Explore Mount Baldy

by Katie Martinez on August 18, 2018

Mt. San Antonio, more commonly known as Mt. Baldy, is the highest point in Los Angeles County, standing at an impressive (for LA) 10,064 ft.  It is a popular mountain to hike with various routes to the top that range in both distance and difficulty. If hiking’s not for you, there are still plenty of other ways to enjoy the mountain and it’s sweeping views of Southern California.

Hiking to the Notch

If you are looking for a solid day hike, an easy option is to hike to the Baldy Notch and back, starting from either the Manker Flats trailhead, for a roughly 7 mile climb, or from the Ski Lot parking lot, for a shorter, 5 mile climb.  Both trails meet-up for the last 2 miles of the climb, but the trail from Manker Flats offers the connection to the Ski Hut Trail, as well as to San Antonio Falls, about a quarter mile up. More details.

Ski Lift to the Notch

Not up for a hike? You can always opt for taking the ski lift up to the Notch. The total trip lasts around 10-15 minutes and allows for a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.  A single ride up or down (as of 08/2018) costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $13 for youth ages 13-17 years old, and $10 for children ages up to 12 years old.  A round trip ride (as of 08/2018) costs $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, $20 for youth ages 13-17 years old, and $15 for children ages up to 12 years old. The site offers discounts for booking online, so check it out! More details.

At the Baldy Notch

Once you make it to Baldy Notch, there is plenty to do and see.  You can easily spend a day exploring here, or more if you wish.

  • Hike! There are many options available to you if you want to continue hiking: You could follow the 3 mile round trip trail up to Thunder Mountain.  You could also continue up the roughly 6 mile out and back trek up the Devil’s Backbone Trail to the Baldy Summit.  You can also join in on the many moonlight hikes offered by the resort throughout the year.  Stop in at the Top of the Notch Restaurant for maps and more information. Details.
  • Zipline! Mt. Baldy Resort now offers a zipline- 600ft long and 90ft high! Book online, or at the resort.
  • Eat, Drink, and Enjoy the view! The main ski lift drops you off at the Top of the Notch Restaurant, where you can buy food, or enjoy some wine and local beers.  It is a great place to eat and perhaps even watch the sun set over Southern California.
  • Glamping!  You are now able to rent tent cabins at the notch!  If you are looking to camp, without having to climb the mountain, this is a great option for you.  Check the website for availability and pricing.
  • Events: The Top of the Notch offers many events to come up and enjoy, so be sure to check out the resort’s website for upcoming events, including Battle of the Brews, Comedy Shows, Concerts, and more.
  • Winter time: Winter time brings with it other activities, including tubing areas, and smaller runs for ski or boarding lessons.  The mountain also offers some of the highest and steepest runs in SoCal, that include many areas for those interested in backcountry skiing or boarding.  The runs are more for those with experience on the slopes, so plan accordingly.

*Adventure Pass for Parking:  You will need to buy an adventure pass to park on the mountain.  You can buy these ahead of time, at any local sporting goods store, or at any of the featured locations listed on the Adventure Pass site. The day pass costs $5 and the year pass $30 (additional car pass $5).The pass is required for the Los Padres, Cleveland, Angeles, and San Bernardino National Forests, and go towards the upkeep of the wilderness areas enjoyed by the public.

Baldy Village

Finally, if you want to venture up the mountain, but stay lower in elevation, check out the Baldy Village.  The village offers restaurant and lodging options, including the Baldy Lodge and the Buckhorn Pub. Surrounding the village are also other trails to explore, including Bear Canyon, Icehouse Canyon, Sunset Ridge, and the Joatngna Trail.

**Important! For your own safety: always do your research before hitting any of these trails, and plan accordingly.  A quick google search will offer you a great deal of information on the trails and current trail conditions. However you can also call the local Ranger’s Station, or the Mt. Baldy Visitor’s Center for information.

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