I found the sections after leaving the Notch and before reaching the summit to be far more strenuous/slippery than the Backbone itself. It was a breeze.
Trail after leaving fire road was steeper than expected, bit of a slog, but extremely happy to stop at "Top of The Notch" for burger & fries!
I tried summiting a week earlier without proper crampons or an axe. Turned around at the start of devils backbone, was just too slippery with all the snow/ice this year. Headed back up the following week with crampons and an axe and summited despite the ~50 mph winds blowing over the ridge, very exciting! A great hike that takes about 4-6 hours if you're moving quickly. I managed to jog up and down the fire road from Manker flats / Falls trailhead to the ski lodge.
Drove down from the Bay Area for a conference in Palm Springs - after visiting the downtown LA library I drove up to Manker Flat and hiked up to the ski lodge and took the Devil's Backbone trail up to Baldy with a side visit to West Baldy and Harwood on a fine afternoon. Barely any snow to be found anywhere, and none on the trail. Trip report is HERE.
Ascended via Devil's Backbone, and descended via San Antonio Ski Hut. Great loop. I think best to take Backbone up and Ski Hut down. But I'm sure vice versa is good, as well. Skip a few miles by hiking up ski lift. Strenuous, but saves time.
great views along the backbone. up the fire road, across the backbone, down the ski hut trail.
Up Harwood then up Baldy from the Backbone
Very fun snowshoeing. It's a very photogenic route in the wintertime, too bad I didn't bring a camera...
to the notch!
Stunning views of Mount Harwood's East Face and other surrounding peaks, nice exposure along the ridge, and a very fun trail.
We started soon after midnight and had a big bright moon over our shoulders for most of the trip and made it to the summit just in time to catch the sun rise above the massive sea of clouds below us. Took the San Antonio Ski Hut/Baldy Bowl Route back down.
We used this route as a training hike for our Mt. Whitney climb, mainly for the roundtrip distance.
I like to do the bowl but sometimes will come down this route to save my knees. Then I think it's about the same.
From Manker to Baldy then Harwood and back to Notch. Great hike.
Loved this trail, steep and rocky in spots but it has to be, wonderful views, and fabulous wind-stunted trees along the way.
Good hike to the summit however I prefer routes to the summit past the ski hut, or if modivated from Baldy Village.
Climbed the bowl and descended the backbone to the notch
I could go for hiking this trail, but instead I ran it in the "Baldy Run to the Top". Amazing views!
Interesting warm, windy, cold, sunny, dusty hike with my daughter who has found that she really does enjoy hiking more than 2 miles! Her first 10K summit was a thrill for me as well. Actually saw 3 other humans and NO the lifts weren't running. :P
I actually went up the ski hut/bowl trail, and came down the backbone. I just hate out and back type hikes. Anyway, this trail is amazing! I have to try this hike again in reverse. I can't wait for winter to get here now. I can only imagine how beautiful this ridgeline would look with snow!
Hiked up directly under the ski lifts to Baldy Notch and then the Devil's Backbone. Not too many people on the summit; about 15-20 at 10am.