Mt. Baldy in Upland, CA
Mt. Baldy, also known as Mt. San Antonio, is nestled in the San Gabriel mountains of California. In the winter, you’ll find these mountains covered in snow. But like most So-Cal winters, the hot days keep the snow only at very high elevations. This makes for easy hiking trails as the beginner paths stay generally clear. You’ll find a happy medium as you come across patches of snow on the sides of the trail and along the riverbed, but you won’t have to trek through anything serious.
There are tons of different hiking trails to try out, from easy all the way to expert. This beginner to moderate hike begins near the bottom of the ski lift (where you can take a scenic ride to a mountain top restaurant!). There are multiple ways to enter and exit the hike. A popular way is climbing a steep hill for about half a mile where you’ll then reach a fork in the path on flatter land. Whichever way you choose, you’ll find that the beginning part of the hike was the hardest part. It might leave you out of breath, but you’ll be grateful for the amazing views once you get over the hump.
Mt. Baldy is also a great place for an overnight or weekend getaway. While I wouldn’t recommend camping in the winter, there are charming lodges to rent in the quaint village at the bottom of the mountain. Here you’ll find shops, pubs and restaurants.
While the closest city major city is Upland, these mountains are part of the Los Angeles National Forest. This land was home to the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe. You can learn more about the tribe as they share their culture through educational events at the Mt. Baldy Environmental Education Center.