Hiking Mount Baldy

Hi Friends,

I'm training with a group of co-workers and peers for the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Hike this May. As part of that training, we went on a training hike this Sunday to Mount Baldy. It is the highest peak in Los Angelos county at 10,064 ft and an intense glute and leg work out, buttttt it was FATASTIC! The whole trip was about 11 miles, and took maybe 6-8 hours of hiking time, I wasn't exactly keeping track of hike time vs rest/enjoyment time. I did however keep track of how many calories I burned... 3300 calories! Needless to say, I ate whatever I wanted Sunday.

To Start out, we went up this paved road for a short while, until it veered suddenly onto the San Antonio Falls Trail... if I hadn't been with people who knew where it was, I probably would have missed it. To be honest, when I started this hike on Sunday I was thinking, I don't know why I am here, I should be in bed right now.

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This, I presume, is San Antonio Falls. You can see a slight trickle of water running down the rocks. Funny thing, this area is typically a ski resort in the winter, but California has literally had a horrible winter for snow... that is why we were able to do this hike in January.

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Beautiful mountain views and fresh air... this is when I remembered why I love doing hikes like this.

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We were hiking toward this little hut for a rest break. This is about half way to the summit of Mt. Baldy.

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At the hut, we dug into our snacks for a break.

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Then we saw some snow... very little snow, but of course I had to take a picture next to it.

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The hike is sort of a zig zag of switchbacks all the way to the top of Mount Baldy.

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About the last 30 minutes of the hike, I started to get used to the elevation and making a pretty good pace and was able to get to the top a lot quicker than I did the first half of the trip.

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Finally we made it to the summit!

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Took some time to relax and enjoy the views...

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Hung out with this dog a little bit, because he hiked the last bit of the San Antonio Trail with me...

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Didn't rest for too long though because it looked like it might rain, and it was time for the Devil's Backbone trail back to the bottom!

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Pretty epic hike down...

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More excellent scenery...

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Lots of opportunities to fall off the edges to your ultimate doom...

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After a bit of knee-busting down hill hiking, we made it to this lodge, where you can either continue to hike down a short way, or take a ski lift.

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Or stay a while, and grab some grub and beer and hang out with the local dogs.

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Who only liked us for our nachos...

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I opted to ride with some friends down the gondola to see what that was all about...andddd saw this bike coming up the gondola. To think I would've missed that if I had hiked down instead. Thank god I didn't.

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Anyways, excellent hike. I really reallyyyy enjoyed myself, and I think you should check it out if you're ever in the area. It's an easy day trip from Bakersfield or LA obviously and has excellent views. On the other hand, if you have bad knees, I would recommend it with caution... some of my friends were in pain on the downhill portions. On that note, I've decided to put in some research into preventing getting bad knees. It seems horrible... and I do not want them.

Some other great websites with more technical details about the hike:

http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/mount-baldy/

http://www.modernhiker.com/2007/11/22/hiking-mount-san-antonio-mount-baldy-and-mount-harwood/

Cheers,

Allison