San Diego Trail Tramps

Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy) Tram & Hike to Summit

Date:  Saturday, June 21st, 2014 (The Summer Solstice/Longest Day of the Year!) Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Info. URLs:  NOAA Weather Forecast for area, Mountain Forecast, Mt. San Antonio Data (on Wikipedia), Kudos to Josh at for the following!: Hiking the Mt Baldy Summit, Hiking Mt. Baldy Video, Quadcopter Summit Video (Awesome!)

Location: Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts location (via Google Maps)

Directions: From San Diego/Hillcrest to Mt. Baldy in LA County: on Google Maps, 131 miles, 2 hrs. 23 minutes drive, one way
There are only two roads in and out of the Mount Baldy Recreation Area, and they both meet up at the Visitors Center where they proceed to wind up to the end of the road just below the peak at the Mount Baldy Ski Lift.  Here, you can take a chairlift/gondola to the highest point.  The two routes into the area are Mt. Baldy Road & Glendora Ridge Road.

Background info.: Mount San Antonio, also known as "Old Baldy", at 10,068 ft (3,069 m), is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, and the highest point in Los Angeles County. The peak, which marks a boundary between San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County, is called Baldy because of the absence of trees around the summit. Mount San Antonio's sometimes snow-capped peaks are visible on clear days and dominate the view of the Los Angeles skyline.

Hike Description: The hike from the base lift to the summit is a strenuous one if you don’t hike very much, at about 6 and a half miles and 2300 feet of elevation gain. Taking the lift itself cuts off 4 miles from your trek and 1300 feet of elevation making it a much more manageable climb for most people.

On this hike, we'll take the chair lift up, then follow the Devil's Backbone route to the summit of Mt. Baldy, and return the same way. This moderately strenuous hike will be about 6 miles roundtrip, with an elevation gain/loss of about 2200' feet, and an average slope angle of 20%. However, remember that you'll be hiking at altitude (9,000' up to 10,000'), so be prepared for less oxygen and greater exposure to UV rays and intense sunlight, especially on the Summer Solstice! Bring sunscreen and use it frequently!

Misc. info: Chair Lift Ride (roundtrip): Adults: $25, Youth (13-18): $20, Seniors (65+): $15
NOTE: If you book your lift ticket online, you save 48% on the ticket price. Book HERE and save.

Google Earth:

Google Earth streams the world over wired and wireless networks enabling users to virtually go anywhere on the planet and see places in photographic detail. This is not like any map you have ever seen. This is a 3D model of the real world, based on real satellite images combined with maps, guides to restaurants, hotels, entertainment, businesses and more. You can zoom from space to street level instantly and then pan or jump from place to place, city to city, even country to country!

Here is the Google Earth .kmz file for the hike itself:

To preview a 3D model of this actual hike in Google Earth, right click on this file: Mt. Baldy Top-of-Chairlift Hike to Summit along Devil's Backbone.kmz and save it to your desktop.


Double click that precious desktop file and it should launch Google Earth (if you already have Google Earth installed on your computer). If you do not have the free Google Earth application already installed, first go to to download and install it. Trust me, it's worth the effort!

After Google Earth launches, scroll down to the bottom of the "Places" column on the left, to the "Temporary Places" folder near the bottom of the column.

Click in the box, to the left of the Mt. Baldy Top-of-Chairlift Hike to Summit along Devil's Backbone.kmz file, to select the folder and it's contents. (HERE WE GO!)

That folder should already appear open, with the contents below it. If it isn't, click the side arrow to the left of the Mt. Baldy Top-of-Chairlift Hike to Summit along Devil's Backbone.kmz file to open that folder. (ALMOST THERE!)

Now, when the folder contents is exposed, select (single click) the .kmz file with the icon to the left of it which looks like a triangle with 3 connected dots. (and NOW FOR THE PAYOFF!)

Finally, click on the similar triangular button at the bottom right corner of the column to play the 3D tour. YOUR CAKE IS NOW BAKED! ENJOY!

If you'd like to check out the elevation profile of the hike (AND THIS IS A VERY COOL TOOL!), just right-click on the active tour file in the left hand column and select "Show Elevation Profile". Move your cursor over the profile and watch the arrow move along the loop hike to determine the altitude at any point! WOW!

Here are two shots created from the Google Earth 3D virtual reality tour of the Mt. Baldy hike:

If you have any problems or comments on accessing the 3D Tour, feel free to shoot an email to SanDiegoTrailTramps @ . We'll be glad to help!

Aerial View of Mt. Baldy Summit from

Also view their great YouTube video of Hiking Mt. Baldy HERE!