Where to Hike: Mount Baldy

Kimberly Gomes
Deep in the San Gabriel mountains is a peak that’s calling your name

When most people imagine Los Angeles they think of palm trees, warm beaches, and flashes of glitz and glamour. One hour from the Hollywood bustle lives a quaint unincorporated town in the stunning terrain of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Just ten miles from Inland Empire, this picturesque place sits at 4,193 feet in elevation and harbors miles of hiking terrain and even packs on snow during its coldest winter days.

Mount Baldy, officially named Mount San Antonio and at 10,064 feet, serves as training grounds for hikers gearing up to trek Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. For a rigorous hike with an epic view, take on Bear Canyon Trail. This 12.8-mile hike starts at the Visitor Center at 4,260 feet and climbs a steep 5,804 feet before reaching the mountain’s peak. Anticipate an eight-hour trek and be sure to pack plenty of fuel and warm layers as temperatures range from the low 40s down to the 20s during the winter.

Hikers looking for something a bit mellower can hike Bear Canyon Trail up to Bear Flat for a moderate 3.5-mile hike, or explore one of the mountain’s dozen other pathways. The guides at the Visitor Center are a wealth of local knowledge, so be sure to stop by to grab a map and additional trail tips.

After a day of hiking, you can refuel at the Mount Baldy Lodge with hearty sandwiches, burgers and homemade blackberry pie; or grab a brew at Buckhorn Pub.

Tips:

  • Call in advance for weather-related trail closures
  • Bring $5 for a parking pass to be purchased at the Visitor Center
  • Pack plenty of water, sunscreen and warm layers
  • Visitors interested in seasonal tubing and skiing can check out the local weather report for snow levels
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