What is Mount Baldy? It’s that giant peak nestled in those beautiful mountains that sit picturesquely behind Bauer Center, emblazoned on all of CMC’s Admission Office material. Aside from the publicity (and the famous Buckhorn Lodge TNC), it is a fantastic mountain area that is, in fact, a collection of different mountain peaks, all 20 minutes or less from our campus.
Mount San Antonio
Fun fact: The real name for Mt. Baldy is Mt. San Antonio. Another fun fact: It is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains and in Los Angeles County. This trail, also known as the Devil’s Backbone, ranges from 12 to six miles and leads you to Mt. San Antonio’s 10,000 foot summit. If you’re feeling super active, start at the ski lifts and hike all the way to the top. If you are still feeling active, but maybe not to an extreme, splurge a little and take the chairlift up to the lodge, and continue the hike. Be careful and plan out when you’ll do this trip; towards the summit, it gets pretty treacherous with wind, snow, and steep drop-offs.
I love this trail. This isn’t the first time I’ve praised Stoddard as one of the best nearby day hikes in the area. The two-to-three hour out-and-back trail provides a great, quick workout that also has scenic vistas. The trail can be extended to 10 miles, but you can make it six miles or so. Enjoy the weird start of the trail that snakes through people’s backyards then leads up to a beautiful canyon. Bonus: this trail is lightly trafficked and is the perfect early morning solo hike!
Ice House Canyon
This trail is not for the faint of heart. Even though Ice House is only 7.7 miles out-and-back, it’s strenuous, so you’ll be soaking in nature and getting toned! This trail is especially nice during the winter, as you can hike through (light) snow in a relatively tree-covered area. Great views are guaranteed, as well as an enjoyable workout.
Formally known as Stoddard Canyon Falls (different from Stoddard Peak), the Baldy waterslides are a fantastic afternoon adventure. The 10-minute hike is easy, leaving you plenty of time and energy to spend on the slides. Make sure you go when the water level is high. The swimming hole that the natural waterslide feeds into is a great place to lounge around on a hot spring day.
Easily confused with the Baldy waterslides, the Baldy waterfall is still a fantastic outdoor experience. However, this hike isn’t for outdoors beginners. If you know how to rappel and are very comfortable setting up your own anchors, then the Baldy waterfall is for you! Walk up about 10 minutes to the waterfall, then trek up the side (about 15 minutes or so) to the top. There are already bolts set up, so all you need is a rope and climbing basics (harness, ATC, etc.) to rappel down. This hike is best during the warmer months, as the waterfall can be really cold (and hypothermia is fun for no one).
Here’s a map of the trails with detailed information about most of the hikes. Hope to see you get out there and enjoy our local mountain trails!