Mt. Baldy via Sierra Club Cabin
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One of the 3 main routes up Mt. Baldy (Mt. San Antonio).
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
Trails of the Angeles, Mt. San Antonio topo map.
Go up Mt. Baldy Road past the town of Mt. Baldy. Follow the road up the steep switch backs. About a mile before the ski resort the road branches into several lanes with a median of trees. Look for a left turn that has a big yellow/white gate. Park outside the gate. It is a 20-30 minute drive.
Hike up the road beyond the gate to San Antonio Falls. Continue up the switchback. When the road begins to bend towards the ski resort look for a trail that goes up the embankment to your left. It is hard to see, so look carefully for a small path heading steeply up the embankment. If you hike for fifteen minutes past the road's switchback you've gone too far and missed the trail. After a hundred yards up the small trail you should pass a sign-in post which tells you that your on the trail. Hike up the trail to the Sierra Club cabin (1.5 - 2 hours) and then follow the trail to the summit of Baldy. In non-snow conditions it takes 3-5 hours to get to the top. With snow allow 6-7 hours and make sure you stay high when blazing the trail through powder. The hike back is much faster - 2-3 hours.
The Sierra Club cabin has been a common OTL spot for non-official trips. You must get the key from a Sierra Club Ski Mountaineer or be invited by someone (a good way to be invited is to go on the maintenance weekend). The cabin has many rustic bunk beds, a common room with a wood stove, and a great kitchen with a spring running through the sink! The cabin is a great spot for trip-leader training weekends. Near the cabin is a classic OTL camping spot. It is at the bottom of the bowl near the rock garden. Go past the cabin and traverse across the bowl. Head up past the rock garden and then past a small drainage to the base of the ridge. This is a steep slope with large trees. There is a great flat spot here protected from avalanches. The giant bowl above the cabin is a giant ski run in the winter.
There is snow much of the year, usually December - April. The trail can be difficult to find in snow. Stay high. The only water is the spring near the cabin. Stay clear of open, snow-covered slopes after storms. Don't hike on them at all unless you know how to check for avalanche danger. Be cautious crossing the gullies on the way to the cabin as they slide often after storms. Skiing should be avoided for a few days after storms. There is a ranger station below the town of Mt. Baldy.
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/22/2009