Mount Baden-Powell Hike

Mount Baden-Powell Hike

In This Guide
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
  • Mt Baden-Powell Trail Maps
  • How to Get to the Mt Baden-Powell Hike
Distance8.3 miles (13.4 km)
Hike Time4:30 Hours (Total)
DifficultyHard
Total Ascent (?)2,800 feet (853m)
Highest Elevation9,399 feet (2865m)
Fees & PermitsParking Fee
Dog FriendlyOff Leash Okay
Park ContactAngeles National Forest
Park Phone626-574-1613

The Mount Baden-Powell hike packs a lot into a relatively short distance. On your way to the summit of Mt Baden-Powell (9,399 feet), you’ll experience the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) where you can channel your inner Reese Witherspoon, 40 hardcore switchbacks, a monument for Mt Baden-Powell’s namesake, Lord Baden-Powell, they guy who founded the Boy Scouts, a barren saddle with jaw-dropping views, and a 1500-year old limber pine. And at the summit you’ll enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the San Gabriel Mountains. So you got all that going for you if you do the hike. It’s tough but very doable, I highly recommend it.

Getting to the Mount Baden-Powell Trailhead

Use this trailhead address: Vincent Gap, CA, 93563, USA.

bighorn sheep sign
The drive to the trailhead is a world away from LA and urban SoCal.

In the winter, the roads can be closed because of snow. Likewise, in the winter this hike requires winter hiking experience. Call the park office to check on conditions before you make the trip.

Mount Baden-Powell Hike parking signs
Big roadside PCT parking signs make it easy to find the parking lot.
Mount Baden-Powell Hike parking
There’s plenty of parking at the trailhead. This lot is the junction for several trails.

You need a parking pass for the trailhead lot. I use the affordable National Parks Pass, which gets me in every park, monument, and national forest. You can also use an (Southern California only) Adventure Pass, or buy a $5 day permit from the ranger’s office.

Gear For the Hike

This is a backcountry hike and you need to be well prepared with layers, water, and food. The summit is in an alpine zone and is exposed. Check the summit weather and call the ranger office to check conditions before you leave. Don’t do this hike in the winter unless you have mountaineering experience.

I’ve seen people do this with hike wearing sneakers and holding a bluetooth speaker, but I don’t recommend it. Although popular, this is a “hike hike.”

Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.

Osprey Talon

Osprey Talon 33

My best lightweight pack for hikes between 3-10+ hours. I use mine with the 3L water bladder from Osprey.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

Garmin InReach Mini

You can text, SOS, and get weather in the backcountry where your cell phone doesn’t work. Literally a life-saver.

Lowest Prices

My In-Depth Review

La Sportiva Spire

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Modern materials mean you get the protection of a traditional hiking boot (waterproof, etc.) with feel of a sneaker.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Black Diamond Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

If you’re not using poles yet, you should be. This model takes a beating, is light, and is super comfortable.

See The Reviews

Socks Sock Liners

2-Layer Sock System

I use a light inner toe sock and then a top-quality outer sock to prevent blisters.

Injinji Sock Liners

Darn Tough Socks

Probar

Nutritionally Dense Superfoods

Probars are great: no preservatives, vegan, low-GI, compact, and tasty. Put good fuel in your body.

See the Probar Flavors

If you’re hiking in the backcountry it makes sense to have a decent emergency kit and some basic gear to spend the night in a pinch.Full HikingGuy Gear List

* No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Also → Big Sale at REI On Now:

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Mount Baden-Powell Trail Maps

Click To View Map

Mount Baden-Powell Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Here’s what I use to navigate my hikes. I recommend a combination of paper and electronic options with backups.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.

HikingGuy Discount on Gaia GPS

Fenix Nav

Garmin Fenix Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Topo Map

Topo Maps & Guide Books

Don’t be caught out if your batteries die. Take a topo map with you on the trail. Some people also print my guides out for use on the hike.

I also highly recommend taking a map and compass navigation course. It’s a few hours, it’s fun, and it could save your life.

Map and Compass Navigation Basics Classes

Don’t just rely on a cell phone, especially if you are hiking in the backcountry.

Mount Baden-Powell Hike 3d map
The Mount Baden-Powell hike is famous for it’s 40 switchbacks. The trail is sheltered in trees for most of the way too.
Mount Baden-Powell Hike elevation
The Mount Baden-Powel hike is pretty straightforward. You climb up, then come down. There are a few places to rest (see below).

Mount Baden-Powell Hike Directions

Video Directions

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Step By Step Directions

Mount Baden-Powell Hike bathrooms
These are the only bathrooms on the Mount Baden-Powell hike, so go before you hike at the trailhead.
Mount Baden-Powell Hike trail
Start hiking up the trail, to the right along the fence.
fence on Mount Baden-Powell Hike
If you see this fence when you start hiking, you’re on the right trail.
PCT sign
Look back to get a good photo with the PCT sign.
Mount Baden-Powell Hike trail
Now you hike up. For a long time. There are about 40 switchbacks on your hike up to the Mount Baden-Powell summit. The trail is well marked and obvious.
bench on Mount Baden-Powell Hike
At 0.9 miles, there’s a bench where you can catch your breath and enjoy the view.
Lamel Spring turnoff
At 1.8 miles, you’ll see the turnoff for Lamel Spring. Keep hiking up the switchback to the right.
cris hazzard rests on tree
This hike is tough. Don’t be afraid to take a break and make friends with a tree.
rest area on Mount Baden-Powell Hike
After hiking for about 3 miles, there’s a little log off the trail where you can take a break in soak in the views.
Mount Baden-Powell Hike views
The trees start thinning as the hike gains altitude, and you’ll have views into the desert to the east.
weather-worn pine trees
The hike passes some beautiful and weather-worn pine trees.
Mount Baden-Powell saddle
Almost there! At 4 miles you come to the Mount Baden-Powell saddle, which has breathtaking views.
Mount Baden-Powell Hike trail
Take your time hiking on the saddle. There are a lot of great photo opportunities.
Mount Baden-Powell Hike trail junction
At the end of the saddle, you’ll come to a trail junction where the PCT splits off. Keep hiking straight (up, ouch).
trail mileage sign
The last trail mileage sign before the summit.
Wally Waldron tree
Stop to see the Wally Waldron tree, said to be 1500 years old. After paying homage to the tree, keep heading up the last stretch of the hike to the Mount Baden-Powell summit.
Wally Waldron tree
The Wally Waldron tree is a great place to have a seat and take in the views again.
monument to Lord Baden-Powell
You made it to the Mount Baden Powell summit! There’s a monument to Lord Baden-Powell here.
 American flag on Mount Baden-Powell Hike
The summit sometimes has a large American flag.
cris hazzard on Mount Baden-Powell Hike
Spend some time taking in the views, grab a bite, and hike down the way you came. This hike is a tough one, you should be proud.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.