We arrived at San Antonio early in the morning. The first thing we noticed was the snow that had just fell the night before. Once we mounted up, we were psyched to hike up San Antonio. Here in Southern California, snow is good news because it is not common. The snow coating gave me the feel of the Pacific Northwest, it was truly beautiful and just magnified the excitement to commence our trek.
San Antonio Mountain is also known as Mount Baldy. Less than an hour from downtown of Los Angeles, this destination is a favorite for many California hikers. After experiencing this magical mountain for myself, it is no wonder. At 10,066 feet tall, the summit is covered in snow until late spring, making it the tallest in Los Angeles County.
Today we hiked the 8.8-mile trail by using ski huts to traverse to the summit. While looking at the snowy field, I performed a safety check of the equipment (such as alligators, micro spikes, and hiking poles). After the successful safety check completion, we began climbing the mountain slowly.
Thanks to the snow falling the entire night before, the surroundings were covered with a blanket of glistening white. That made the scenery completely different from usual shades of brown and gold. In particular, the changing sea of clouds along the valley next to the trail made me feel as if I was walking on white and gray shadows. Due to the paucity of oxygen (that is common in such alpine areas) I stopped walking more often than usual, having to take a deep breath. Nevertheless, I was mesmerized by the wonderful natural scenery that was generously unfolded before my eyes.
We arrived at Ski Hut about 3 hours after departure. Through both the snow that spread beneath my feet and the white clouds that hovered above me, I could see the downtown Los Angeles skyline. The vantage point made it look like a miniature model. Both the snow and the distance helped mute the sounds of the civilized world as if it was absorbed by the snow. It is so quiet and pristine here in San Antonio Mountain. I ended up finishing today's hike with both a pleasant memory in my mind and a warm feeling in my heart.
Trailhead: 901-993 Falls Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759
Length/Est/ Difficulty: 4.6 mi (5 h +/-) / 2,004 ft /hard
Course | San Antonio Ski Hut
Hiking | Cocktail | Outdoor | Photography