Old Baldy Trail

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 31.70600°N / 110.844°W
Route Type: Hike
Time Required: Half a day
Difficulty: Walk-up


You can take either the Old Baldy trail or the Super trail to Mt. Ian. Both start at the parking lot at the end of Madera Canyon road. Also, both trails meet at Josephine Saddle (7,060 ft.) and again at Baldy Saddle (8800 ft.). The Super trail is longer, more gradual, and arguably more scenic. The Old Baldy trail, covered here, is shorter and more steep.

Route Description

You access the Old Baldy trail from the south end of the parking lot - while other trails split off near the very beginning there are signs and it is easy to stay on the correct trail. From here the trail switchbacks up toward Mt. Wrightson to the east, reaching Josephine Saddle after 2.2 miles. At this point the trail meets up with the Super trail and others, but once again simply follow the signs to stay on it.

From Josephine Saddle it's a steep 1.8 miles up through some rocky terrain to Baldy Saddle, where the Old Baldy trail once again meets the Super trail as well as the Crest trail. At this point Mt. Wrightson looms just to the south, and the ridgeline runs north. To follow the ridgeline to Mt. Ian, take the Crest trail and head north.

After about .7 of a mile, the trail starts to lose significant elevation (note: this is not just a "dip" in the trail, but a point where the trail starts heading down and continues to do so). Leave the trail here and bushwhack WNW onto Mt. Ian. This last part is short, but please observe minimum-impact standards, as there is no established or maintained trail. Once you reach the ridgeline you will see a number of high points. Look for the one with a cairn and check the register to see if you're on the right peak. As noted earlier, the Mt. Ian register says, "Rice Peak" but numerous climbers have corrected this.

Note: The Rice Peak cairn is on a point (not a summit) further north and there is a sign here stating that you are, indeed, on "Rice Peak".

Essential Gear

In the winter months gaiters, crampons, snowshoes and other gear may be necessary. For the rest of the year your regular hiking gear plus extra clothes for the summit should suffice.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.