Hey everyone! Today I just wanted to share some photos from our third peak of LA’s Six Pack of Peaks Challenge — Mt. San Antonio … or “Mt. Baldy” as it’s more popularly known as! Summiting Mt. Baldy is an 11-mile roundtrip hike and peaks at 10,064 ft with a 3,990 ft elevation gain. I had done the hike twice before — once summiting and once just hiking up to The Devil’s Backbone — but this was Julie’s first time taking on the mountain, and I think she was just as stunned by the awesomeness of The Devil’s Backbone as I was my first time … it’s such a unique (and narrow) part of the trail!
This is definitely one of LA’s more popular hikes, so I recommend starting as early as possible if you’re planning on tackling it on a weekend morning. There are bathrooms at the trailhead as well as about 3 miles in to the hike if you start at the fire road entrance and make a pit stop at the ski lodge. The cool thing about the ski lodge is that it’s open year round for concerts and other fun events … and there’s a full restaurant up there too! You can stop and have a whole meal or just grab a Gatorade if you want. It is possible to purchase a ski lift ticket to take you either up or down to the lodge, but if you’re planning on hiking the whole thing … don’t be a cheater! 😉 Baldy also offers Night Hiking groups during full moons where they’ll guide you on moonlit hikes and feed you dinner in front of a live band … I think we’re adding that to our list of things to do next summer!
I was shocked at how much easier the hike felt for me this time compared to the last two times, so I guess that means our hiking training is really paying off! 😉 The trail is generally not shaded, so doing it in October actually turned out to be a great decision, as the temperatures were a lot cooler. We packed 3 L of water each and a bunch of snacks (Cliff Bars are our favorite!). The hardest part of the hike is definitely the last ascent to the peak … it’s basically a bunch of loose rock and almost like tributaries of little trails weaving in and out of each other just from how many people have done it…but it’s steep! You definitely are ready to be done once you reach the top. We were greeted with some pretty beautiful clouds over the mountain tops when we summited mid-morning, and luckily our air quality wasn’t affected by the fires going on more westward in LA that day.
So we are officially halfway through our Peaks Challenge! It feels pretty badass to be doing this just as two women out there on the trails. I think we might be forced to take a little hiatus in November / December due to the holidays and the possibility of snow on our last three peaks (they’re much higher)…but we’re in planning mode (!) as they’ll probably require camping the night before just because of how far they are from us. We summited our first peak, Mt. Wilson, on June 8, so as long as we finish by then, we’ll have reached our goal of completing all six peaks in one year! And in the meantime, I’ve been taking advantage of some of the shorter trails around me on the weekends … whatever the distance, elevation, location …. get outside!
thanks for stopping by!