Mount Baden Powel

Mount Baden-Powell


One of my hiking goals for 2018 is to complete the Southern California Six Pack Of Peaks Challenge. The challenge is to hike six of the highest peaks in Southern California. It was originally started as a way for people to train to hike the John Muir Trail.

hiking mount baden-powell, six pack of peaks southern california,

Making the trek up to the peak of a windy Mount-Baden Powell.

The hike hikes go in order of difficulty and are as follows:

  1. Mount Wilson
  2. Cucamonga Peak
  3. Mount San Antonio
  4. San Bernardino Peak
  5. Mount San Jacinto
  6. San Gorgonio

Two of the peaks on the challenge have alternate peaks. For example, for Mount Wilson, you can substitute Mount Baden-Powell. Before starting with one of the main peaks, I thought it would be a good idea to do a trial run with one of the alternate peaks: Mount Baden-Powell. With my competitive nature, there’s no way I’m doing alternative peaks for the actual challenge itself. But I did think that it would be a great idea to try one of the alternative mountains as a gauge to see if my level of fitness was ready for the challenge of the other six peaks. I also thought doing an alternative peak would be a great way to see what the weather conditions would be like at higher elevations.

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Mount Baden-Powell is up in the Angeles National Forest. According to All Trails, the trail is 8.9 miles – although, according to my GPS, the trail was only 8.6 miles out and back. The total elevation gain is about 2,788 feet to a max altitude of 9,399 feet. The Conditions: I did this hike in January which, in most parts of the United States, January would be cold as…well, you know. Fortunately, I live in Southern California. True winter days are few and far between. I was lucky enough to catch hike before a winter storm blew through the area. But the conditions were starting to let you know that a storm was on its way. Near the top of the mountain the wind was pretty stiff – probably around 30 mph with a thick fog covering the peak. I didn’t have a thermometer but I’d estimate that the wind chill was somewhere in the high 30’s to the low 40’s. All I had with me was a pair of Adidas gym pants and a thin hoodie. I soon realized I was under-prepared in the clothing department. The hoodie wasn’t enough to keep the wind at bay and my hands were burning from the cold temperatures. Mount-Baden Powell weather tip: Be aware of the weather conditions. I’d imagine summer conditions vary greatly between the winter months. If you’re going during the winter be aware of winds and temperatures at higher elevations. Dress warm. Winds speeds are higher with the increased elevation and there was a low pressure system passing by to the north of the area. The system caused some low clouds and moderate winds with some incredibly cool temperatures at the peak – I didn’t have a thermometer with me but it must’ve been around 40F. Much too cold for the hoodie I was wearing and lack of gloves. [so cal sick pack of peaks, six pack of peaks challenge, angeles national forest, inland empire hiking, mount baden-powell, san bernardino]


According to All Trails, Mount Baden-Powell is rated as hard. In my opinion the only thing hard about it is the distance and the altitude. The trail is at a mild grade with sections that aren’t very steep. The trail is also in great condition and made mostly of a dirt trail cut into the mountain with some loose rock. It took me about four and a half hours to complete the 8.6 mile hike.


As I mentioned, the trail is a pretty mild incline. Water is going to be your best friend on this trip. I took a sandwich (because I love enjoying nice views and having a lunch) but it wasn’t a necessity. I think that a person could easily get by with some fruit and a protein snack of some sort.


Alright, so I realized a few things on this trail. Hiking up to a 9,000 foot elevation wearing just a hoodie with windy conditions wasn’t going to cut it. At the very least, if I’m going to be hiking tall peaks in the middle of winter – even in Southern California – I’m going to need some gloves and a thicker jacket. Next time I’m going to forget the hoodie at home.