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Devil's Backbone Trail
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mini location map2015-09-06
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Devil's Backbone TrailLos Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2015
Hiking3.10 Miles 3,700 AEG
Hiking3.10 Miles
3,700 ft AEG
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I’ve wanted to get up to Baldy all summer, but just couldn’t fit it in. So Labor Day weekend arrived and I didn’t have much on my radar. My wife wanted to have a date night Saturday, so we agreed that I could head up to Baldy on Sunday.

As I was driving east on I-210 I saw lots of clouds in the direction of Baldy. Was this going to be a washout? When I got to the ski area parking lot it was sunny, but there were lots of dark clouds up top, but they didn’t look very organized. So I figured I’d hike up and if it got dicey, I’d turn around.

I made good time heading up the FS road from the parking lot to the ski lodge. While hiking up a helicopter flew above and head up along the backbone. The summit wasn’t in view, so I couldn’t tell where it was going or what it was doing where I could hear it, but not see it. This happened several times on my way up.

I continued past the ski lodge and headed up the dirt road that takes you to the top of the western chairlift and the beginning of the backbone. I was making very good time.

Shortly after the backbone begins, there is a nasty section of trail that is slippery and loose and has a lot of exposure. I was pleased as I passed through this section that the forest service had done some very good trail maintenance on this section and it seemed like a whole different trail.

I finally rounded Mt. Harwood and there was that helicopter again, sitting on the summit with its rotors spinning. Not long after the helicopter came into view it took off and I never saw it again. What was it doing up there? Was this a medevac mission the involved multiple pick-ups?

I continued to make good time toward the summit. When I made it I saw a couple of larges caches of water and fruit. I recalled reading that there was a Labor Day run to the summit. Glad my hike was a day earlier. I settled down in one of the wind barriers and had lunch.

(See the Baldy Bowl Trail Triplog for the second half of the hike.)
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