Mt. Baden-Powell (dayhike)

Trip Date: 6/21/2014

Location: Angeles National Forest

Permit/Pass: Display Day Pass ($5), Forest Adventure Pass or National Parks Pass in car.

Directions: From Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass (21 miles south of Victorville, 8 miles north of Devore Heights), take Hwy 138 west 8.5 miles to Angeles Crest Hwy (Hwy 2). Turn south and drive through Wrightwood to Big Pines, where you’ll be sure to stay left as Hwy 2 splits off to the south. Drive just over 5 miles before arriving at a large parking area on the left. The trailhead is at the western end of the parking lot next to the signboard and the bathrooms. Follow the arrows for Mt. Baden-Powell.

Trail sequence: Pacific Crest Trail / Summit trail / Pacific Crest Trail

Type: Out and back

Distance: 8 miles

Elevation: Min. - 6552', Max. - 9393'


Rating: Difficult (factors: altitude, elevation gain, heat, length)

Synopsis: Mt. Baden-Powell is named for the founder of the Scouting movement, and judging by the number of boy scout troops we shared the trail with, they take this heritage seriously. There are great 360° views from the summit, but you have to work through about 40 switchbacks to get there. The trails are in good shape, with only a few roots and rocky sections, and there is a decent amount of shade if you begin early in the day. And considering how much company you're likely to have, leaving as early as possible is advised.


Mt. Baden-Powell - San Gabriel Wilderness

Turn by turn:

  -- Find the trailhead next to the signboard and follow the pointer for the Mt. Baden-Powell trail. The trail is a bit steep at first, and although it climbs almost the entire way to the top, the grade becomes more manageable fairly quickly.

  -- After the first five or six switchbacks (there are about 40), at just under a mile, you come to a bench with a view to the east.

  -- Another half mile or so brings you to a signed turnoff for Lamel Spring. This trail takes you to a small trickle where water can sometimes be collected.

  -- Four more long switchbacks gain the higher portion of the trail where the switches are quicker and shorter. About a mile of this climbing tops you out on a ridge that runs southwest and meets a fork where to the right the PCT heads west to Dawson Saddle. Stay left to take the Summit trail to the top.

  -- Just past this junction there is a limber pine clinging to the side of the ridge. A sign notes that this is called the Waldron Tree (named for a Boy Scout official) and claims an age of about 1,500 years.

  -- Continue the short distance to the summit. There are spots on the other side of the peak where some trees, rocks and downed branches provide seating and shade.

  -- Retrace your path back to the parking area.


Photo gallery: Flickr

Video: Youtube