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.
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.
Shared By: Jason Ethridge