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Mount Baden Powell

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Panoramic views from summit, unusual limber pine forest
Near:Valyermo, CA
Distance:8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:2800 ft
Hike Time:5 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: This is a strenuous hike up to the 9400 foot peak of Mount Baden-Powell. The hike, up 40 switchbacks, takes you through an amazing range of vegetation. Along the way you will see Oaks, Jeffery pines, Sugar Pines, Incense Cedar, Lodgepole Pines, White Fir, and near the summit the knarled Limber Pines. The views from the summit are breathtaking, looking over the Mojave desert and Southern Sierra. This is a great training day hike for a future backpacking trip.
Trailhead: Take the Angeles Crest Highway (2) for 53 mikes from La Canada to the Vincent Gap Parking area. The signed trailhead is at the northwest edge of the parking area. NOTE: DUE TO A ROAD CLOSURE, THIS HIKE CAN ONLY BE ACCESSED VIA WRIGHTWOOD, NOT OVER ANGELES CREST EAST BOUND! (Lat:34.372526 Lon:-117.767223)
Trail Guides for Mount Baden Powell:
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney  (Olympus Press)

Trails of the Angles - 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels
by John W. Robinson  (Wilderness Press)

101 Hikes in Southern California
by Jerry Schad  (Wilderness Press)

Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact:  US Forest Service, 661-296-9710
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted  104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 11   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Phoenix on 11/21/2012
Hike it frequently and a couple of months ago a hiker may have had a heart attack. It was difficult to locate him and the next weekend I noticed many of the switchbacks became numbered in an apparent attempt to help victims and rescuers connect. I agree it is overkill, but so were the trail mileage and elevation signs placed decades ago...

Reviewed by Craig on 11/1/2012
Further to HDHiker on 10/28/12, the graffiti is APPALLING!!! Some fool has painted switchback numbers at every turn, perhaps all the way up. Does anyone have a picture of this perp you can send to the ranger???

Reviewed by HDHiker on 10/28/2012
One of my favorite hikes. To bad some inconsiderate hiker/vandal painted either a tree or rock by each switchback to number them.

Reviewed by Mike on 10/9/2012
Went up on Columbus day. Perfect Fall weather hike, sunny and clear, and stayed around 60 degrees, and ran into only 2 other groups hiking. Very clean, and well maintained trail. Very healthy flora and so many pine trees. Strenuous hike up if you're not in shape or used to the thinner air, but worth the effort. Checked out Lamel Springs which is marked about 2 miles up. Easy enough for a few extra minutes of exploring, and that trail is quite narrow in spots. Counted 40 switchbacks to get to the summit. There's a bench on switchback 6, and a clearing on the west side of the trail at 17, if you want to plan on places to rest. Summit is awesome! Stopped to eat dinner at Evergreen cafe in Wrightwood, which I highly recommend.

Reviewed by Jessica on 9/18/2012
This is definitely one hike that took my breath away! It could've been the elevation, but after about one mile from the trailhead, I was beginning to push myself. It's not the easiest hike. There's a lot of switchbacks, 40 maybe more, and the elevation gain is 2,800 ft. Four miles up, four miles down doesn't seem extremely difficult, but 2,800 until you're climbing a mountain! This hike is worth your time, energy, perseverance and appreciation for nature! ...Please remember, keep our planet litter -free!!!

Reviewed by JMR on 9/11/2012
This hike has too many switch backs and not enough views. The best way to hike Baden-Powell is to start at Dawson Saddle on the trail to Throop. You get great views of the LA basin and the desert along with bagging Throop, Burnham and Baden-Powell. This hike is a bit longer than from Vincent gap but much more fun and scenic.

Reviewed by Jeepergeo on 9/9/2012
The trail is in impecable condition this year as of late August, with little evidence of washouts or even much trailcutting by folks who should just stay in the city. There was a little graffitti at the trailhead, but as we. know, scum are lazy so evidence of that disappeared about 100 yards up the trail. The trees look healthy, and despite the heat, there were still a few flowers showing. From the top, the view to the desert was at least 75 miles, and we could easily see the Griffiths Park Observatory. The peak was clean overall. To the scum that left their cigarette butts, we picked them up and hauled them out-to you we wish only early COPD or worse. This is a great hike and continues to be much less visited than other nearby peaks

Reviewed by Cody W. on 7/25/2012
Great hike! The view is completely breath taking. I am not a very physically fit guy and I was able to carry my 20lb unicycle on my back the whole way up amd rode it down. Soar for 2 days but its definitely a hike anyone with the right amount of water and protein bars can handle :)

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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