This trail has low traffic, great views, and is nice and cool, even in the summer. Additionally, it's well-maintained and will provide you with a great feeling of accomplishment when you are standing at the top of Mount Baden-Powell.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Family Friendly: It is a nice, very beautiful trail. There is nothing terribly difficult as long as you children can handle the distance and some incline.
This trail takes you up Dawson Saddle Trail
to the PCT and then up the Mount Baden-Powell Summit Trail
. The trail itself is not difficult. It is pretty easy to follow, and there are no hazards to speak of. It is, however, long (around 8 1/2 miles), with an elevation change of around 1,800 feet. It starts at just under 8,000, so you'll start at high elevation.
The start of the trail is not obvious if you have never been before. It is on a bend on Highway 2. If you are coming from the East, it is even more difficult to see, so you'll have to keep your eyes open. Once you find it, you can park on the other side of the road in a turnout.
The trail itself is beautiful! It was built very well and has a shape that gives you tiny break as well. There will be a good amount of incline and when you think you need a break, it levels off. Then about the time you are doing good, it starts it's incline again. Then it repeats. The beginning is beautiful. You are surrounded by trees and nature. When you get to the PCT, you'll start hiking across the crests, and the views are amazing!!!! By the time you get to the summit trail, your legs are probably going to be feeling it. The elevation is high and the summit trail is steep. Once you get to the top, prepare to feel true accomplishment.
To get back, you just turn around and head back the way you came.
You are surrounded by wildlife and nature.