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Hike Mt Baldy on the Bear Canyon Trail (2019)

Everyone hikes Mt Baldy from Manker Flats, but have you ever finished it on the Bear Canyon Trail? Also referred to as Previous Mt Baldy Trail, this hike leaves from Mt Baldy Village on it’s approach to the summit. In contrast to the essential hike up Mt Baldy (by way of Baldy Notch), the Bear Canyon Trail is often not as crowded. That’s because it’s more durable. It climbs 5740 ft in 6 miles. There are sections which are very steep. It’d doable with an honest degree of fitness. This hike is a sensible choice for many who have hiked Mt Baldy from Manker Flats and now need to do it once more, with out all the hub-bub.

The Bear Canyon Trail, inbuilt 1889, was the important route to hike Mt Baldy, which is why they name it the Previous Baldy Trail. When the street to Manker Flat was inbuilt 1936, the shorter Ski Hut and Devil’s Spine routes turned extra in style.

Bear Canyon was additionally the essential means to entry the Baldy Summit Inn, opened in 1910 by William B. Dewey, who was the first gringo to summit Mt Baldy in 1882. It value $1 a night to remain at the inn, however burnt down in 1913.

Baldy Summit InnThe Baldy Summit Inn, 80 yards under the summit. The tents have been anchored down to face up to the excessive winds.

Getting to the Bear Canyon Trail

Use this as the trailhead tackle: 6778 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA, 91759, USA.

You need a parking cross for the lot. I exploit the reasonably priced Nationwide Parks Move, which will get me in each park, monument, and nationwide forest. It’s also possible to use an (Southern California only) Adventure Cross, or buy a $5 day permit from the ranger’s workplace.

A Word on Parking

Parking here is tough. There are six spots in entrance of the Mt Baldy Customer’s Middle the place you’ll be able to park and depart your automotive. You possibly can attempt your luck alongside the street somewhere else, however beware of the “no parking” signs. The Mt Baldy Customer’s Middle lot has a 20 minute most time. I might advocate calling the Mt Baldy Visitor’s Middle quantity (above) to verify. The parking state of affairs seems to vary every now and then right here.

bear canyon trail to mt baldy parkingPark in front of the official Mt Baldy Customer’s Middle. It’s proper previous Bear Canyon Street as you arrive in Mt Baldy Village. When you’ve parked (and left your parking move on the dashboard), stroll back down the street to Bear Canyon Street, which is instantly throughout the road from Mt Baldy Lodge.

Once I finished the hike from this trip report, I ran into some upset hikers. That they had arrived earlier than dawn, and the parking options and indicators weren’t so apparent. They saw an indication at the begin of Bear Canyon Street that stated “Private Road – Hikers Welcome” and assumed that meant they might park at the trailhead.

Once they received again from their hike, an area (named “Mark” who lives on Bear Canyon Street) had left a very nasty and threatening notice on their windshield. Sure, they made a mistake and parked in the flawed place. No, they didn’t deserve a profanity-laced missive on the place to park. So take care when parking and keep away from the grumpy locals. And keep stylish Mark.

bear canyon trail to mt baldy parkingThe signal that confused the hikers who parked incorrectly.

Gear for the Hike

This can be a robust backcountry hike and also you need correct mountaineering gear. Convey at the least 3L of water, food, and kit for changing circumstances.

This is not a hike to do in dangerous or winter weather, until you’re very experienced in those circumstances. The Bear Canyon Trail is exposed for much of the method, with some sheer drop-offs on both aspect. Individuals die here, don’t take any dangers.

Bear Canyon Trail to Mt Baldy Trail Maps

Hike Mt Baldy on the Bear Canyon Trail Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

How Will You Navigate the Hike?

I recommend utilizing a mixture of paper maps, GPS, and a information to navigate the hike. Before the hike I’ll take a look at any guides, print out sections which might be helpful or take notes, load a GPX monitor onto my GPS models, after which check out the paper maps. I do know the trail names, know what elements are exhausting, which elements are straightforward, and where the main landmarks are.

In case you are tempted to only use a smartphone, please don’t. You’ll typically unfastened cellphone reception on the path. At the very least, print out a paper map and this guide. Higher but, take a look at the navigation part on my gear picks web page to see the latest and biggest that I’m using. There’s even a particular discount on GaiaGPS for HikingGuy customers.

See The Nav Gear I Use

The route up begins in Bear Canyon after which shortly goes uphill. After the first half of the hike, you’re exposed and above the tree line. The last mile or so to Baldy is actually a few of the best mountaineering.bear canyon trail to mt baldy elevationThis hike could be very steep. The toughest part is from mile 1 to mile four, the place the gradient is round a gentle 18%. Unfortunately the steep slope makes the descent somewhat tough too. I recommend utilizing trekking poles on this hike.

