Pine Mountain, Mt. Baldy, West Baldy (10/1)

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October 1, 2011
The Acorn Trail and North Backbone Trail are two popular trails which are usually connected into a single hike in order to attain the summit of Mt. Baldy from Wrightwood.

PeakElevationTopographic ProminenceSummit Coordinates (lat/lon)
Pine Mountain9,648 ft858 ft34.31374, -117.644382
Mt. Baldy*10,064 ft6,244 ft34.289129, -117.646304
West Baldy9,988 ft128 ft34.286847, -117.654709

*The official USGS name for this peak is "Mt. San Antonio," but it has been so locally and widely referred to as "Mt. Baldy" that I will refer to it as such in this trip report.

Getting to the trailhead: Follow these directions and park before a "Private Drive" sign on Acorn Rd. The parking here is very limited (enough for two vehicles).

Trailhead coordinates: 34.354023, -117.641919

About 17 of us began hiking up Acorn Road from the trailhead Saturday morning at around 8am. After 0.7 miles the Acorn Trail branched off to the left, marked by an "Acorn Trail" sign. 

heading up the Acorn Trail

After 2.1 miles of gentle switchbacking, the Acorn Trail intersected the Blue Ridge Truck Trail. The large mass of Pine Mountain could be seen to the south. We turned left at the Blue Ridge Truck Trail and walked 0.9 miles to a large pullout at the start of the North Backbone Trail which headed directly up Pine Mountain's north ridge. Looking at this part of the trail, it is obvious how the trail got its name. The North Backbone Trail would continue 3.7 miles up the northern and southern ridges of Pine Mountain and Dawson Peak, then up the north ridge of Mt. Baldy. Along the way, we took a small but obvious use-trail which deviated from the main trail slightly in order to pass over the summit of Pine Mountain.

North Backbone Trail

views from Pine Mountain

between Pine Mountain and Mt. Baldy

Mt. Baldy summit

About ten of us took a half hour break in one of the many large summit shelters made of stacked rocks. As we were headed down, Joe and someone else had just popped up on the summit of Baldy. We decided to hike over to West Baldy, stopping to take several pictures along the way. West Baldy was an easy class 1 half mile hike WSW from Baldy.

An hour later, we were back on Baldy and heading down the North Backbone Trail. There were several gnarled trees along the way, and the sun was lower in the sky, creating great lighting. Out came the cameras. As we got back to the trailhead not long before sunset, we realized that our little photo stops had been taking longer than they seemed. The people we had carpooled with had waited almost 2 hours at the trailhead.

Final Stats
15.8 miles
7,470 ft gain/loss

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