Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bear Canyon Trail (old Mt. Baldy Trail) to Bear Flat

Date/ Time Completed:
August 30, 2011
10am -

Coming from Long Beach, Ca I took the 405 south/ San Diego Freeway to the 605 north for 27.3 miles to the 210 east/ Foothill freeway towards Foothill freeway/ San Bernardino for 7.8 miles. Exit base line rd. and at the light make a left onto Base Line rd. Take the first right onto Padua Ave. for 1.8 miles and make a right onto Mt. Baldy rd. Continue up the mountain till you reach the Mt. Baldy Village at about 7.3 miles Turn left onto Bear Canyon rd. and park to your right at the Mt. Baldy Village Church. An adventure pass is needed and they can be found across the street at the lodge or up the street a very short distance at the visitors center. You can also get them online here or find a location near you here. To see exactly where you will be parking for this trail go to the google map on the right side of the screen, Click on the small link below the map that says Jessie's trails in dark blue and look for the trail you want to hike.

sunrise to sunset

Moderate/ Difficult 
(Steepness, altitude, elevation gain)
Trailhead- 4260'
Bear Flat- 5530
Total Gain- 1270'

All year but winter may bring snow

Entrance Fee:
An Adventure pass is needed. To buy one online click here you can also find a location near you here.

Cell Service:
T-Mobile- I had no service down at Mt. Baldy Village and most of the trail till I got almost to Bear Flat where the trail comes out of the forest to show you amazing views of Mt. Baldy Village and surrounding mountains but I didn't have service at Bear Flat.

Bear Canyon Trail- 3.6 miles round trip
Ridge Point- 7.4 miles round trip

Trail Condition:
The trail is well traveled and well maintained but if you decide to take the slightly longer way there are small parts of the trail that are very unsettling.

Trail Directions:
Starting at Mt. Baldy Village Church parking lot follow the small paved road up the mountain past a bunch of cabins. In about 0.4 mile we reached the end of the paved road and the beginning of the trail. Cross the creek and follow the trail for about 10 minutes where the trail splits with a small wooden sign pointing to the right to Mt. Baldy summit. Going to the right is the main trail to Bear Flat; we decided to follow the trail to the left.

If you decided to take the trail to the left it will cross the creek along some cool looking bridges and climbs some steep rock steps then passes a few old cabins (make sure to keep a sharp look out for the last cabin the trail looks like it keeps going climbing up the mountain dead ending at a large pile of rocks, if you have hit these turn around you have gone way to far!) directly in front of the last cabin, cross the creek and follow the trail as it climbs steeply up to rejoin the main trail.

Eventually there will be a small water tank on the left side of the trail. The trial switch back and climbs the slope to an open stretch with stunning views of Mt. Baldy Village down below and the surrounding mountains. The open stretch of the trail is very short as the trail loops back and enters the shade of the forest. Continue following the trail to Bear Flat where we crossed the small creek entering into bear flat.

Other Activities:
Trail Running

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Jessie's Thoughts:
I loved this trail! It was by far the hardest trail I have done because of the elevation gain and steepness of the trail but I can not wait to go back and continue past Bear Flat to the summit. I wouldn't recommend this trail to families with young children, and if you are not used to hiking in this elevation take the trail slow, there is no rush. Once we got to Bear Flat we sat with our feet in the ice cold water as we ate out lunch. Exploring the area there's not much to do as most of Bear Flat is covered in tall brush with a small trail snaking through.


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