Mount Baldy Travel Guide

  • Mount Baldy
    by goingsolo
  • Mount Baldy
    Mount Baldy
    by goingsolo
  • Mount Baldy
    Mount Baldy
    by goingsolo

Mount Baldy Things to Do

  • The Notch

    The Notch is the most important building in Mt Baldy. This stone/wood cabin is located at the top of chair #1 at the elevation of 7,800 feet. In the winter it's the rest area for skiiers. In the summer it's the base camp for hikers. Inside there's a cafeteria with comfortable seatings and a great view. But it's not a hotel.Sometimes I come up here...

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  • Thunder Mountain

    From the Notch, most hikers attack either Thunder Mountain (8,587 feet) to the east or Baldy summit (10,064 feet) to the west. Thunder Mountain is the easier of the two. Its 1.5-mile trail follows the skii run to the top of chair #3.The attached photo was taken when I started to hike up to Baldy summit to the west. The peak in the backdrop is...

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  • Tree formation

    At the elevation of about 8,000 to 9,000 feet when I was about to break the tree line, there were some interesting tree formations. These appeared to be dead trees, although I don't know why they are dead. They are nature's decoration to my hike.

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  • The peak of Mt Baldy

    Finally I elevated myself from about 6,000 feet to 10,064 feet at the top. This is the peak of Mt Baldy. It's quite windy, but the 360-degree view made me want to stay longer. The top of Mt Baldy is a smooth, round, barren summit that looks like a bald head. Besides the traditional metal plate marking the summit, over the years the hikers have put...

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  • The view

    At 10,064 feet, Mt Baldy provides a great 360-degree view, but the sky of Los Angeles is notorious for being smoky year round. According to the Notch worker, once in a long while you'll get a sky so clear that you can see Catalina Island 100 miles away floating on the horizon with the sun sets right on top of it. I've never seen it but I believe it...

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  • Mt Baldy bowl

    Near the summit of Mt Baldy you'll see the bowl. It looks a bit like a volcano crater but not as steep. It only has half the rim (north rim), and the highest part of the rim is the summit of Mt Baldy. On a clear day, the bowl is visible throughout Los Angeles basin, including most of the San Gabrial Valley and even Orange County.

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  • Devil's Backbone

    To reach the Baldy summit (10,064 feet) from the Notch you have to walk pass Devil's Backbone. It's basically a long, narrow saddleback with steep slopes on both sides. This is the most interesting part of the hike. It gives a great view but can be dangerous too (see my warning and danger tips). Keep your eyes on your footing at all times.

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  • skii lift/scenic ride

    Mt Baldy skii resort has 4 skii lifts. Chair #1, the longest one that takes you from 6,500 feet to 7,800 feet, opens year round for visitors' convenience. In the winter it's the skii lift. In the summer it's a scenic ride. It's located at the very end of Mt Baldy Road. Just drive all the way up till the very end and you'll see the skii lift parking...

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  • Skii the Baldy

    When people think of skii resorts in southern California, Big Bear is the one that comes to mind. Big Bear is a lot bigger than Baldy, but Baldy beats Big Bear by being a lot closer to the city and by having higher vertical run (2,100 feet) than any Big Bear resorts.There are a few reasons Baldy is not as popular as Big Bear. First, skii season in...

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Mount Baldy Hotels

Mount Baldy Local Customs

  • Wild flower

    Mt Baldy is mostly bald, but you can still find wild flowers at lower elevation, such as this one. It's about 6,500 feet high. Don't know its name.

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  • Wildlife

    At Mt Baldy I didn't see any large-sized animals. The most common wildlife I saw were the lizards of various shapes and colors. Perhaps it's because I was watching my footing at the ground throughout the hike. There were also lots of crows. I took the photo of a few crows resting on a tree top. They made lots of noise.

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  • Mount Baldy Hotels

    1 Hotels in Mount Baldy

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Mount Baldy Warnings and Dangers

  • Beware of weather

    You should always be wary of weather in the mountains. We'd heard that there was a possibility of storms and storms at ground level equal snow at 10,000 feet. The weather changed quickly from what you see in photo one to the clouds rolling in swiftly in photo 2. It actually got a lot worse, but by then I had the camera packed up and we were heading...

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  • Oxygen

    The photo shows the final leg to the summit where the remaining trail is completely in the line of sight. However, this last 1,000 feet elevation gain is the most challenging because it's almost straight up. I probably took more than 20 breaks sucking air. I was surprised I was that tired, then someone told me it's because there's less oxygen in...

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  • Sliding rocks

    Part of the trail to Mt Baldy hugs around unstable slopes where sliding rocks can alter your course. Just watch your footing, and walk through this area quickly. I've seen hikers use cane or skii poles to help balance. I've never use these so I can't tell if these are good ideas.

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Mount Baldy Off The Beaten Path

  • Bighorn sheep

    While hiking to the ski hut, Justin spotted a lone big horn sheep descending a steep slope towards a water source. I'd never seen one before and was pretty excited about it. It is unusual to find sheep in this area. We took a bunch of pictures of the sheep, who paid little attention to us. We also watched him effortlessly walk across a very steep...

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  • History of the Notch

    The Notch is the rest area for skiiers in the winter and the base camp for hikers in the summer. Little known fact about the Notch is that, in the 50's and 60's this is also a celebrity hide-out. Big band music, ball room dancing, and celebrity party all happened here. It was the prime time of the Notch. Later it was quieted down by a few...

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Mount Baldy Favorites

  • Below treeline

    By this point, we were pretty beat. We made good time coming down, and the summit seemed so far away when it was less than 2 hours from the time when we were standing at the top, anxious about the clouds rolling in. The steep trail and the rocks (there seemed to be more of them on the way down than I noticed going up) were murder on my sore toes. I...

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  • Baldy bowl

    Again, not very impressive aesthetically, but, once you've reached this point, you know the rest break spot is not very far away. This part of the hike faces away from the San Bernadinos, I think. Or maybe it was just that we weren't high enough to see that far off. Keep a lookout for wildlife too. You never know what you'll see out here. We...

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  • To Baldy bowl

    The trail is uphill the entire way. The portion leading to the bowl is not very scenic as its covered by the trees. Once you reach the bowl, you get a better glimpse of the valley below. Its not the type of scenery that will take your breath away, but, seeing the valley shrouded in fog was a pretty impressive sight. To me, at least. The views do...

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Explore Deeper into Mount Baldy
Apres ski
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Ski hut
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The summit
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Heading up the trail
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Clouds rolling in
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The last mile
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Level off before the final push
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Difficult traverse
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Hiking Mount Baldy
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San Antonio Falls
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Cahon Pass
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Mt Harwood
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Devil's Backbone
Warnings and Dangers
Map of Mount Baldy

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