BBQ dinner in advance online and the food was soooo good. We didn’t stay for the concert, because we were dead.... and taking the lift down after 13 Miles was the best $15 I’ve spent in a long time. My car was right there off the lift and thank god because we could barely walk. Marked this one off the bucket list! But I’d go back to Baldy Notch and do a short hike any day. Great operation, good food and friendly staff. So remember: ass kicker is up Ski Hut and down Devils Backbone. You would need poles to go down ski hut because it’s so steep. Good Luck!!

Well I started at the parking Lot of the ski lift. Took that Turkey shoot trail (brrruuuuutttaallll) and eventually made it to the notch.
I recommend wearing something that supports the Ankles cause its a steep climb up. Devils Backbone was awesome and scary. You come to a part where you're hugging the wall cause the drop off on your left could mean death. So just watch your step.
Its my first hike like this one. So it was brutal. But I would totally go back.
Be safe!!
Bring plenty of water and sunscreen cause it's pretty exposed to the sun.

Mt. Baldy hiked on Saturday, June 23, 2018, temps projected to be between 50-77° varied by elevation, sunrise: 0539 hours, sunset: 2006 hours, wind: 5 km/h. Start time of hike at approximately 0515 hours, end time approximately 1215 hours, total miles hiked, 10.1. By virtue of moral support and the best of a hiking crew, this hike was unlike any other hike I have done before. The mere presence of support on the trail made this trail very much doable, fun, and forever memorable. We hiked this trail counter clockwise via Manker Flats, and if I may add, a very wise decision! (As a side note, you may have done your research already, but just in case, do not mistaken Maker Flats Campground as the trailhead parking lot, two very different places! Just continue driving up past the campground, you'll see the actual parking lot on your left, that's if you show up early! If you get a late start on a busy day, you may have to park as far down as the campground, along the road.)
The trail is not a gentle nor gradual introduction to incline; it is very much a never ending steep grade, and has few areas to give you flat ground. The first 3 miles are on a service road, the road is gravel and then converts to a dirt road, plenty of room! At approximately 3.5 miles, we reached the ski hut, this was a good resting place to nibble on some food as I was oblivious to the a** whooping that I was about to get served with. The rest of the hike was hard; a never ending steep grade that just served me with the mother-of-all a** whoopings as a novice hiker. Reaching the summit felt impossible, but so many people were running up the devil's back bone and up the mountain that leads you to the summit, it was unbelievable! The devil's backbone was not at all as scary as it sounds, but the narrow paths you'll trek shortly after you cross the devil's backbone are very scary! Reaching the summit was an indescribable accomplishment, and reaching it with amazing people can never be forgotten....all-worth-it! The trek downhill is a beast of its own, different terrain and you might slip a few times, trekking poles would be wise!
One foot in front of the other and happy trekking to you.

I love doing this trail. Have done all but 2 of the trails that break off of the Saddle. I'm getting dropped off at the Icehouse Trailhead and getting picked up at Little Creek Rd, this Sunday.

on San Antonio Falls Trail

hiking
27 days ago

Went on Saturday, June 16th to conquer Mt Baldy and I failed. We got past the lodge, past the steep ski lift climb, to the first major steep incline(drop offs on both sides on incline) and my fear of heights took over. I stood there frozen, unable to move on. How many people I wonder go through this? I will return back to Baldy for another try in the next few weeks. I am so disappointed in myself, my first hiking fail.

Load More