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Bringing you to one of the highest peaks in the San Gabriel mountains at 9,399 feet, the Mount Baden-Powell hike offers 360 views from the summit. It's a fun hike with 40 switchbacks and a manageable distance.
8.3 miles (13.4 km)
Well Marked PCT
Mount Baden-Powell Hike Trail Maps
Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
, Vincent Gap, CA, 93563, USA
The trailhead is about 1:45 hours east of downtown LA. The drive through the mountains is scenic.
The Mount Baden-Powell hike is famous for it's 40 switchbacks. The trail is sheltered in trees for most of the way too.
The Mount Baden-Powel hike is pretty straightforward. You climb up, then come down. There are a few places to rest (see below).
Interactive Map Mount Baden-Powell Hike Map Downloads
If you have GPS device (
I use this one by Garmin and I love it) for your hike, load the GPX file below into your device to navigate the hike. For help on loading the GPX file, read this article on converting and transferring to a Garmin GPS.
Also, don’t rely on electronics as your sole means of navigation. There’s a basic printable PDF map below, and I strongly picking up
a good topo map too. Gear for the Mount Baden-Powell Hike The best hydration daypack out there. The CamelBak Fourteener has been perfect on hikes of all distances (including Mt Whitney and Cactus to Clouds). It's light, has plenty of room for super-food snacks, extra layers, hiking gear, and comes with a 3 liter water bladder. I also like the raised sweat pads on the back that keep your back dry. It's the perfect blend of high-tech, durability, and simplicity. I've got hundreds of hours on it and still love it. CamelBak Fourteener Reviews My favorite hiking boot of all time. The La Sportiva Synthesis (for men and women) are waterproof, super-light, have incredible grip, and won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award ( my review here). I've gone through a lot of boots and these are my favorite. They feel like comfortable sneakers with the protection of hiking boots. La Sportiva Hiking Boot Reviews Don't hike without this in your backpack. It's a GPS emergency beacon and can save your life ( more on that here). On the trail, you're often out of cell phone range, and even something as simple as a twisted ankle could become a life and death situation. This beacon works where cell phones don't and is the size of a fist. Just press a button and help is on the way. Your life is worth every penny. ACR GPS Beacon Reviews Also, I'd recommend just taking a look around the Gear is dirt cheap there, including day-to-day clothing, fitness gear, and camping gear. And don't forget to get a lifetime REI Outlet. REI Membership for an extra 10% off. Mount Baden-Powell Hike Directions What to Expect The trailhead for the Mount Baden-Powell hike seems very distant from LA. You’re really in the mountains here. The hike travels on the famous Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) where you can channel your inner Reese Witherspoon. Mt Baden-Powell is named after Lord Baden-Powell, a British officer who founded the Boy Scouts. At the summit there’s a monument to him. 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. 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. Turn by Turn Directions There’s plenty of parking at the trailhead. This lot is the junction for several trails. Big roadside PCT parking signs make it easy to find the parking lot. You’re in bighorn sheep country. Keep your eyes open for them as you hike. These are the only bathrooms on the Mount Baden-Powell hike, so go before you hike at the trailhead. Start hiking up the trail, to the right along the fence. If you see this fence when you start hiking, you’re on the right trail. Look back to get a good photo with the PCT sign. 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. At 0.9 miles, there’s a bench where you can catch your breath and enjoy the view. At 1.8 miles, you’ll see the turnoff for Lamel Spring. Keep hiking up the switchback to the right. This hike is tough. Don’t be afraid to take a break and make friends with a tree. 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. The trees start thinning as the hike gains altitude, and you’ll have views into the desert to the east. The hike passes some beautiful and weather-worn pine trees. Almost there! At 4 miles you come to the Mount Baden-Powell saddle, which has breathtaking views. Take your time hiking on the saddle. There are a lot of great photo opportunities. At the end of the saddle, you’ll come to a trail junction where the PCT splits off. Keep hiking straight (up, ouch). The last trail mileage sign before the summit. 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. The Wally Waldron tree is a great place to have a seat and take in the views again. You made it to the Mount Baden Powell summit! There’s a monument to Lord Baden-Powell here. The summit sometimes has a large American flag. 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. A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.
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I’m Hiking Guy, aka Cris Hazzard. I like to get outdoors, walk, and then write about it. It wasn’t always like that though.
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