Conquering Mount Baden-Powell

Hi, Everyone! I know it’s been a while. Happy 2020!

I want to start the year with a new blog post. This is quite delayed. Sorry, life always gets in the way. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to share my experience because this is the hardest trail I ever hiked in my lifetime (so far). Most of you who follow my blog know I love to explore but I’m far from a professional hiker. I love short hikes ranging from 3-5 miles. I have to admit this hike was way above my amateur(ish) experience and I almost quit several times before I finally conquered it.

Mt. Baden-Powell is considered to be one of the highest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains with an elevation of 9,407 feet and an elevation gain of close to 3000 feet. It’s definitely a strenuous hike. I really thought I was prepared for it but it was far easier in my mind than it was in reality. 8.9 miles seems like a breeze with a way lower elevation gain right?

I was warned about the 40 long switchbacks I would encounter on my way to the top. I stopped counting after a couple and was ecstatic when I found a bench a mile and a half into it. Yes, I was that winded and I barely even started.

I was in no rush to complete this hike. I wanted to take my time even if it meant hiking the entire day. The views were rewarding and the people on the trail were nice and supportive. A lot of them were experienced hikers. Obviously, I was the only one struggling on the trail. It was a very popular trail for those training for an even more difficult hike which is Mt. Whitney -the highest peak in California. And I have no desire to hike that in the future. I’ve seen it from a distance and it sure is intimidating.

The stunning views kept me going. Good thing I packed enough food to help me every time I needed a little bit of energy.

I honestly have no idea how I reached the top there were parts where the trail was a bit narrow and you could easily slip and fall. A lot of accidents and deaths have occurred on this mountain and I made sure to be extremely careful.

I was glad I didn’t quit because I almost cried when I reached the peak. The exhilarating feeling knowing that I made it despite my legs cramping and entire body aching from the long hike. Most of all, the 360-degree view was absolutely gorgeous. I have no regrets. It was tough on the mind and body but I made it and it was a big accomplishment for me.


My tips for this trip:

1. This is not an easy hike and even if I hiked for months before this nothing really prepared me for it. Keep on hiking trails with higher elevation. Try to get accustomed to longer hikes before even attempting this hike.
2. Use a hiking staff or poles. I wouldn’t have survived without my hiking staff.
3. Bring water and food.
4. Start early. This is a heavily trafficked hike and the parking lot gets filled up easily.
5. If you’re hiking solo, please make sure that someone knows where you are, even if there are lots of people on the hike it’s always safer to hike with someone or at least inform your family or friends where your location will be.
6. Wear sturdy hiking shoes.
7. Bring a camera.

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54 Comments Add yours

  1. Many thanx for sharing your photos and info. Being a hiker, I know how important those tips are. Peace. Art

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Appreciate it 😊

      Like

    1. Bel says:

      Yes it is really gorgeous! Nothing beats nature ❀️

      Like

  2. Amielle says:

    The views are surely worth the struggle! Your photos are beautiful πŸ’–

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, definitely one of the things that kept me going. Thank you! 😊

      Like

  3. This is awesome, good for you! I know how good it feels to conquer a difficult climb. 40 switchbacks is CRAZY! The exposed hillsides would freak me out too! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      I know part of me was so tired that I was scared I would just slip and no one would ever find me. But I survived πŸ˜‚ Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Janet says:

    Wow, good job! I especially liked the photo of the narrow trail. Tip #5 is a really good one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you. It was a tough hike but so worth it once you reach the top. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. bo says:

    Your post is an inspirationβ€”thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Appreciate it 😊

      Like

  6. Pit says:

    Absolutely stunning pictures of a gorgeous landscape.
    And a Happy New Year to you, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! The landscapes were definitely so beautiful. Dangerous in some places but still amazing 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  7. mich says:

    what a beautiful view! i miss you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! Wish you were with me. It would have been crazy fun 😊

