Since I had a day off a couple of weeks back I decided to knock off a peak I had been looking at for quite a while, Mount Baden-Powell (9,407 feet). I knew that snow had been sporadic and that the trail was mostly on northerly facing slopes so there was probably going to be a decent amount of snow on the trail. Sure enough, driving down the highway I could see mostly clear ridges to the south but decent amounts of snow and ice on the north. Getting parked and on the trail was easy, as there was a nice parking lot at the base of the peak. I believe the area is called Vincents Gap and the trail for Mount Baden-Powell is actually part of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) so everything was well marked and easy to find. Since there was a legitimate amount of snow on the ground I had some of my ice gear with me but only ended up using my poles as a few people had broken trail before me and I had a clear path to the top. This also shortened up the hike a bit, which is usually about 8 miles round trip; however, since I was not following the actual trail with all of then snow I had a straighter, albeit steep, shot to the peak.
Not only is this hike a very cool section of the PCT but it has amazing views all its own, once you start gaining elevation, views of the desert to the north and Mt Baldy to the south are amazing. Being it was a week day, I was literally the only person on the trail which provided some great quiet and tranquil hiking, just the way I like to spend a day in the woods. While getting to the peak is no easy task, this is a shorter hike so I summited after only about 2 hours. On the summit of the peak is a interesting monument placed by the Boy Scouts of America with a plaque dedicated to Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the World Scouting Movement. I was never a boy scout but this was pretty cool to see on a peak and provided a nice area to rest and enjoy the views. The weather was nice but it got a bit cold with the wind so after spending some time enjoying the views and snapping some pictures I headed back down the trail.
Overall I really enjoyed this hike, great views, the perfect length, some snow and ice thrown into the mix and I even got to hike a section of the PCT! I would highly recommend this hike to anyone, while there is some decent elevation gain, this hike won’t take you all day and could also be a great training hike for longer adventures.
Duration: 3 hours, 23 Minutes
Length: 5.2 Miles
Avg Speed: 1.5 mph
Elevation Gain: 3,284
Trail Map: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1523081