Malibu / Mt. Baldy - A view worth getting up for. A Malibu sunrise is the perfect start to our hiking trip.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

A view worth getting up for. A Malibu sunrise is the perfect start to our hiking trip.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy: 1 / 49
Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We needed a warm-up hike before tackling Mt Baldy. This inland hike in Topanga State Park was just the ticket.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We needed a warm-up hike before tackling Mt Baldy. This inland hike in Topanga State Park was just the ticket.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - The Crew: Jenny, Dagmara, Deborah and Stacey

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

The Crew: Jenny, Dagmara, Deborah and Stacey

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Dagmara leading us on a trail over the mountains.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Dagmara leading us on a trail over the mountains.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Clear skies, clear trails and a smile from ear to ear: is there anything better?

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Clear skies, clear trails and a smile from ear to ear: is there anything better?

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - An interesting rock formation beckons to be explored.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

An interesting rock formation beckons to be explored.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - The beaches in Malibu are dotted with amazing rock formations and the canyons are no different.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

The beaches in Malibu are dotted with amazing rock formations and the canyons are no different.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Stacey spies our lunch spot – at the top of the rock!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Stacey spies our lunch spot – at the top of the rock!

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - The perfect lunch spot!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

The perfect lunch spot!

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - The dark clouds suddenly rolled in and the temperature dropped. We quickly grabbed our waterproofs when the hail started to come down.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

The dark clouds suddenly rolled in and the temperature dropped. We quickly grabbed our waterproofs when the hail started to come down.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - At more than 154,000 acres, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the largest urban national park in the world. The Woolsey Fire of November 2018 devastated this area and it sustained significant damage, with over 100,000 acres burned. We are so grateful to the firefighters and first responders who battled this blaze. It will take years and years before these mountains will look like they did before the fire. We’re hopeful to learn about volunteer efforts to help this area recover so that it can once again be the destination for hiking, biking, rock climbing and camping in Southern California.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

At more than 154,000 acres, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the largest urban national park in the world. The Woolsey Fire of November 2018 devastated this area and it sustained significant damage, with over 100,000 acres burned. We are so grateful to the firefighters and first responders who battled this blaze. It will take years and years before these mountains will look like they did before the fire. We’re hopeful to learn about volunteer efforts to help this area recover so that it can once again be the destination for hiking, biking, rock climbing and camping in Southern California.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - You can see the Pacific Ocean in the background.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

You can see the Pacific Ocean in the background.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Trails and mountains as far as the eye can see.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Trails and mountains as far as the eye can see.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Tiny hikers on the side of the rock.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Tiny hikers on the side of the rock.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We love our Top Set Trekkers hats!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We love our Top Set Trekkers hats!

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - The bench dedicated to the Keyhole 7 who perished in a flash flood in Utah. Topanga State Park was their neighborhood hiking grounds.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

The bench dedicated to the Keyhole 7 who perished in a flash flood in Utah. Topanga State Park was their neighborhood hiking grounds.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We love the inspirational inscription on this bench about friendship. “Don’t Walk In Front Of Me, Don’t Walk Behind Me, Walk Beside Me And Just Be My Friend. Keyhole 7”

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We love the inspirational inscription on this bench about friendship. “Don’t Walk In Front Of Me, Don’t Walk Behind Me, Walk Beside Me And Just Be My Friend. Keyhole 7”

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - In case you were wondering, hiking skorts are quite comfortable!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

In case you were wondering, hiking skorts are quite comfortable!

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We love fellow hikers – thank you hiker for taking our photo!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We love fellow hikers – thank you hiker for taking our photo!

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - This view has everything – mountains, trails, and blue sky. Topanga State Park is a great hiking destination.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

This view has everything – mountains, trails, and blue sky. Topanga State Park is a great hiking destination.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - It’s a tight squeeze through the low hanging shrubs.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

It’s a tight squeeze through the low hanging shrubs.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - What do you do when you come upon a rope swing? You try it out of course! It was the perfect ending to a great hike.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

What do you do when you come upon a rope swing? You try it out of course! It was the perfect ending to a great hike.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy: 22 / 49
Malibu / Mt. Baldy - It must be a good sign when you discover your hat has been adorned with a natural green bow.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

It must be a good sign when you discover your hat has been adorned with a natural green bow.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - It was an early start to the Mt Baldy trailhead. Don’t be fooled by the clear blue skies – it was below freezing in the early morning. And we were the only car in the parking lot at the Manker Campground.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

It was an early start to the Mt Baldy trailhead. Don’t be fooled by the clear blue skies – it was below freezing in the early morning. And we were the only car in the parking lot at the Manker Campground.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - The Notch at Mt Baldy is at 7800 ft. They were in full snow-making mode when we arrived.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

The Notch at Mt Baldy is at 7800 ft. They were in full snow-making mode when we arrived.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We’re the only ones at The Notch – no footprints in the freshly made snow.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We’re the only ones at The Notch – no footprints in the freshly made snow.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - A table with a view!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

A table with a view!

