Mt. Baldy via Bear Flats
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A lesser known but strenuous ascent of Mt. San Antonio with spectacular views. 14 miles round trip, 5500' elevation gain.
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
Trails of the Angeles, USGS Topo Map
Drive to Baldy Village (see general map) - Turn left on Bear Canyon Rd. (across from Mt. Baldy Lodge). Drive to the hiking parking and start hiking up the one lane road. A 15-20 minute drive.
Hike for a few minutes on the one lane road and take the path across the stream past cabins to Bear Flat (a small overgrown weed patch 2 miles from the car). From here the trail becomes exceptionally steep and open. As the trail gets higher it leaves the chaparral and enters a sparsely forested ridgetop where sweeping views of San Antonio Canyon and the Sheep Mtn. Wilderness open up. After traversing a narrow, barren saddle at 9200', the trail enters a true alpine environment full of boulders and weathered lodgepole pine. Soon you reach the summit, usually after 4-7 hours of climbing. Distant peaks include San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, Mt. Pinos, and (on clear days) the Southern Sierra. The hike to Bear Flat itself makes a great half day hike with its beautiful canyon and short drive.
It can be hot in summer and snowy in winter - recommended in fall and spring. Carry 3 quarts water per person. The temperature can drop substantially as you climb. Mt. Baldy Village has a USGS Ranger station.
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/22/2009