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Mt. Baden-Powell from Vincent Gap

Difficult
 4.6 (24) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A strenuous trail, with lots of switchbacks, leading to the 4th highest mountain in the San Gabriels


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Map Key

8.1

Miles

13.0

KM

Out and Back

9,356' 2,852 m

High

6,613' 2,016 m

Low

2,743' 836 m

Up

2,742' 836 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Overview

Part of both the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Silver Moccasin Trail, this is an iconic Southern California hike that can get quite crowded on summer weekends. This is the more difficult route to the summit, but also the more popular one. The trail is extremely well maintained by the Southern California Councils of the Boy Scouts of America.

Need to Know

Adventure Pass is required to park at the trailhead.

Description

From the Vincent Gap parking area, take the trail behind the restroom building up the embankment.

The trail starts off as hard as it is going to get and, once you get to the first switchback, it gets a bit easier (though it never gets easy). In all, there are about 35 switchbacks on your way to the top, and the grade remains fairly constant.

At the 1-mile mark (switchback #6) is a bench to take a little break, if you need it. At the 2-mile mark (switchback #14) there is a 1/4-mile spur trail to Lamel Spring. Around 3 1/2 miles, the switchbacks stop, and you cross a ridge with steep drop-offs on either side. The trail stays just under the spine of the ridge, but it can still be intimidating. Stop to admire the majestic Limber Pine tree that stands here; it is over 2,000 years old!

After you cross the ridge, it is a short spur, with a couple more switchbacks, to the summit. Enjoy the 360-degree views!

Flora & Fauna

The trail leads through forests of Jeffery Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, and Incense Cedar. At the timberline, you'll encounter Limber Pine.

History & Background

A monument to Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts movement, is near the summit. The mountain was named after him in 1931.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jason Ethridge with improvements by Alan Coles

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 24 votes

#1

in Blue Ridge

#456

Overall
  4.6 from 24 votes
5 Star
57%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
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0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Blue Ridge

#77

in California

#456

Overall
34 Views Last Month
5,688 Since Jun 13, 2016
Difficult

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72%
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Photos

A beautiful, 2000+ year old limber pine; amazing!
Jun 13, 2016 near Wrightwood, CA
Rounding Switchbacks. Nice elevated views after the 4th. Heavy packs going up.
Dec 1, 2017 near Wrightwood, CA
A few of us on Baden-Powell summit.
Nov 10, 2015 near Wrightwood, CA
So many switchbacks!
Jun 13, 2016 near Wrightwood, CA
The saddle to Mt. Baden-Powell
Jun 4, 2022 near Wrightwood, CA
At the peak of Mt. Baden-Powell. As part of social hiking challenges, there are wood signs to pose with at the peak.
Jun 4, 2022 near Wrightwood, CA

Weather


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Check-Ins

Jul 4, 2022
R S
Jun 20, 2022
Heather H
May 22, 2022
Dave K
Jul 12, 2021
Eugene Tsoy
Jul 10, 2021
Rochelle Haas
This was the first time of many that this hike actually felt easier than difficult. Clear day, perfect weather, and amazing views of the valleys below 8.7mi — 3h 55m
Jan 18, 2021
Matt Fleming
Nov 14, 2020
Chris Peterson
Sep 2, 2020
Cassie Rivkin