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black Three T's - Mt. Baldy

  4.3 ( 7 )

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16.6 mile 26.7 kilometer point to point
65% Runnable


Ascent: 6,779' 2,066 m
Descent: -5,627' -1,715 m
High: 9,997' 3,047 m
Low: 5,025' 1,531 m


Avg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 70% (35°)


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Trail shared by Tilman Giese

Beautiful vistas along the Three T's and Mt. Baldy.

Tilman Giese

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Free permit for Cucamonga Wilderness required. No campfires allowed in the Cucamonga Wilderness.


This trail leads you through Cucamonga Wilderness up to the Three T's (Timber Mountain, Telegraph Peak, Thunder Mountain) to Mt. Baldy. Numerous rewarding views are on your way. From Mt. Baldy you can see Los Angeles, Catalina Island, and the Mojave Desert.

Need to Know

Adventure Pass required to park at Icehouse Canyon Trailhead and the Manker Flat Trailhead. Trails can be very dangerous if there is snow or ice.


This extended route can be done as a multi-day trip or on a single day, but it will push even an experienced runner to the physical limits given the elevation gain.

You start your route by heading up the Icehouse Canyon Trail #7W07A along Icehouse Creek. Towards Icehouse Saddle, trees become more sparse and you get a good view of the canyon. Turn left on Three T's Trail #7W06 which will lead you to a junction with the Timber Mtn. Trail #7W06B. Feel free to take Timber Mountain spur, but don't expect any beautiful views from the top. Back on Three T's Trail you descend again for a while only to start a major ascend to Telegraph Peak. The short Telegraph Peak Trail #7W06A will lead you to the top where you have a magnificent view of Mt. Baldy and the Mojave Desert. This is also a good place to get some rest.

Back on Three T's Trail you descend again and climb up to Thunder Mountain Road. Take the road down to Mt. Baldy Notch where there is a restaurant and a ski lift. From the notch, continue north on a dirt road which becomes the Devil's Backbone Trail. It starts with a very steep ascent for about a mile. Amazing views await you left and right. The last stretch of Devil's Backbone Trail before you reach Mt. Baldy summit is very steep and sometimes winding. At the top you are rewarded with magnificent panoramic views in all directions. This is a good place to spend some time and just relax.

Turn south and follow Baldy Bowl Trail #7W02, a very steep descend on the south side of the mountain. About halfway, you pass the Sierra Club Ski Hut next to a seasonal spring. The trail ends at Baldy Road #3N01 which you continue to follow downhill. Baldy Road #3N01 turns into Falls Road at San Antonio Falls. Continue until you reach the Mt. Baldy Trailhead.

This route is usually completed by using a shuttle vehicle that is placed at the Mt. Baldy Trailhead, but you could choose to reverse your route if you are so inclined.

Flora & Fauna

Alder, maple trees found along the stream while oaks, bigcone spruce, Jeffrey pines, sugar pines, white fir offer occasional shade at higher elevations. Limber and lodgepole pines found at higher elevations. Columbines and scarlet monkey flowers found around the springs. Watch for bighorn sheep.


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Aug 13, 2018
Ben Crowell
16.7mi — 5h 31m
Aug 8, 2018
Ben Crowell
Clockwise from Icehouse Cyn, no car shuttle. 16.7mi — 5h 34m
Aug 5, 2018
Ben Crowell
Clockwise from Icehouse Canyon, no car shuttle. 16.7mi — 5h 40m
Aug 2, 2018
Ben Crowell
16.7mi — 6h 48m
Jul 22, 2018
Zhanar Howland
Hiked with Neal. Hot. Relentless climbing to Three T’s. Took Baldy Bowl Trail down from Mt Baldy, it is gorgeous. Hitched a ride back to our car. 17.1mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 7 votes


in Mt. Baldy


  4.3 from 7 votes
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Did this today, and the highlight was seeing three bighorn ewes and an extremely cute lamb. I did it clockwise without the car shuttle, and that seemed to work well. Got most of the climbing done early in the morning while it was still dark and cool. Running up the road to Manker is a lot more enjoyable than running down that road in the heat at the end. The percentage of this route that was runnable for me was not actually that high, especially once I started getting tired. Most sections of this route are gorgeous, but the parts near the ski resort are ugly. Routefinding is confusing between the Notch and Thunder, and also between Telegraph and Timber, so make sure to bring a map.There is theoretically a wilderness permit required in order to do anything out of the Icehouse Canyon trailhead, although I don't think anyone actually gets one for a day trip -- it would be inconvenient because the ranger station doesn't open until late in the morning. The main water sources are at the Notch (drinking fountain inside the restaurant, outside the bathrooms) and the Ski Hut. The spring at the Ski Hut is not seasonal as stated in the description, it runs year round, even in dry years. Aug 2, 2018
I didn't bother doing the side excursion to the three peaks. This cuts some miles and elevation gain. Aug 2, 2018
A few more notes after doing this again clockwise. (1) Heading down from Telegraph toward Timber, there is a fork in the trail where one fork goes east and the other west. It really looks like you should take the east one, since it's the one that's going in the direction you want to go. Actually that's a spur trail up a small hill (hill 8023 on the topo). You want the west (right) fork, which is a switchback. (2) If doing this clockwise on a weekend, you will hit extremely congested trail conditions on the Icehouse Canyon trail. (3) Between the notch and Thunder, the official trail over Gold Ridge is much better than the alternatives if going clockwise. (Going counterclockwise, it's reasonable boot-glissade down the bulldozer slash underneath the ski lift, but I tried it uphill and it was nasty.) Aug 6, 2018

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