Most people who climb Mt. Baden Powell will start from the Vincent Gap style, we decided to go a different route and allow summits to a couple more peaks in the area. We didn’t decide to do Baden Powell until we got to Mt. Burnham, but that’s the beauty of having a map with you, you can decide to turn around or keep going. Always check before you get out there.
The 3 of these peaks are around 9,000 feet elevation, which is perfect training before attempting higher elevation hikes. Here’s some history on the naming’s of each of the peaks.
Dawson Saddle Trailhead
To get to the trail from Wrightwood, take Hwy 2 off of CA-138 W. Once you get on Hwy 2, take it all the way to Dawson Saddle. There are two trailheads that end up leading to the same place. Something to note is that there is no sign posted to mark the trail, but it is easy to see both trails off the highway.
The weather can change at any time in the mountains, due to this fact be sure to prepare. This area is known to get very hot in the summertime; hike early to minimize impact of any heat illness. In contrast this area can also get very cold and windy with even snow on it, prepare for anything!
Mt. Baldy – Elevation 10,066 feet
|Point of Interest||Mileage||Elevation|
|Trailhead: Dawson Saddle Trail||0 miles||7,901 feet|
|PCT junction||1.8 miles||8,850 feet|
|Throop Peak||2.0 miles||9,138 feet|
|Mt. Burnham||4.1 miles||8,997 feet|
|Mt. Baden-Powell||4.75 miles||9,399 feet|
Check out some of the other items I have in my backpack on hiking and backpacking trips on my What’s in My Backpack Page. I also have some trail food ideas – check those out on Trail Food: Grub Ideas for the Trail
Before I get into the trip, if you’d like to take a gander at the YouTube video I made of the hike check it out below or on my YouTube.
Before we set out of the hike, the plan was to summit Throop Peak and Mt. Burnham then turn around. I didn’t realize until later that it would make for a short hike. On our way up to Throop Peak we were covered by the trees and the beautiful sun’s rays gleamed through the trees as we climbed to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) junction. After almost 2 miles we hit the junction and emerged from the shade.
To the right there is a small use trail that goes up to Throop Peak another .2 miles. We topped Throop and decided to take a short break and have our hard boiled eggs. One of my favorite breakfasts when I am hiking is boiled eggs on the first day of a backpacking trip or a day hike. After the short break we scattered down back to the PCT and Dawson Saddle Trail junction. We continued northeast toward Mt. Burnham; on the way to Burnham there is a decrease in elevation to about 8,000 feet.
Mt. Burnham was only a mile away from Throop Peak, proved to be a great training summit, but not enough for us to turn around. Atop Burnham we made the decision to summit one more peak. Mt. Baden-Powell was in the distance which would make for approximately a 9.5 mile hike. There were two options, summit Mt. Baden-Powell and come back the way we hiked or drop down to Vincent Gap and try to hitchhike back to car. We figured we’d weigh in our options after summiting Baden-Powell.
I’ve been up to Baden-Powell two times already, but always from Vincent Gap. Honestly this was a much easier hill to summit as we were already at higher elevation than the Vincent Gap way. From Burnham to Baden-Powell there is 360 degree views of the mountains and valleys around; much of the trail sits on the ridge between the two peaks. If I remember correctly we had only seen 3 people before leaving Mt. Burnham and when we reached the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell there were at least 50 people.
We ate our To-Go Wraps here and decided to head back to the cars. On the way back we went the same way except stayed on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) to bypass the summiting of the peaks. Although, I must say it felt much longer that summiting again; but was cool so see a new part of the mountain.
We reached the car just before 1:00pm; this is one of the reasons I like going earlier as now we have the rest of the day to clean up at relax at home. The hike was challenging and my knee didn’t act up, guess all that gym work has been finally paying off.
Thanks for listening, hope you guys enjoyed the write-up and let me know if you have any questions about hiking or backpacking this trail.
Annette – Beyond Limits on Foot