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#17867 - 08/28/11 11:12 AM Can Someone describe Bear Canyon Trail up Baldy?
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 564
Loc: Murrieta, CA
Considering Bear Canyon Trail up Baldy. I did a search on the internet, but couldn't find good descriptions, pics, etc. I figure since many of you have done this one, you would be a great resource. If you could describe course, terrain, exposure (if any), times, etc., it would be most appreciated. I know the distance is 6.4 to the summit with 5800+ elevation gain. One site had it as 7 to 8 hours to the summit and that seemed a bit long. wazzu went a few weeks ago and told me it was really tough, but she's on Whitney now.

Thanks in advance.
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#17870 - 08/28/11 12:46 PM Re: Can Someone describe Bear Canyon Trail up Baldy? [Re: quillansculpture]
AlanK Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 583
Loc: Glendale, CA
I do the Bear Flat Trail a lot. It is a straightforward trail after a short climb up the road from the ranger station. The only exposure in summer is to the sun. Most people single out the switchbacks past Bear Flat as a particularly hot section. Once past those, most of the rest is along a scenic ridge. There are a lot of nice views in various directions. It is a steep trail, but definitely a trail all the way.

My GPS usually indicates about 6.25 miles from the Ranger Station. Times vary widely. I typically plan on three hours up, but I tend to hike quickly. I would guess that 4.5 - 6 hours up is typical.

I have posted many pictures of this route over the years. Here is one trip.


Edited by AlanK (08/28/11 12:59 PM)

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#17876 - 08/28/11 04:18 PM Re: Can Someone describe Bear Canyon Trail up Baldy? [Re: AlanK]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
Alan - do you return the same way? Spot a car a Manaker Flats? Another variation?

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#17877 - 08/28/11 05:56 PM Re: Can Someone describe Bear Canyon Trail up Baldy? [Re: KevinR]
AlanK Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 583
Loc: Glendale, CA
Originally Posted By: KevinR
Alan - do you return the same way? Spot a car a Manaker Flats? Another variation?
I have tried three finishes to the Bear Flat Trail. One is to go back down the same way. The second is to do down by the Ski Hut to Manker Flat and then walk down the road. The third is to do a multi-peak hike that ends up at the Ice House Canyon trailhead. In the latter two cases, I park at Ice House and start out by walking down to the village on the road.

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#17891 - 08/29/11 05:26 AM Re: Can Someone describe Bear Canyon Trail up Baldy? [Re: AlanK]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
Thanks, Alan.

I've only done Bear Canyon trail once, and did it with NormaR. We didn't want to return directly to the ranger station, so headed down to the hut using the same route quillansculpture did (more or less), and then hitched from Manaker Flats. We were lucky and got a ride quickly, and as we rode back it struck me how unsafe a roadwalk that would have been.

I've descended that scree slope in 3 spots, not much fun but it is fast. Would not want to ascend it except in winter. My hat's off to quillansculpture.

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#17892 - 08/29/11 05:33 AM Re: Can Someone describe Bear Canyon Trail up Baldy? [Re: KevinR]
AlanK Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 583
Loc: Glendale, CA
Originally Posted By: KevinR
Thanks, Alan.

I've only done Bear Canyon trail once, and did it with NormaR. We didn't want to return directly to the ranger station, so headed down to the hut using the same route quillansculpture did (more or less), and then hitched from Manaker Flats. We were lucky and got a ride quickly, and as we rode back it struck me how unsafe a roadwalk that would have been.

I've descended that scree slope in 3 spots, not much fun but it is fast. Would not want to ascend it except in winter. My hat's off to quillansculpture.

I have walked down the road on weekdays, when there are very few vehicles on it. It is not bad, except that it is a road. On Saturday? That's a different story. I would avoid the road, except maybe the jaunt to the Village from Icehouse at 5:30 AM.

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#17893 - 08/29/11 05:42 AM Re: Can Someone describe Bear Canyon Trail up Baldy? [Re: AlanK]
Cindy Abbott Offline


Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 98
Loc: Irvine, California
It's long and steep which makes for a good work-out. As mentioned, completely exposed to the sun so start early. Trail is straight forward but during the summer, I found the steep, hard-pan loose dirt going down hard on my 52 year old knees.

If possible, I would go up Bear and come down Manaker (and have a second car).
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#17958 - 08/30/11 03:21 PM Re: Can Someone describe Bear Canyon Trail up Baldy? [Re: quillansculpture]
ejsurfs Offline


Registered: 03/31/11
Posts: 43
Loc: OC, CA
I don't recommend Bear Canyon. I did not enjoy it but that's just me. The lose gravel is really bad the entire way. The views were different from devil's backbone and baldy bowl.
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