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Mt. Baden-Powell from Vincent Gap

Difficult
 4.6 (22) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A strenuous trail, with lots of switchbacks, leading to the 4th highest mountain in the San Gabriels


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Map Key

8.1

Miles

13.0

KM

Out and Back

9,356' 2,852 m

High

6,613' 2,016 m

Low

2,743' 836 m

Up

2,742' 836 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Overview

Part of both the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Silver Moccasin Trail, this is an iconic Southern California hike that can get quite crowded on summer weekends. This is the more difficult route to the summit, but also the more popular one. The trail is extremely well maintained by the Southern California Councils of the Boy Scouts of America.

Need to Know

Adventure Pass is required to park at the trailhead.

Description

From the Vincent Gap parking area, take the trail behind the restroom building up the embankment.

The trail starts off as hard as it is going to get and, once you get to the first switchback, it gets a bit easier (though it never gets easy). In all, there are about 35 switchbacks on your way to the top, and the grade remains fairly constant.

At the 1-mile mark (switchback #6) is a bench to take a little break, if you need it. At the 2-mile mark (switchback #14) there is a 1/4-mile spur trail to Lamel Spring. Around 3 1/2 miles, the switchbacks stop, and you cross a ridge with steep drop-offs on either side. The trail stays just under the spine of the ridge, but it can still be intimidating. Stop to admire the majestic Limber Pine tree that stands here; it is over 2,000 years old!

After you cross the ridge, it is a short spur, with a couple more switchbacks, to the summit. Enjoy the 360-degree views!

Flora & Fauna

The trail leads through forests of Jeffery Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, and Incense Cedar. At the timberline, you'll encounter Limber Pine.

History & Background

A monument to Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts movement, is near the summit. The mountain was named after him in 1931.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jason Ethridge with improvements by Alan Coles

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 22 votes

#1

in Blue Ridge

#425

Overall
  4.6 from 22 votes
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59%
4 Star
41%
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Blue Ridge

#73

in California

#425

Overall
72 Views Last Month
4,398 Since Jun 13, 2016
Difficult

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73%
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Photos

A beautiful, 2000+ year old limber pine; amazing!
Jun 13, 2016 near Wrightwood, CA
Rounding Switchbacks. Nice elevated views after the 4th. Heavy packs going up.
Dec 1, 2017 near Wrightwood, CA
A few of us on Baden-Powell summit.
Nov 10, 2015 near Wrightwood, CA
So many switchbacks!
Jun 13, 2016 near Wrightwood, CA
Mount Baden-Powell plaque
Nov 10, 2015 near Wrightwood, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Sep 2, 2020
Cassie Rivkin
Jun 18, 2020
Alan Olney
Took my time up and down the trail, spent some time reading at the top. Everything was in great condition, Lamel spring is flowing! 8.1mi
Jun 14, 2020
Linda Weaver
Nov 24, 2019
Marco Sulin
Sep 24, 2019
Sabrina Bobadilla
Jul 7, 2019
Rebecca Regalado
My gps put us in at 10 miles, strenuous but rewarding with great views at the end! 10.1mi
Jul 6, 2019
Ryan Liebert
Jun 30, 2019
Jackie Connor
Tons of switchbacks! Very steep grade, be careful descending, bring bandaids for toes, plenty of shade, enjoy the view 8mi — 2h 30m