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Mt. Baden-Powell from Vincent Gap

  4.6 ( 21 ) Favorite


8.1 mile 13.0 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 2,743' 836 m
Descent: -2,742' -836 m
High: 9,356' 2,852 m
Low: 6,613' 2,016 m


Avg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)


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

Jason Ethridge

Features Views


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.

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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
Jun 8, 2019
Jay Millette
Apr 21, 2019
Andrew C.
Mar 31, 2019
Amanda Rosenblum
Nov 24, 2018
Melissa Joy

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 21 votes


in Blue Ridge


  4.6 from 21 votes
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146 Views Last Month
3,028 Since Jun 13, 2016



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

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