Mount Baden-Powell Trail

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  • theessentials_masa_t
    Hiking
  • theessentials_masa_t
    City Views
Strenuous, 8-mile round-trip, 2,800-foot elevation gain

Named after the British army officer who founded the Boy Scouts, Mount Baden-Powell stands at 9,399 feet—just 665 shy of Mount Baldy, the range’s tallest peak. Four miles from car to summit, this trail starts at 6,565 feet, switchbacking 41 times up the broad northeast ridge. During the ascent, you might spy a bobcat in the shadows as incense cedars and sugar pines begin to mingle with the chaparral, oaks, and Jeffrey pines that greeted you at the trailhead. Eventually come the solemn Christmas tree-like white firs and lodgepole pines. About halfway up you rise above ridges to the north and spot sailplanes soaring the updrafts like the golden eagles that hunt here. On a clear day you can see across the Mojave to the Sierra Nevada and the Panamints in Death Valley. A half mile from the summit, the twisted forms of rare limber pines appear. Some have survived the snow, wind, and summer heat for 2,000 years, placing them among the oldest living things on the planet. A few more switchbacks and you’re on top, hanging over the San Gabriel River’s hydra-headed canyons, feeling like Felix Baumgartner about to plummet to earth. View map.

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