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)
Difficulty (?)Hard
Total Ascent (?)2,800 feet (853m)
Highest Elevation9,399 feet (2865m)
Fees & PermitsParking Fee
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park Website (?)Angeles National Forest
Park Phone626-574-1613
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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.

Check out my Angeles National Forest travel tips here!

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.

If you want to check if there’s snow on your hike, read this guide.

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.”

FYI >> REI 50% Clearance Sale on now

La Sportiva Spire

I try a lot of hiking boots and shoes, and there are some great options out there, but the La Sportiva Spire is the best combination of comfort, protection, low-weight, and durability. They are waterproof, and the high cuff keeps debris out without the need for a gaiter. Time tested over thousands of miles. Use them with a two-layer sock system to end blisters for good.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: WomenMen

Osprey Talon

On a medium or longer hike I recommend a pack like the Osprey Talon 33 (men) or Osprey Sirrus 36 (women) which is a little bit larger. These packs are on the upper end of the (35L) daypack range, but they only weigh a small fraction more than a pack with less capacity. Having the extra space gives you more flexibility and means you don’t have to jam things in there. I use the space for things like extra layers in the winter, extra water on desert hikes, and even a tent & sleeping bag on overnights.

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI.

Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated January 2020.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here

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 a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

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

Fenix 6 Pro

I’m a big fan of GPS watches to follow my GPX track (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (full review here). I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy and does a lot of the same things.

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

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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.

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