Throop Peak + Mount Burnham + Baden-Powell From Dawson Saddle
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance (?)||9 miles (14.5 km)|
|Hike Time||4-5 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||2,700 feet (823m)|
|Highest Elevation||9,399 feet (2865m)|
|Fees & Permits||Free|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Angeles National Forest|
|Weather & Forecast||Latest Conditions|
|Stay Safe||Copy this webpage link to the clipobard and share with a friend before you hike. Let them know when to expect you back.|
This hike, which takes in Throop Peak, Mount Burnham, and Mount Baden-Powell from Dawson Saddle, has dramatic high-mountain scenery and interesting history. This ridge of peaks was initially referred to as “North Baldy Mountain,” with Throop Peak being the “West Twin” and Baden-Powell being the “East Twin.” Whatever you want to call it now, this is a great hike, with three peaks to bag, expansive views, and well-groomed trails, including the PCT.
Where is Dawson Saddle?
This hike starts from Dawson Saddle, along Angeles Crest Highway (CA-2). Use this address:
Dawson Saddle, CA-2, California 91702
Check the road conditions before you go, this section of CA-2 can close in the winter.
You do not need a parking pass or permit at Dawson Saddle.
Gear For the Hike
This is a high-altitude hike in the mountains, and you should be prepared accordingly. I find that 2L of water is usually enough, and that trekking poles are helpful on some of the steeper slopes.
Garmin InReach Mini 2
I’m a firm believer in carrying a satellite communications device which works where cell phones don’t. I use a Garmin InReach which lets me send text messages back and forth to my family to let them know that I’m okay or if my plans change when I’m out in the backcountry. It also has an SOS subscription built-in so that you can reach first-responders in an emergency. The devices also offer weather reports, GPS, and navigation functionality (what’s the difference between a GPS and satellite communicator?). For a few hundred bucks they could save your life, so for me it’s a no brainer to have something like a Garmin InReach. If you use a smartphone to navigate and want a more affordable option that integrates with your phone easily, check out the ZOLEO.
Latest Prices: Amazon | REI
Altra Lone Peak 6
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they’re reasonably durable for this type of trail runner, which I think is better in most conditions than a hiking boot, and here’s why. The downside of this shoe is that it won’t last as long as something like the Moab 2 (see alternate footwear choices at the bottom of my gear page). I’ve been using mine for many miles and my feet always feel great. I have a video on the details of the Altra Lone Peak 6 here.
Women’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Men’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
I’ve gone back and forth on trekking poles, but I think for most people they are a good investment. They help you dig in on the uphills, provide stability on loose downhills, act as a brace when crossing streams, and can probably poke away aggressive wildlife in a pinch. The Trail Ergo Cork poles are a good balance of light weight, durability, affordability, and ease of use. If you want something ultralight and a little more pricey, I’ve had great luck with the Black Diamond Z Poles too.
Trail Ergo Poles: REI | Amazon
Z-Poles: REI | Amazon
Gregory Zulu 30 & Jade 28
After testing quite a few backpacks, the Gregory Zulu 30 (and Jade 28 for women) is, for most hikers, the best all-season day-pack. First off, it’s very comfortable, and the mesh “trampoline” back keeps your back dry. Its 30L capacity is enough for all the essentials and plenty of layers for winter hiking. External pockets make it easy to grab gear. It’s hard to find something wrong with the pack; if anything, it could be a bit lighter, but overall, it’s not heavy. And its price-point makes it not only affordable but generally a great value.
Women’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Men’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated May 2022.
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 keep the website ad and promotion free. There is no cost to you.
This hike will take a combination of established trails, and smaller (yet well-trodden) unofficial trails. If you have a GPS and load the GPX file, these smaller trail turnoffs should be obvious. And if not, there are plenty of footprints to go by.
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
If you try to download the GPX file and your browser adds a “.txt” or “.xml” extension to it, simply rename it as a “.gpx” file.
How Are You Going to Navigate This Hike?
Here’s what I use. If you are a hardcore hiker and/or hike in extreme conditions, I recommend getting a dedicated GPS like a GPSMAP 66sr or 66i, or a wrist-based GPS with maps like the Garmin Fenix 7 or Epix. If you only hike in fair weather and a touchscreen is fine, or just want a solid tool, I highly recommend downloading the smartphone app, Gaia GPS. It’s a piece of cake to use and very powerful, just make sure your phone is in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get a big discount here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
- Throop Peak is pronounced “troop,” but I’ve also heard USFS personnel pronounce it “throop.”
- Originally Throop Peak was called Dougherty Peak, after mountain man Charles Vincent Dougherty, aka Charles Vincent. Nearby Vincent Gap is named after him and you can visit his cabin.
- In 1916 an early hiker named the peak after his alma mater, Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena, later becoming the California Institute of Technology. Today a summit marker denotes that the peak is named after Amos Throop, founder of the school. I guess that all works out.
- If you’re doing this hike, you’ve probably already hiked to Baden-Powell from Vincent Gap and know that Baden-Powell was the founder of the Boy Scouts. You may not know that he never actually stepped foot on the peak of Baden-Powell or hiked around here. He was a don of the British Empire who managed to get around the globe quite a bit. He’s buried by Mount Kenya.
- Mount Burnham was named after Major Frederick Russell Burnham, a buddy of Baden-Powell and another guy active in the Boy Scout movement.
- From 1906 to 1911 the SoCal event that people went crazy for was the “North Baldy Race” or “Baldy Race” for short, an automobile race from LA to Big Horn Mine by way of North Baldy.
North Baldy Ridge Hike Directions
It’s easy to say thank you for these free hiking guides!
I depend on your support to keep this website going and free of annoying ads, promoted posts, and sponsorships. Every contribution, big or small, is my lifeline to keep this website going. Thank you!
Turn by Turn Directions
From here, just turn around and head back.
This guide last updated on April 21, 2022. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.