Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mt. Baldy via Bear Canyon Trail

Originally I plan to hike Mt. Baldy via Ski Hut trail, but it turned out that road was closed due to Tour de California bike race. So, I attempted Bear Canyon trail, which is more difficult with elevation gain around 5700 ft:
Trail head is next to visitor's center (34.237, -117.658). First section of trail is along the creek in the forest to Bear flats. Then pretty steep switchbacks through bushes. Most of the bushes was gone due to recent fire, so there is no shade. Its better to start early to avoid sun heat at this section. My start at 8:00 am was at least one hour late. After this steep climb there is forest again and view improved a lot (looking back):
There was some snow starting from 9000 ft elevation, but it was packed and there was no problem to get over even in my running shoes:
Top of the mountain (most of it) also was covered with snow:
It took me about 5 hours to reach summit and I used most of my water 2 liters. Then descent was peace of cake: 1 hour via Devils Backbone trail to ski lift, then use lift to get down and another 2:30 hours to hike back to car and watch Tour de California bike race:
15.7 miles, 9 hours total.

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