This hike is located in Mount Baldy, CA. Hiker parking spots are available by the Mt Baldy Visitor Center near the trailhead. There are limited spots and parking can be challenging on the weekends so go early or go on a weekday if your schedule is flexible.
You need to pick up an Adventure Pass before arriving at the trailhead. The permit is required for parking, not for hiking. You can purchase a pass at the Visitor Center if it’s open. Alternatively, you can pick one up easily from a Big 5 Sporting Goods store near your home.
Once you’ve parked, hang the pass over your rearview mirror then walk toward Mt Baldy Village Church across from Mt Baldy Lodge. Begin the hike on Bear Canyon Drive.
Please be respectful and keep the noise to a minimum while passing through the cabins. After 0.4 miles, you will reach the old Mt. Baldy Trail. Now, it’s called Bear Canyon Trail.
Now you’ll be hiking on a single-track trail. Enjoy the serenity with the view. When in doubt, follow the trail on your right. It only happens once when you are climbing up.
Lovely forest setting.
We had the trail mostly to ourselves on a weekday morning. When we led a guided hike on a weekend morning, though, we ran into several hikers who were hiking to Mount Baldy summit.
There are several ways to summit Mt. Baldy and this route is more challenging than others by gaining 5,848 feet in 6.4 miles. This route is for advanced hikers only.
Bear Flat early in the morning
When you are ready, go back down the way you came up. It’s an out and back trail. As always, the view is better going down.
Good to Know:
- Hike Date: 3.31.21
- Distance: 3.4 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 1,160 ft.
- Difficulty Level: Moderate-Challenging
- Max Altitude: 5,560 ft.
- Fee/Permit: National Forest Adventure Pass for parking
- Trailhead Coordinates: 34.237768, -117.657849
- Notable: forest, switchbacks, view, out and back, no restroom