Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hiking Mt. Baden-Powell

A hike to the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell, in the San Gabriel Mountains, offers spectacular views to anyone who reaches Mt. Baden-Powell's rounded summit. On Friday July 3rd, Ashley and I got away and got the chance to hike to the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell. This was a beautiful hike in the Angeles National Forest and it is a must do hike to one of Southern California's taller peaks. It offers amazing views of the Angeles National Forest, the high deserts, and the greater Los Angeles Basin.

Directions to Trailhead: To get to the trailhead for the hike to the top of Mt. Baden-Powell, coming from Orange County, get on the I-15 heading north. Take the 15 freeway to the Cajon Pass and exit left onto the 138 highway. Take the 138 toward Palmdale. In about 14 miles you need to make a left onto the Angeles Crest highway (2). The trailhead is on the left hand side in 14 miles. A map of the area can be found Here and we have also provided a Google map below.

Description of Hike: This is a well traveled trail and you will most likely see a lot of people hiking to the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell when you go. The trail is usually in good shape and is clearly marked. The hike is 8 miles roundtrip and is an out and back hike. Ashley and I also visited Lamel Springs on the hike to Mt. Baden-Powell, which adds a little extra distance but not much since the spring is not too far from the main trail to the summit of Baden-Powell. The spring is used as a place to filter water when hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. During the 4 mile hike to the summit there is a 2,800 foot elevation gain, so there is quite a bit of elevation gain. The views are absolutely spectacular for the entire hike and this is a must do for any hiking enthusiast. As always a Forest Adventure Pass is required to park at the trailhead since this hike is located in the Angeles National Forest. The hike will take about 5 hours to complete.

Further Thoughts: This hike was the first big hike of the summer season for Ashley and I and was the first of our several training hikes for Mt. San Gorgonio. The drive on the Angeles Crest Highway to the Vincent Gap trailhead is amazing. The views are absolutely stunning. Make sure to take your time and enjoy this drive as you get great views of Mt. Baldy, Mt. Baden-Powell and the expansive wilderness between them.

We chose a good day to go on this hike as the temperature was great and the weather was nice since there was no chance of any summer desert thunderstorms. During the summer months, be on the lookout for dessert thunderstorms that occasionally hit the backside of the Angeles National Forest. The best season to do this hike is the late spring, summer, and early fall as during the wintertime this peak becomes snow covered. Only experienced and properly equipped hikers should attempt the climb to the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell when there is snow present.

At a point during the hike you can begin to see the Devil's Punchbowl which Ashley and I hiked the previous year. The Devils Punchbowl is where the San Andreas Fault and the Punchbowl Fault come together and create amazing geological formations. It was very neat to see how small the Devil's Punchbowl looked from up high on the mountain. There is a small exposed ridge-line just before the last push to the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell. The view at the ridge-line heading towards the summit is absolutely spectacular. You have a great unobstructed view of Mt. Baldy and can see into the huge canyon separating Mt. Baden-Powell from the Badly Complex. You can also see the Southern Sierras, as well as miles of the Angeles National Forest, and endless miles of our California Desert areas. This is a great place to take pictures.

On top of the Summit of Mt. Baden-Powell, at 9,399 ft., there is a monument the Boy Scouts built which is well worth a read. Ashley and I enjoyed our packed lunch at the top of this peak in the San Gabriel Mountains. It is a great place to enjoy lunch and soak in the reward of making it to the summit. The views from the top of Mt Baden-Powell were absolutely amazing. The entire hike took about 5 hours to do. We definitely recommend this hike to other Southern California hikers, just remember to take your time on the switchbacks and not to underestimate the altitude, as the the trail is a steady up-hill climb the whole way.

Rating: Elevation Gain: 2,800 ft. (Moderate - Strenuous), Distance: 8 Miles Roundtrip (Moderate).

Time to Complete Hike: 4 - 5 hours.

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1 comment:

  1. I recently found your site via a Google search. Great write ups and thanks for sharing your experiences. Baden Powell is also one of my favorite hikes. The views are amazing on clear days. Hiking the summit in the fog is also fun!


Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.