Two years later, it’s time to dust off this little blogaroonio of mine. I honestly haven’t really done anything noteworthy outdoors since my last post anyways until recently, so y’all weren’t missing much.
Starting in March of this year though, I got to play in the snow in Logan Canyon…
…and went down the Dirty Devil in a packraft (check out the dead cows in the second pic)…
…and had my brain fry for two days doing the Fish & Owl loop in southern Utah…
…and paddled a short stretch of the Suwannee River, free glamping site included (stole your pics Erica!).
I meant to throw up some posts about all of those trips, but laziness got in the way #sorrynotsorry
So, being the lucky duck that I am, I get to spend the summer in California, nearish LA. Living in a place where there are decent trails within a 15 minute drive has reminded me why Florida cannot be my permanent home (don’t worry though, Gainesville is still my current address), and I will never move back to the Midwest.
So far I’ve hiked and/or ran in both the Chino Hills and Santiago Oaks areas. It’s pretty insane to be in the middle of one of the most densely populated parts of the country yet completely surrounded by wilderness.
But the REAL topic of this post is the hike up Mt Baldy that I did this past weekend, which was just the ass kicker I was hoping for.
The San Gabriels is a pretty extensive mountain range that runs east-west and is just north of Los Angeles, with Mt Baldy (aka Mt San Antonio) being the highest point in the range, at just over 10,000 feet.
There are a bunch of ways to get up to the summit and back down, using a variety of parking lots and trails and also a ski lift that can be ridden during the summer for $20 (lol fuck that I’d rather hike).
I chose to do the classic route by 1) starting at the Manker Flats campground trailhead
[Map from here]
2) passing San Antonio Falls
3) hiking up the fireroad to the Notch restaurant and ski area
4) following the ridge using Devil’s Backbone trail
5) stumbling (cause holy shit I’m not acclimated in any way to that kind of elevation) up the last couple of ridiculously steep uphills
6) to the summit
and 6) then all of that in reverse for a total of almost 13 miles and 4,000 feet of elevation gain.
I kind of actually wanted to make it a loop and hike back down on the more interesting/steep/isolated Ski Hut trail but, because I had at most one functioning brain cell by the summit, realized I would probably get lost in the woods and die.
This trail was one of the most highly trafficked I’ve been on, up there with Angel’s Landing and Mt Whitney. While it is super crucial for me to camp with other people in order to have a good time in the woods, I much prefer hiking alone. I kind of hate being surrounded by strangers, having to step off trail to let them pass and overhear their stupid conversations and let them see me looking like a weak bitch hauling my ass up Devil’s Backbone.
Still totally 100% worth it though. Those beautiful vistas that I’ve come to associate with the western U.S., arid scrabbly scree mountainsides, blue skies and gusty raging winds, that junipery pine smell…mmmmmm so good.
And I’ve only barely scratched the surface of available wilderness in this area for sure.
All of this outdoorsing is my lame last-minute attempt at getting in some training for…*drum roll*…the Colorado Trail! I’m going to be doing the southern half of the CT with my friend Amanda (for the entire trip) and my famous, hardcore JMT partner Joan (for the last six days) in July. So stayed tuned for some more rambling about pre-trip prep, gear posts, and trip recaps!
Oh, and major kudos to this kid for just casually carrying a 20 pound dumbbell while hiking down the Baldy fireroad.