Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Mt. Baldy, CA

  • Published 2022/12/21

Mount Baldy was formerly known as Camp Baynham or Camp Baldy, a self-governing community in the San Gabriel Mountains in San Bernardino County, Southern California.

Nestled below Mount San Antonio, Mt. Baldy got its name from its large, flat, and treeless peak.

Its official name is Mount San Antonio, but many people call it Mt. Baldy because of the treeless face of the Baldy Bowl, visible from Los Angeles.

Mt. Baldy is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains and the highest point in Los Angeles County, standing at 10,068 feet.

The website says the area’s total population is a mere 476.

You’ve got to see its breathtaking view of Southern California cities, mountains, oceans, and deserts.

You must not miss the one-of-a-kind hike to the summit, so enjoy the thrilling things to do in Mt. Baldy, California.

Hike the Ice House Canyon Trail

Hikers enjoying the view at Ice House Canyon Trail

Ian D. Keating, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The serpentine Ice House Canyon Trail starts in a dusky canyon passing remains of old recreation cabins as it heads directly to Ice Canyon Saddle.

The single track to Icehouse Saddle scales 2,600 feet over 3.6 miles and is an extraordinary hike.

After the highway point, you’ll wander a series of gravel roads queued with alpine flora, and giant boulders washed down from ancient floods.

Then, you may continue in several directions, such as Ontario Peak, Cucamonga Peak, or Bighorn Peak.

A tree at Ice House Canyon Trail

Bri Weldon, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ice and snow usually cover the trail every winter, and you must use crampons to prevent slipping on towering sections.

Located along Ice House Canyon Road in Angeles National Forest, the Ice House Canyon Trail hike requires a wilderness permit.

You can get one free at the trailhead’s brown box or the Mt. Baldy Visitor Center.

Enjoy Various Snow Activities at Mt. Baldy Resorts

Skiing at Mt. Baldy Resort

Eric T Gunther, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mt. Baldy Resorts is famous for its finest natural skiing and snowboarding terrain.

Located on Mt Baldy Rd., this exceptional resort also serves as the summertime capital for mountain activities such as hiking, ziplining, and tent cabin camping.

Skiers and riders will love the resort’s more than 800 acres of rideable and skiable terrain with the most vertical drop at 2100 vertical feet.

Kids will enjoy playing in the snow play area as they go tubing and sledding.

Experience the round-trip scenic lift and gaze at the panoramic view of Mt. Baldy Resorts.

Stay on Your Feet at the San Antonio Falls Trail

The San Antonio Falls trail is a round-trip 1.4-mile footpath that offers a magnificent view of one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in Los Angeles.

This fantastic trail is best for beginners; however, severe weather conditions can add to the challenge for inexpert hikers.

Before hiking the trail, check the weather first so you can make the most of your hike and see the natural beauty of the surroundings.

If you don’t want to trek further to San Antonio Falls, you may continue hiking up the trail a quarter mile past the pavement’s end.

You don’t need a permit to hike the San Antonio Falls, and the best part of it is that you can take your dog while walking.

Check Out the San Antonio Falls

Side view of San Antonio Falls

Jim_Brown_Photography /

Enjoy a leisurely weekend escapade at San Antonio Falls, dropping at 75 feet in the Angeles National Forest.

The best time to visit San Antonio Falls is when Mt. Baldy has already amassed snow during the winter, which should soon melt.

If there’s a nice flow, the falls may feature an exciting waterwheel, meaning the water throws up before dropping back down, adding to its impressive attraction.

Front view of San Antonio Falls

dlhca /

The sparkling glass-like water is refreshing, while the mountain breeze feels incredible.

Everywhere you look, you’ll find stunning tall pine trees and gorgeous canyon walls surrounding you.

Cross the Bridge to Nowhere

Daytime view of the Bridge to Nowhere

JustinDink /

The Bridge to Nowhere is a deserted arch constructed in 1936 on a swept road in the San Gabriel Mountains, traversing the San Gabriel River East Fork.

The ten-mile hike with 900 feet of elevation crosses many river fords to reach the Bridge to Nowhere.

You can even stop for a quick swim.

Walkway of the Bridge to Nowhere

Kurt caylor /

The course to the Bridge to Nowhere is often moderate, with rough terrain and rock cross-country.

Because of the trailhead’s popularity, expect company because people also park in the area to have a picnic and a nice swim in the river.

You need an easy-to-get wilderness permit to hike this local treasure of the Angelinos, along with a national forest day use pass.

Aerial view of the Bridge to Nowhere

localsenpai /

Explore Mount Baldy Wilderness Preserve

If you love the plants at the California Botanical Garden, you’ll also adore the animals at the Mount Baldy Wilderness Road.

This preserve in the Angeles National Forest protects substantial natural and spectacular resources.

It also protects endangered wildlife and landscape connections to neighboring public lands the USFS owned and managed.

Likewise, it secures a portion of the 20-mile reach of San Antonio Creek with a natural streambed that contemplates an unmodified flood regime.

You’ll see big horn sheep in their habitat in the Cucamonga and Sheep Mountain designated wilderness.

This wilderness borders the eastern and western portions of the Mount Baldy Wilderness Preserve.

Find Inner Peace at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center

Meditation path at Mt. Baldy Zen Center

LinSu Hill from Brea, California, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Going someplace else allows you to learn the culture and different stories of a particular place, including its history.

The Mt. Baldy Zen Center is a former Boy Scout Camp; today, it is a home for studying and practicing Rinzai Zen.

You’ll learn the teachings of its founder, Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi, who established this unique American training facility where his teachings can help your spiritual growth.