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - It’s a steep climb after you leave The Notch.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

It’s a steep climb after you leave The Notch.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Looking back towards the Mt Baldy Ski Resort.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Looking back towards the Mt Baldy Ski Resort.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We decided to approach Mt Baldy from the Devil’s Backbone. The route takes us along this tantalizing spine which starts from The Notch and leads to the summit of Mt Baldy. The Devil’s Backbone Trail is 3.3 miles long with 2,350 feet of elevation gain.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We decided to approach Mt Baldy from the Devil’s Backbone. The route takes us along this tantalizing spine which starts from The Notch and leads to the summit of Mt Baldy. The Devil’s Backbone Trail is 3.3 miles long with 2,350 feet of elevation gain.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - A smattering of snow on the way to the summit.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

A smattering of snow on the way to the summit.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We’ve reached the picturesque Devil’s Backbone Trail with its distinctively curvy spine. We’re so lucky to have this section all to ourselves. Otherwise, it would be a line of hikers on this narrow trail.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We’ve reached the picturesque Devil’s Backbone Trail with its distinctively curvy spine. We’re so lucky to have this section all to ourselves. Otherwise, it would be a line of hikers on this narrow trail.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We got this!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We got this!

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - On our way to the Baldy summit, we hiked along this very exposed and narrow path cut into the rock face.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

On our way to the Baldy summit, we hiked along this very exposed and narrow path cut into the rock face.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Looking back towards the spine-tingling Devil’s Backbone Trail.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Looking back towards the spine-tingling Devil’s Backbone Trail.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - The final push to the summit!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

The final push to the summit!

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We love the perspective of the blue sky, rocky terrain and the snow-covered shrub. We love hiking in California!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We love the perspective of the blue sky, rocky terrain and the snow-covered shrub. We love hiking in California!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy: 37 / 49
Malibu / Mt. Baldy - A lucky penny!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

A lucky penny!

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Summit jubilation! Our first summit of the 2018 hiking season and we couldn’t have asked for better weather or better hiking partners.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Summit jubilation! Our first summit of the 2018 hiking season and we couldn’t have asked for better weather or better hiking partners.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - 10,064 feet – the highest point in Southern California.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

10,064 feet – the highest point in Southern California.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Our power pose at the top.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Our power pose at the top.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - After a well-deserved lunch break at the summit, we descend towards the Baldy Bowl trail.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

After a well-deserved lunch break at the summit, we descend towards the Baldy Bowl trail.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We researched which trail to ascend for the summit and chose the Devil’s Backbone Trail for the climb along the mountain’s spine and it did not disappoint. Next time, we’ll ascend up the Baldy Bowl/Ski Hut trail for a different experience.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We researched which trail to ascend for the summit and chose the Devil’s Backbone Trail for the climb along the mountain’s spine and it did not disappoint. Next time, we’ll ascend up the Baldy Bowl/Ski Hut trail for a different experience.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy: 43 / 49
Malibu / Mt. Baldy - As you hike down towards the Ski Hut, you reach a boulder field area.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

As you hike down towards the Ski Hut, you reach a boulder field area.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - The Sierra Club Ski Hut was built in 1936 and is located at 8,300 feet. It has a fully-equipped kitchen, dishes, cookware, running water and solar lighting and can sleep up to 16.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

The Sierra Club Ski Hut was built in 1936 and is located at 8,300 feet. It has a fully-equipped kitchen, dishes, cookware, running water and solar lighting and can sleep up to 16.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - One of several hand carved wooden chairs at the Ski Hut.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

One of several hand carved wooden chairs at the Ski Hut.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - Ready for the steep descent to the Ski Hut.

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Ready for the steep descent to the Ski Hut.

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We’re on the right path back to the parking lot. Next time, we’ll ascend the Baldy Bowl trail and descend the Devil’s Backbone trail. So many options on Mt Baldy!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We’re on the right path back to the parking lot. Next time, we’ll ascend the Baldy Bowl trail and descend the Devil’s Backbone trail. So many options on Mt Baldy!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy: 48 / 49
Malibu / Mt. Baldy - We sprinted the last bit for a sub 8-hour finish. High-fives all around!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy

We sprinted the last bit for a sub 8-hour finish. High-fives all around!

Malibu / Mt. Baldy: 49 / 49

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Malibu / Mt. Baldy

Location:

Malbu/Mt. Baldy, CA

Trip Length:

3 days

Distance Hiked:

21.5 miles

Season:

February

Mount Baldy (Mount San Antonio) is the tallest peak in Los Angeles and a rite of passage for all SoCal hikers. Mid-February is not the most popular time to climb Mt Baldy as there is the chance for severe wind and cold, snow, and ice on the way to the 10,064′ summit, but we chose to look on the brighter side: a chance to try out our new ice cleats! We ascended via the Devil’s Backbone Trail, enjoying the dramatic views. In the last mile to the summit the wind picked up and the incline got steeper, so finally summiting was pure joy and a huge adrenaline rush. We put on every layer we brought, gobbled our delicious salads and descended via the steeper Ski Hut trail. A wonderful hike that we would do over and over again.

Hikes

Mt. Baldy Devil’s Backbone

Malibu, California

Mt. Baldy Devil’s Backbone
Hike Duration:

8 hours

Distance:

10.5 miles

Elevation Change:

3,953 ft

Difficulty:

7

Mulholland Drive/Garapito Canyon

Malibu, California

Mulholland Drive/Garapito Canyon
Hike Duration:

6 hours

Distance:

11 miles

Elevation Change:

2,398 ft

Difficulty:

6