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Baldy Bowl Trail
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mini location map2015-09-06
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Baldy Bowl TrailLos Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2015
Hiking4.30 Miles 4,300 AEG
Hiking4.30 Miles
4,300 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
(See the Devil's Backbone triplog for the first half of the hike.)

As usually the summit of Mount San Antonio is pretty crowded. So as soon as I finished lunch, I quickly exited the summit and headed down the Baldy Bowl Trail. It didn’t take me long to recall why I don’t hike this trail very often. It’s one big erosion hazard – poorly designed free-for-all that lacks switchback and has frequent drop-offs that mess my bad knees up. Today was no exception.

Nevertheless, I made good time. After the initial steep descent the trail levels out near a knoll before heading down a very steep section to a rockslide. The last time I did this hike this entire steep section was covered with snow and was very tough going. Today it wasn’t so bad. The Rock slide area seemed pretty good too. There is a little route finding to the rock slide area and clearly, I picked the best route this time. There is a first time for everything.

Despite the severe drought, I was surprised to see several running springs on my way down, the first just past the rock slide and just before the Sierra Club hut. I don’t think Baldy had enough snow to open last winter, so the springs were a big surprise.

Each time I head down this trail, it gets very warm once I drop below 8,000 feet. The canyon starts to open up as you descend and the tree covers becomes sparser, allowing the sun to heat up the trail. Today was no exception. The clouds that lingered over the summit were gone and it was hot.

The cruel reality of this hike, if you’re parked at the ski area (like me) rather than Manker Flats, is that you still have a mile of hiking with a 300 vertical foot climb followed by a steep, slippery descent to the parking lot. Oh well, it was still a good hike even if the end was anti-climactic.
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