The Mt. Baldy Zen Center offers introductory classes, workshops, sesshins (week-long retreats), training periods, and face-to-face meetings with oshos (Zen priests), monks, and other mentors.

This peaceful zen center is a Nyorai sect Rinzai Zen monastery in the Angeles National Forest, which Kyozan Joshu Sasaki founded in 1971.

Navigate the Baldy Bowl Trail – Ski Hut

View of Baldy Bowl from ski hut trail

dlhca /

The Baldy Bowl Trail – Ski Hut provides the quickest track to Mt. Baldy summit without needing a sky-lift.

You might say it’s an arduous climb, gaining quick elevation, but you won’t regret it.

Your effort will reward you with fantastic views of San Antonio Falls and a 10,000-foot 360-degree view of the landscape from San Gabriel’s highest peak.

Ski hut trail at Baldy Bowl

dlhca /

The hike will begin on Falls Road, roughly a quarter mile north of Manker Flats Campground.

You must navigate the southwest side of Mt. Baldy, proceeding to San Antonio Falls, a half-mile in.

Discover Mount Baldy Notch

Mount Baldy Notch is a 17.7-kilometer loop trail adjoining Mount Baldy.

This rigorous course will take an average of seven hours and 19 minutes to finish.

Nevertheless, it’s a well-known area for hiking, so you or your family might not be the only ones on the trail.

If you’re hiking alone, you can bring your dog for company; you can take them off-leash in some areas.

You’ll need an adventure pass displayed on your vehicle if you are in the forest for recreational purposes.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Wander the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park

Mountain views from Claremont Hills Wilderness Park

Brian Altmeyer, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll find the idyllic Claremont Hills Wilderness Park in Claremont, California, 13 minutes from Mt. Baldy.

Situated at the foot of the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains, this park offers a five-mile walking loop along with smaller trails.

In 1996, the 1,440-acre Claremont Hills Wilderness Park opened its doors to the public and became a City Nature Park in 1997.

The incorporation of Johnson’s Pasture enlarged the park’s span to 1,620 acres in 2008.

Whether you’re a hiker or a bicyclist, you’ll surely enjoy the beautiful scenery as you go along the trail.

Dive with Bungee America

Do you have what it takes to jump from a high elevation such as the Bridge to Nowhere?

Jump with Bungee America, situated in the San Gabriel Mountains in La Verne, California, 41 minutes from Mount Baldy.

The Bridge to Nowhere is the site for electrifying bungee jumping, allowing you to do some bungee jumping at night and dive into the darkness upon special arrangement.

You can choose from their offered packages, which include tents and sleeping pads for your overnight camp adventure at the bridge with your instructors.

Choose from their different packages and get a free T-shirt from Bungee America!

Ride a Horse at the Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center

Why not try horse riding and get a better view of your lovely surroundings while on a trail?

Located on Esperanza Dr., La Verne, Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center provides quality equestrian services, which include horse boarding, horse trail rides, and riding lessons.

Marvel at the scenic trail rides showcasing a pleasantly shaded area teeming with various wildlife, birds, flowing streams, and vibrant flowers.

Kids aged seven and up can enjoy an hour or two rides with guided trail rides open to the public.

The Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center doesn’t allow double riding; you must control your horse.

This center is 23 minutes from Mount Baldy.

Commune with Nature at the California Botanic Garden

Succulents at California Botanic Garden

Eric Michael Teitelman /

Regarding devotion to California native plants, including their wildlife and people, look no further than the California Botanic Garden.

This admirable botanic garden promotes knowledge, conservation, and appreciation of the state’s native plants with free admission to the Grow Native Nursery.

It’s a living museum and the most extensive botanical garden in California, with categorized collections of over 22,000 native plants, including rare and endangered ones.

Flora at California Botanic Garden

Eric Michael Teitelman /

Located along N College Avenue in Claremont, the California Botanical Garden spreads to 86 acres, approximately 18 minutes from Mount Baldy.

Learn about the state’s 2,000 species of flora, including those native plants from the California Floristic Province.

Check Out Alice’s Vintage Cottage

If you like antiques and restored items, go straight to Alice’s Vintage Cottage on Apple Avenue in Wrightwood, California, 51 minutes from Mt. Baldy.

It’s a local treasure house where you can find restored and antique items, such as vintage garments, handmade jewelry, pieces of furniture, well-worn trend, and much more.

The store meticulously makes and collects one-of-a-kind stuff to decorate your home, business, or office and adorn yourself.

Don’t forget to check the second floor of the vintage store and get the surprise of your life from the great finds you can buy at affordable prices.

Alice’s Vintage Cottage helps reduce the environmental impact of discarded things, following the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle principle by reselling local stuff.

Experience a Different Winter at Mountain High Resort

Mountain High Resort is located on CA-2, Wrightwood, in the Angeles National Forest, 56 minutes from Mount Baldy.

The resort was once three different resorts.

However, it merged into a single destination to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for skiing, snowboarding, snow play and tubing, scenic sky chair rides, and much more!

Try the resort’s scenic sky chair and see a different world at 8,200 feet in the air.

Then, take pictures or videos of the fantastic views of Catalina Island to the South and the Mojave Desert to the North.

The whole family, especially the kids, will enjoy their day tubing, sledding, and playing snow.

You can also do some nature walking with the family on a 2.5-mile hike to the historic Angeles National Forest and see various wildlife such as coyotes, deer, hawks, and more.

Final Thoughts

Wherever you go and whatever you do, make it more special and memorable by bringing your family.

Just remember to keep safe and follow the guidelines of the resorts, centers, parks, or facilities where you spend your vacation.

Prepare yourselves for the thrilling things to do in Mt. Baldy, California!

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