JEEP LIFE AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS
One of the "must do" things you should do if you live in Southern California is hike Mt Baldy. The hike will leave you breathless...in more ways than one that's for sure! Now, it is challenging so make sure you're healthy enough to deal with the incline, altitude and distance before you decide to hop out of the bed and charge it.
A paved road will slowly turn to dirt as you head up. About a quarter mile up there's a small trail off to the left. That's the trail you want! You can stay on the fire road if you'd like, but come on...you're hiking a fire road at that point, leave that for the end when you're already tired.
The single track path is steep, real steep, so don't expect to many breaks unless you plan on stopping. The beautiful terrain along the way definitely gave me the sense of that "off the grid" feeling I need, well until the people start showing up. The earlier you can get there the better. The crowds are small and the sunrise views on the way up will give you a sense of how big the world really is out there. Something to see for sure.
Coming off the ski hut you'll start seeing the scenery change. The trees are spread out, the greenery starts to fade and at times it becomes much more rocky. I LOVE that! It's the type of landscape you just don't see if you don't live in that type of climate. Remember...slow and study!
It's not over though. There's still more to see and miles to go here. Next up...The Devils Backbone, a cool little trail that will have looking down steep mountain faces, sometimes on both sides! If you're deathly afraid of heights, go back down the way you came. Although I found it enjoyable, we came across a guy who had a panic attack and had to turn back and a girl who was having a panic attack left frozen in her tracks trying to pull herself together and get through it.
The way back was pretty easy and once past the D-man's Backbone, you'll come across a little restaurant/recreation area. You can eat, zip line, and hop on the ski lift for a ride if you'd like. In fact, for $12 bucks you can hop on the lift and cut out some of the boring fire road hike back down to the car. Some of the "hardcore hikers" might call that cheating, but if you ask me...it's way more adventurous and fun than a stroll with 7 million other people down a boring fire road for a couple miles.
Back to car and heading home to wrap up a long, fun, challenging, rewarding, adventurous day! Definitely worth the time spent doing it! Here are a few fun facts to help you decide if this hike is for you.
Distance: just over 11 miles round trip
Elevation: 10,69 ft you'll climb just over 3,800 ft
Difficulty: it's definitely a tough hike
"Mt Baldy" is actually named Mount San Antonio
Remember: it gets crowded up there so get out there early and have fun!