Devil's Backbone Trail #7W05
ElevationAscent: 2,184' 666 m
Descent: -11' -3 m
High: 9,997' 3,047 m
Low: 7,824' 2,385 m
GradeAvg Grade: 13% (8°)
Max Grade: 39% (21°)
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“A popular trail from Mt. Baldy Notch to the top of Mt. Baldy.”— Tracy Sulkin
On the way up, when you get past the highest ski lift tower, you can watch for two side trails. One goes to the top of Mt. Harwood and the other goes down the Register Ridge route that ends on the Baldy Bowl Trail #7W02. (A great run up for training.) At the saddle between Mt. Harwood and the final stretch to the summit, there are often extreme winds. Be careful
Along the trail before Mt. Harwood, you have great views of the east side of the mountains. When the trail opens up below Mt. Harwood, you can see Baldy Bowl and the west ridge.
On the summit of Mt. Baldy, you have a 360-degree view, with Baden Powell to the northeast, the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the far distance to the north, San Jacinto and Mt. San Gorgonio to the east. You can often see the ocean and Catalina Island, and even make out the isthmus on a clear day. There are rock rings and plenty of room to kick back and have a snack.
A really pleasant finish to your day could be a ski lift ride down. It provides a beautiful view that you don't get from the service road on your way up. It takes about 20 minutes and glides smoothly down the mountain. If you parked near the locked gate at Manker Flat, it's less than 0.5 mile to run back to your car. (The lift saves about 3 miles.) Tickets, one way or round trip, can be purchased in advance or inside the restaurant at the notch. Totally worth it.
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