Mount Baldy, California
Mount Baldy (Mt. San Antonio), at elevation 10,064, is the crown of San Gabriel Mountains. There are three primary trails to climb the peak. In May 2012, we did a loop trail starting from Manker Flats via Devils Backbone and returning from Ski Hut trail, about 10 miles round trip with 3900 feet elevation gain. In Oct., we hiked to the peak again via the old Mount Baldy trail (aka Bear Canyon Trail) starting from the Baldy village and returning the same way. The round trip is 12.8 mile with about 6000 feet elevation gain. This trail is the most strenous, but the view along the trail is absolutely stunning. In my opinion, it offers much better view than the loop trail and is well worth the extra effort.
It was very foggy at the old Mount Baldy trailhead when we started the hike, but after a few miles of ascending, we eventually got to the elevation above the clouds and started to see the mountains surrounding us. The view in front of us soon became "sea of clouds" and opened up. The clouds stayed all day long and created one of most unforgettable sunsets in our life. I took the picture below on the way down. After sunset, we had to hike in the dark for about an hour but it was totally worth it!
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Sea of Clouds - Sunset View from Mount Baldy trail
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