Mount Baldy, AKA Mount San Antonio, is the highest peak (10,069ft) in the San Gabriel mountains northeast of Los Angeles.
The snow-capped peak offers a great backdrop to the LA skyline and can be seen from Orange and San Bernardino counties.
Mount Baldy is also a winter sports recreational area with hiking trails, skiing, tubing, and cabins for rent.
Whether planning a snowy adventure or just hiking or sightseeing, the first chair lift will take you on a scenic ride to the Top of the Notch.
Scenic Chairlift Ride
The 15-minute ride on the Sugar Pine chairlift from the parking lot to the Top of the Notch is an adventure in its own right.
As we ascended, we soared above the trees in the canyon below us, and up ahead, we could see the lodge and chairlift house. On the way down, we admired the valley sights below.
This chairlift operates all year round and offers quick access to summer hikes and winter fun. The scenic ride costs from $20 to $30, depending on the day of the week.
Mt Baldy Lodge and Restaurant
The lodge offers six cabins for rent with a swimming pool, full-size sand volleyball court, basketball, cornhole, ping pong, and horseshoe courts.
The attached restaurant serves American pub-style cuisine with friendly service, pool tables, a full bar, and a large dining room that is kept warm as a refuge from the chilly weather. The patio offers magnificent views of the valley while you enjoy your meal.
Adjacent to the lodge, you will find the Ski rental shop. Mt Baldy Resort management advises you to book rentals with your chairlift tickets because supplies run out quickly.
Mt Baldy is one of the most accessible snow-play areas in Southern California. Just a 15-minute chairlift ride away to start your sliding and tubing fun.
The $79 ticket allows for a full day of snow play and includes the chairlift round-trip.
Note: The ticket price varies slightly depending on the day of the week, and the lowest price is mid-week.
Although it is a small ski resort, it is considered one of the best in Southern California and the most affordable. Depending on the day, you can get an all-day chairlift ticket for $60-$90.
It offers over 4,000 acres of skiable area with 26 runs on three mountains with four chairlifts. You can enjoy those runs whether you are a beginner or an expert.
Of Course, there is also enough space for beginners. Group Ski and Snowboard lessons are available daily (the website currently does not show any lesson packages – call to find out).
The only disadvantage is that fresh snow at this location is not always available.
Interesting fact: The vertical drop from the summit to the base is 2100 ft. making it one of the longest runs in the USA.
Hiking to the summit
Devil backbone is the most popular trail to the Mt Baldy summit. You will enjoy magnificent views along the trail, but at the top and on a clear day, you will have a stunning view from the ocean to the desert.
You can start your hike from Top of the Notch after riding the Sugar Pine chairlift.
If you want to challenge yourself, you can forgo the lift and hike along a service road from Manker Campground, Mt Baldy, CA, 91759, USA.
Warning: It is not advisable to hike this trail when it is covered in snow. It is perilous. Check Mt Baldy weather report here before you go.
This hike is about three and a half miles one way with a gain of 2200 feet in elevation.
Read the turn-by-turn hiking guide at hikingguy.com. This guide takes you back on a different trail that bypasses the ski area, so if you prefer, you can turn back on the same trail.