Log in

6-Pack of Peaks: #1 Mount Baden-Powell Hike

  • Sun, April 29, 2018
  • 8:00 AM
  • Vincent Gap, Angeles National Forest


Registration is closed

Photo courtesy of Time for a Hike

Great Outdoors is taking on the "6-Pack of Peaks Challenge"!  Our Los Angeles and Orange County/Long Beach chapters are teaming up to hike these six awesome, major SoCal peaks. Take the challenge with us and get your hike on! Our first, and "easiest" peak is Mount Baden Powell.


  • Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018 (alternate date, if snow hasn’t yet melted: Saturday, July 15)
  • Time: 8:00 am
  • Location: Near Big Pines, CA
  • Distance: 8 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 2,800 ft
  • Hike Time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Trail Type: Well maintained trail
  • Hike Type: Out and Back

The second-most popular peak climb in the San Gabriels (after Baldy), and also the easiest. We’ll meet at Vincent Gap, right off Highway 2 about 53 miles east of La Cañada Flintridge or 5.5 miles west of Big Pines, at 8:00 am. Although the parking lot is huge, Vincent is one of the most popular trailheads on the Angeles National Forest, so we encourage carpooling (and this is the rationale for the early start). All parked cars need to display an Adventure Pass.

Baden-Powell is an 8-mile up-and-back-down hike boasting 2,800 feet of elevation gain and 41 switchbacks (which should give you an idea how steep it is). An optional side trip to one of the few surface springs on the Angeles National Forest will add about ¾ of a mile.

Photo courtesy of Westcentric

The trail is well signposted and easy to follow all the way to the top. At about the 3.5 mile mark and 9,000 feet of elevation, we’ll start to encounter 2,000-year-old limber pines, including the impressively-gnarled Waldron Tree. At the summit is a bronze-and-cement monument to Lord Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden-Powell, a British Army officer who founded the Boy Scouts in 1907. The summit offers breathtaking views in nearly 360 degrees – all the way to Long Beach to the south (on a clear day) and the south end of the Sierras to the north.

Photo courtesy of SoCal Hiker


We are hiking up nearly 3,000 vertical feet to the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell (9,399′) — one of the highest mountains in the San Gabriel Mountains. This is a good challenge for folks who are fit - a strenuous intermediate hike. This is not a hike to bring beginners on. This is, though, the "easiest" of the six pack of peaks challenge. So as long as you're healthy and comfortable with day hikes and elevation, and up for the challenge, you should be fine! "The stunning 360° views made those 40 switchbacks worth climbing." (I'm not planning to hike fast) Not to scare anyone away, but do know your limits please.

Trail Conditions
From reports I've seen, sounds like trail is dry, no snow that we have to worry about. Regular hiking boots/sturdy shoes for gravel/rocks.

Carpool Location
If you would like to carpool or can offer to drive a carpool, meet at 6:30 AM at this residential street location at the base of the mountain/ Angeles Crest Hwy (2) in La Cañada Flintridge. We will see if we have drivers available and leave the rest of the cars here. 

Chehalem Rd & Flanders Rd. La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
Google Map link:

Driving Directions to Trailhead Parking

We’ll meet at 8:00 AM at Vincent Gap.  From the carpool point, the drive up the mountain is 1 hour & 15 minutes. Take Highway 2 northeast, about 50 miles east of La Cañada Flintridge.It is a large parking lot with the trailhead, pit toilet available.  It is 5.5 miles west of Big Pines. 

Bing Map link:

Road Conditions: Highway 2 is open to Vincent Gap. (The road is clear. Google Maps may incorrectly show a road closure there right now, but that is incorrect. Highway 2 is open, all the way to the 15.) 


Have a full tank of gas. Study the trailhead map beforehand because there won't be cell reception up the mountain. Get a good night's rest, bring plenty of water & lunch/snacks.  P.S. Might want to get a good stair climb /hike/ jog in a few days before to get stretchin'!

* No reception once we start going up the mountain after the carpool spot.

Optional camping
You could try camping the night before up at Buckhorn or Table Mountain Campgrounds; contact US Forest Service for availability and conditions.

What to Bring

Good hiking boots/shoes. Pack a lunch, snacks and bring plenty of water. Bring a hat/cap and sunscreen.  Adventure Pass.

Hike Leader

Bryan Matsumoto. If you have any questions, please call Bryan at 626-246-8634 or e-mail 

More information:

About the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks Challenge

Southern California is a landscape of horizon-filling mountain ranges and towering peaks. Explore the highest highs with us this year!  The LA Chapter of Great Outdoors is scheduling hikes in partnership with the Orange County/Long Beach chapter,  to six of the tallest peaks in southern CA. Those with an interest can register for the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks Challenge here.

The “Starter” package is a $30 contribution, some of which goes to support Big City Mountaineers. BCM instills critical life skills in under-served youth through transformative wilderness mentoring expeditions.

Regardless of whether you register for the challenge or not, we hope you’ll consider joining us for all six peak climbs. Open to all, must be in good physical health, let's make this the year we climb all six!

GREAT OUTDOORS is the largest gay outdoor recreational organization in Southern California, with 5 chapters in Los Angeles, Orange County/Long Beach, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, and San Diego. Join us for fun hikes, camping trips & more!

2019 © Great Outdoors, Inc.

All rights reserved

Great Outdoors is a 501(c)7 not for profit, all-volunteer LGBT organization dedicated to the enjoyment of outdoor recreation.

Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management