LA - Blue Ridge to Baldy summit (via Pine Mountain) aka “The North Backbone”

  • Sat, October 19, 2019
  • Mt. Baldy


  • This is a strenuous hike not for beginners. Please make sure you have read and understood the description before registering.

Registration is closed

Date: Saturday, Oct. 19

Difficulty: Advanced / Strenuous

Length: 11 miles 

Elevation: 4,500 feet of elevation gain

⚠️ Warning ⚠️ 

This hike is intended for experienced hikers looking for a unique challenge. If you are afraid of heights, are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with scrambling over loose rocky slopes, and/or do not enjoy prolonged steep climbs – this is not the hike for you. Rather consider these two upcoming moderate options: 

Take the route less travelled to the summit of Mt. Baldy, along the way summiting its two neighbors to the north – Pine and Dawson Mountains. The views are never less than epic, your reward for undertaking a hike that John Robinson – the celebrated historian of the San Gabriel's – described as “more bang for the buck per mile than any other hike” in that mountain range.

You must RSVP directly to trip leader Matthew Bokach at to join this trip, and please let him know what kind of vehicle you’ll be driving, how many it holds, and (if it’s high-clearance) if you’d be willing to drive folks about 7 miles on a gravel road to the trailhead. If we don’t have enough high-clearance vehicles to get everyone to the trailhead, there is a wide turnout only 0.5 miles before it that will serve as a good parking spot for other types of car. There’s no reason to be concerned about the drive – I can make it nearly the entire way in my Honda CR-Z (as low-slung as they come), but there is a small hill 0.2 miles before the trailhead that is just washed out enough to block most small standard vehicles from proceeding any further. Matthew will respond to all registrants with details on when and where to meet.

There is a fantastically-detailed description of the hike, along with several photos, here:

(However, I have no idea how the author of this page came up with a distance of 7.4 miles. Every other source lists it as at least 11 miles).

Please wear sturdy hiking boots, and it is highly recommended that you show up with the ten essentials listed here. Hiking poles are also recommended by multiple folks who’ve written about this hike.

Group size is capped to ten given the advanced nature of this hike. While pets are usually allowed on hikes in a National Forest, I’m requesting no pets on this hike given the conditions.

Health Problems/allergies: It is the responsibility of participants to carry on their person a record of significant allergies, medications and medical history in the event of a medical emergency.  Discuss any medical concerns with the hike leader if you wish.

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