For those who want to try a new approach to summiting Mt Baldy but are not ready to attempt Bighorn Ridge, this route is for you. For the purpose of this route page, the Lookout Mountain Ridge route starts on the summit of Lookout Mountain #2, technically one of the many bumps along the ridge. The description and routes to the top of Lookout Mountain can be found on its respective summitpost web page. The route photo shows Lookout Mtn, the ridge behind it (center left), and the Mt Baldy Village trail ridge (center right.) Route page photo courtesy of Mountain Impulse.
View shows the north side of Bump 6930' (Lookout Mtn is hidden behind) and several lesser bumps from the West Fork Bear Canyon saddle. The route behind the photographer begins the steep ascent of the ridge to the Village Trail. Photo taken by Richard Piotrowski. More photos of Richard's trip up the West Fork variant and then Lookout Mountain Ridge can be found here.
While any route may be used to ascend Lookout Mtn Ridge to Lookout Mtn, parking at the Bear Canyon Trailhead simplifies a loop trip. Parking can be found at the Visitor Center in Mt Baldy Village or in a couple of spots on Bear Canyon Road (most spots are for residential parking.)
For those with a sense of adventure, the route description can be limited to “follow the ridge line until you meet the Mt Baldy Village Trail.” A use trail leaves the top of Lookout Mtn and heads east along the ridge. The trail can be followed around bump 6930’ or the bump can be climbed directly. About half way around the bump, the use trail descends towards West Fork Bear Canyon, presumably somewhere below the saddle just north of bump 6640’. Alternatively, you can stay high dodging brush until the ridgeline is reached. Follow the ridge up and down until it meets the top of the canyon. At this point, it’s a matter of climbing the steep ridge contouring first north than northeast until the Village Trail is met at about 8400 feet. The ridge abounds with bighorn sheep trails that can provide some relief from the unrelenting slope.
Late evening photo taken of the ridge climbing up to the Village Trail ridge. Lookout Mountain prominent in the center of the photo. Photo taken by Rick Kent on his 11 Peak day hike.
No special equipment required. In the summer, ensure that you bring sufficient water along. In the winter, crampons and ax may be required if snow is present on the steep faces.
"After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world."
--Oscar Wilde on Absinthe