San Antonio

  • San Antonio
  • 3068 m
  • Primary factor 1903 m
  • Location: North 34:17.348, West 117:38.790 (GPS at the summit)
  • California, USA
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2 (mainly 1)
  • Climbed: July 6, 2008


How to get there: This mountain is located near Los Angeles. Locate I-15 (going to Las Vegas) and note its junction with Hwy. 138 (Antelope). This is north-east of Los Angeles. Drive 8.2 miles north-west on Hwy. 138, then turn left and continue 5 more miles in order to enter the small village of Wrightwood. Measure from this point. First, drive 3.7 miles to Big Pines where the Forest Service has a Ranger station on your right. Stop here and get an Adventure Pass (US dollar 5), it is needed in order to park legally at the trailhead. At mile 3.8, stay left in the road fork, then continue to the crest (hilltop) at mile 5.7. Your road turns off left at this point. There are signs for Guffy Campground. This road is rough, but can be driven (with care) by an ordinary car. At mile 7.0 you cross a ski area, continue straight. The road now runs along the crest of the mountains with quite a nice view. At mile 10.7, you are in a downhill section with a road fork. The left fork serves Guffy Campground, continue downhill along the right fork. At mile 11.2 there is another fork, stay left here. At mile 13.4, you should be near a big left curve, where one may park on the right side. This is the trailhead, location N34:19.759, W117:38.190, elevation 2533 meter. Park here.
Route description: San Antonio Peak is called "Mount Baldy" by all the locals in the area. It is one of three very prominent peaks in the Los Angeles area, the other two being San Gorgonio and San Jacinto. This trail follows the ridge system that connects the high ridge road with the peak. Along the way, two independent mountains are traveresed as well.
From the parking, descend (about 40 m) to a first col at 2490 meter, then climb a small subsidiary peak at 2608 meter. This top has about 30 meter of prominece as you descend to its key col on the far side. From here, the trail to Pine mountain runs directly up the ridge. This trail is fairly steep in the very beginning, then more gentle higher up. There is a very short section (a few meter only) where the trail is somewhat destroyed and the terrain is steep enough to rate this section as (YDS) class 2. Otherwise, this hike is entirely (YDS) class 1. (Thus, I have rated Pine, Dawson and San Antonio all as (YDS) class 2 hikes.) Continue higher on a good trail and reach the nice summit of Pine Mountain. The very highest point is about 10 meter from the trail, just before this trail starts its descent to the next col along the route. You are now at elevation 2941 meter and must next descend about 152 vertical meter in order to reach the next col. Continue downhill, then climb Dawson Peak (2918 m) via a very gentle uphill. Here, the trail traverses close, but still a few more meter below the summit. Go left and visit the summit for a well deserved break. From Dawson, there is a nice, but fairly long downhill to the last col before San Antonio, this col is at elevation 2676 meter. The nice trail now runs uphill to the summit of San Antonio (Mount Baldy).
Note: There are several trails serving San Antonio, but this one is perhaps among the nicest, not a monotone uphill, but rather a very enjoyable hike along the main ridge. The total vertical gain of this round trip hike is 1469 meter.
Comments: I had stayed the night in Baker and opted for a rather late start. San Antonio would not be a morning hike under any circumstances. I left my car at 12 noon, the temperature was around 90 F and I decided to take along 2.5 liter of water. I reached the summit after 2.5 hours at 1430. For the first time on this hike since I arrived in Salt Lake city, I actually met some people on a summit. They had all come along different (from my route) trails. I had a good, 15 minute break before returning. This route make you climb two other summits twice, quite a bonus. I was back at my car by 1655, a very nice 5 hour hike in good warm weather.