Hike Organizer: Paul Kemp
Location: Angeles National Forest
Hike Difficulty: Moderate 6/10
Distance: 9 1/2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2500 feet
Time: 5-6 hours
Hike Overview: Angeles Crest Highway winds through the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains like an elongated snake, reaching it's highest point at Dawson Saddle (7901'). From this saddle a prominent ridge ascends southwards to Throop Peak (9138') and connection to the Pacific Crest Trail. Turning eastwards on the PCT the ridgeline continues to Mount Burnham (8997') and then Mount Baden-Powell (9399'). Next to Mount Baldy, Baden-Powell is probably the most popular hike in the San Gabriels, offering panoramic views north over the Mohave Desert and southeast into the deep chasm of the East Fork of the San Gabriel River.
For many years Mount Baden-Powell was known as North Baldy. It was renamed in 1931 after a British Army officer with far too many names, Lord Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden-Powell, who had founded the Boy Scout movement in 1907. The official dedication of the new name took place on May 30, 1931, when a large party of Los Angeles area Boy Scouts erected a plaque and flagpole on the summit. The dedication was remarkable in that it remains the longest in Boy Scout history: by the time the group reached the summit nobody could remember the full, long-winded name of Baden-Powell so a small party had to go back to Baloo's house in downtown Los Angeles to find the piece of paper with the full name written on it. Suffice to say, it turned out to be a long day for the boys, made worse by the fact that the hapless group was stalked and harassed by a pack of hungry chipmunks on the way back.
Weather Conditions: The weather forecast for next week is for rain, rain, and perhaps more rain. This hike is therefore going to be a snow hike more than likely requiring traction devices such as microspikes, crampons, or even snow shoes. I will keep you updated as to the weather situation in the week leading up to the hike, but please be prepared if you are planning to attend. If you don't own your own, rentals are available at most REI stores, especially the one in Arcadia.
Directions: Drive to Dawson Saddle on the Angeles Crest Highway, approximately 49 miles east of La Canada or 5 1/2 miles west of Big Pines. Park on the north side of the highway close to the trailhead.
A carpool location is designated at Monrovia Park and Ride, on Myrtle Avenue just south of the 210 freeway, at 7 am. The route from here will be the 210 east to the I-15 north to Highway 138 north to Angeles Crest Highway eastern end. Those living closer to La Canada may want to consider taking Angeles Crest Highway from the west end.