Summit Mt. Baden-Powell
Los Angeles › Pacific Crest Trail (Mt. Baden-Powell)
Added by Brenda Lin
Summit one the most popular mountain climbs in the San Gabriel MountainsEarn amazing views of the San Gabriel high countryHike amongst 2000 year old limber pines8 miles roundtrip with 2800' elevation gain
This well maintained and well traveled trail is a popular route with day hikers, backpackers, and Pacific Crest Trail through hikers. Since the trail is on the face of the mountain, snow may linger late into the season.
The Pacific Crest Trail is clearly marked on the western corner of the Vincent Gulch parking lot. The trail is mostly shaded by pines as it switchbacks up the mountain at moderate but consistent grade. The only water available is at 1.5 miles from the trailhead at Lamel Spring. As the trail tops 8000', the views open up to the north towards the Mojave Desert. At 9000', the forest thins and old gnarled limber pines dot the landscape. A short unmarked use trail around the 3.9 mile mark will lead you to a small ancient grove of limber pines, some of which have been sitting on this windswept ridge for thousands of years.
After soaking in the views, continue on the main trail where you'll reach a junction. The summit of Mt. Baden-Powell veers to the left of the Pacific Crest Trail. It is quite obvious as it looms ahead of you. Make sure to stop and visit the "Wally" Waldron tree, a seemingly hardy limber pine estimated to be more than 2000 years old. From here, some short but steep switchbacks takes you to the summit. Take in the expansive 360 degree views of mountain, desert, and lowland scenery. You may even see the faint skyline of downtown Los Angeles on the clearest day, especially after a rain or snow storm. After taking in all the views, retrace you steps back to the trailhead.
- Day pack
- Sturdy Hiking Shoes
- Trekking Poles
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One of our favorite peaks!
Most hikers tend to take the 4-mile (one way) trek up from Vincent Gap, which switchbacks up the north slope of the peak. However, we prefer to take an alternate route, which starts at Dawson Saddle, and joins the Pacific Crest Trail as it meanders along several ridges. This route is longer by about two miles, and it does have some elevation changes (which means you’ll be going back up in a few places on your way back to the trailhead), but the views of the L.A. Basin and Antelope Valley, plus the solitude, make it worth the extra effort.
One Of Best Hikes I've Ever Done
I went up this mountain in early December, and it was amazing to see the transition from desert at the bottom of the mountain to the two-foot deep snow all the way to the summit. Start early and take your time.
First Backpacking Trip
Absolutely beautiful views. I went early November and there was snow and ice on the shaded side of the mountain. I went just after a rain and hail storm and I could see Catalina island and ships in the harbor. Be careful of altitude sickness. Bring a flash light if you feel like watching a beautiful sunset.
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