Last year in September, (before my South America trip) I wanted to increase my endurance. The reason for this was because it was my first backpacking trip and I wanted to get use to carrying a backpack and walking endlessly.
With that said, my friend Brandon and I decided to hike Mount Baldy one day. It is technically called Mount San Antonio. Baldy sits above sea level at 10,068 feet. I believe this is the highest mountain that I have conquered in the States.
If you want to start conditioning your body for something like Mount Whitney, I suggest trying out the Southern Californian Six Pack of Peaks that includes Mt. Wilson, Cucamonga Peak, San Bernardino Peak, San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto Peak.
As for Mount Baldy, I wish we would’ve started a bit earlier in the day because we ended up hiking until 7p that night, but thankfully we had a handy dandy flashlight to help guide us. The loop is a total of 11 miles and it takes all day; however, we decided to do additional trails such as Mount Harwood and mistakenly didn’t finish the “loop.”
I believe there was a parking lot where you can park and take the Mount Baldy ski lift to Baldy Notch. However, there was construction and we started somewhere near Falls Road and made our way to San Antonio Falls. There wasn’t much of a waterfall so we backtracked and made our way towards Baldy Notch. From here, it is an increase of 1,500 feet of elevation. We were able to see the ski lift that hikers can take if they didn’t want to take our route.
Once we reached Baldy Notch, we weren’t quite sure where to go but an employee directed us towards a route that thankfully took us to Mount Harwood. From here, we hiked along the Devil’s Backbone Trail.
After this, we hiked the “Saddle.” This is basically a 700’ vertical incline to the summit that got my thighs going!
We finally made it to the summit!
We could’ve gone back to our car faster if we would’ve hiked towards the Ski Hut, but we weren’t sure if that would take us to our car. As a result, we hiked back towards where we had come from and took a bunch of random pictures.
It was nice to see the sunset and thankfully we made it back to our car 🙂