Bear Canyon Trail to Mt Baldy Hike Directions

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Flip by Flip Hike Directions

Mt Baldy Visitor's CenterRight here’s the sign for the Mt Baldy Customer’s Middle.Mt Baldy Visitor's CenterThere are loos in the lot at the Mt Baldy Customer’s Middle.Mt Baldy Visitor's CenterVerify the hike board at the Mt Baldy Customer’s Middle for any info. You do not want a permit for this present day hike, so don’t worry about permit field.Bear Canyon RoadBear Canyon Street is where the hike starts. You’ll see the church behind the lot. Bear Canyon Street is through the lot to the right.Bear Canyon RoadHead up the paved Bear Canyon Street. The property on both aspect of the street is personal, so please respect it. You’re allowed to hike on the street.Bear Canyon RoadShortly you’ll see a trailhead ‘no campfires’ signal on the right.trail registerSubsequent to that “no campfires” signal is the path register. Signal if you want to. Again, no permit is required for this hike, fyi.Bear Canyon RoadMaintain climbing up Bear Canyon Street. Ultimately it turns into a mud trail.Bear Canyon trail signShortly after Bear Canyon turns into a path, you come to a path signal. Hike proper right here towards Bear Flat and Mt Baldy.Bear Canyon trail The Bear Canyon trail begins to go uphill.Bear Canyon trail signThere’s one other small signal marking the trail. Hike to the proper and continue uphill.Bear Canyon trail Ultimately the trail opens up and you may see Mt Baldy Village under.Bear Canyon trail at bear flatIn about 1.5 miles you reach the Bear Flat campground. Hike to the left at the signal by means of the fern and manzanita coated meadow.Bear Canyon trail climbsAs soon as via the meadow, the path starts going up. Tempo yourself and begin climbing.cris hazzard on Bear Canyon trail It’s steep mountaineering right here, with a gradient round 15%. Take your time.blue blaze on Bear Canyon trail The Bear Canyon path is straightforward to comply with, however not likely extensive. At a couple of factors there are cut-offs and small splits. Keep on the path that’s more worn and also you’ll be nice. There are also some random blue blazes.bear canyon trail to mt baldyAs the trail winds around the mountain, you’ll get views into the peaks round Mt Baldy.

Most of the peaks you sea round you might be hiked. The Three Tees are on to the right of Baldy. And across the valley are Bighorn and Ontario Peaks. All great hikes with out massive crowds.

fire damage on bear canyon trail to mt baldyThis section of the path has some remnants of the 2008 Massive Horn Hearth.fire damage on bear canyon trail to mt baldyThere are also some awesome boulders as the trail will get rockier.fire damage on bear canyon trail to mt baldyUltimately the timber turn into tall conifers, and the trail will get very steep.fire damage on bear canyon trail to mt baldyOne last very steep section of path earlier than the tree line ends. After mile four the grade goes from extreme to exhausting. You’ll respect that if you get there.fire damage on bear canyon trail to mt baldyYou emerge at the notch of the mountain. The panorama is barren and uncovered. And delightful. Under you’ll be able to see 3000 ft down into Cattle Canyon. It’s really breathtaking.fire damage on bear canyon trail to mt baldyThere’s a slender section with sheer drops on both aspect, just like the Satan’s Backbone on the route from Baldy Notch. This section is known as “The Narrows.” Watch your footing and stay low if it’s windy.fire damage on bear canyon trail to mt baldyRight here’s another shot of “The Narrows” just because it’s so cool. As soon as at this part you’ll be capable of see Mt Baldy in the distance. You’re at about 9,200 ft at this level.fire damage on bear canyon trail to mt baldyAfter crossing that ridge, there’s a downhill part by way of some timber. The path splits and reforms again together right here. Again, comply with the trail most trodden and you need to be fantastic.bear canyon trail to mt baldyOne other slender section of path throughout a rocky slope.bear canyon trail to mt baldyVirtually there. You’ll start to see Mt Baldy in the distance. Proceed on the Bear Canyon Trail.bear canyon trail to mt baldyThere’s a pile of stones marking a aspect path to the proper to West Baldy. The West Baldy spur path is barely seen. Stay straight on the Bear Canyon Trail.bear canyon trail to mt baldyOne last part of climbing before you attain the Mt Baldy summit.cris hazzard on mt baldyMt Baldy! You made it. There’ll in all probability be crowds up here from the extra common routes. Seize your footage, eat a snack, and continue back down the means you came up. If you first get back on the trail, ensure you don’t take the turn down the Ski Hut Trail. It’s straightforward to comply with the crowds down that route typically. Take care on the descent, the trail is steep and it’s straightforward to unfastened your footing.new mt baldy signsUPDATE: Evidently there are new signs on the summit that time you in the proper course whenever you head back. The paths up here might be confusing, so this can be a welcome addition. Nevertheless indicators don’t have a great monitor report on Mt Baldy, with many being stolen over the years. Just a heads up.west baldyWhenever you first head again, search for the path to the right of Bear Canyon Trail to do a brief aspect trip to West Baldy. When you’re on West Baldy, simply hike back right down to the Bear Canyon Trail and proceed your descent. This aspect journey is non-compulsory. Typically I’m so drained at this point, my sole focus is returning to my automotive and getting a cheeseburger.

Did one thing change on this hike? In that case, please contact me and let me know. I’ll update the guide.

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