      Like

  8. Carly says:

    Congrats, Bel! Happy you pushed through! It seemed to be so rewarding! What stunning pictures! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I wish I have those same views where I live. Wishful thinking πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carly says:

        Haha! Me too! I live in Houston, it’s a great city, however, it’s still a city with a lot of buildings and traffic. I love how quiet nature can be! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Yes, the city is nice because of the convenience but I would no doubt trade it for a cabin in the woods. Nature is so soothing and destressing.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Carly says:

        So true! The city has sirens, dogs barking and lawn mowers. I would rather hear the rustling of the wind! But realistically, the convenience and social aspect is important too. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Bel says:

        I’m kind of a loner….So I can skip the social aspect but I do need the convenience of a grocery store that is at least a couple of miles away πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Carly says:

        lol! I can understand. I like my alone time too. πŸ™‚ But I personally, sometimes I enjoy a lot of social interaction. I actually took a personality test and I am not an extrovert or introvert but somewhere in between. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Bel says:

        Yes! It’s different for everyone.😊 It’s good to be in the middle. You get the best of both worlds 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Carly says:

        But I understand what you are saying Bel. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, Bel. What an accomplishment. That’s a long hike and a lot of elevation. But what gorgeous views. Thanks for sharing your adventure. I don’t see myself doing that one, so I’m glad you got the great pictures. Happy 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Hi Diana! Thanks a lot for dropping by. I truly appreciate it. Yes, it was quite the hike. I have no idea if I would even do it again. Who knows? The experience was worth it. Happy 2020 to you and your family! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Discover and Explore says:

    πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. buddy71 says:

    what was your total round trip time? when did you do this hike? great pics and story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      It was around September. I stayed for an hour on top to eat lunch and admire the view. So it took me at least 6 hours total. I was really slow πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. buddy71 says:

        that is a nice time frame since it was not a race and you were there to enjoy the hike.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Yeah I rarely rush through hikes. I like taking tons of pictures and just looking at the views I don’t get to see often. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. buddy71 says:

        😁😁😁

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Good job, Bel. Isn’t it lovely to have real mountains so close to so much citiy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, it’s the best thing ever! I feel like I stepped into a different world. Thank you for your comment 😊

      Like

  13. Congrats Bel on reaching your goal and the top of Mount Baden. I remember the ecstatic feeling when reaching the top of difficult hikes where I conquered internal fears and limits. And the joy of the views and wonderful condition I was in after a summer of travel and hiking in our National Parks. Maybe I’ll do it again someday. I know it would be different to do it in my 60’s, but I remember part of my inspiration was seeing elders who were in great shape hiking up the same mountains. Kudos and thanks for the fond memories. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Hi, Brad! Great to hear from you! The National Parks have amazing trails. And I’m pretty sure you can still hike them without a problem. The experienced hiker on the trail that helped me out was in his 70s and he was way more fit than I would ever hope to be. I’m a lazy and slow hiker – πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ You should definitely hike a tough one again. It’s never too late!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the encouragement Bel. Yes, I would love to hike some big mountains again.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Congratulations! So happy for you and proud of you, babygirl! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

    But…um, did you say NINE THOUSAND FEET? 😰😭🀒 *throws up then faints*

    πŸ˜„πŸ˜πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Yes 9000 feet is the peak but I only had to hike around 3k for the gain. But I know you hate heights…πŸ˜‚ I was bit scared of the peak too. It was a bit slippery!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The view of the SG mountains FROM my Pasadena home back in the day was enough for me. I love your sense of adventure! πŸ†πŸ‘

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Hey Pasadena used to be my favorite place in the world…😊❀️ I’m going to rub off some of my adventure on you!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ll take it! πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

        Liked by 1 person

  15. edgarone2 says:

    Hello Bel, Congratulations. You notched a hard achievement. It’s inspiring. I wish I can do that myself. Thank you. Edgar

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Trust me. If I can do it…anyone can! Haha! I don’t even know if I would have the energy to do it again but the experience was unforgettable 😊 Thank you!

      Like

  16. Jill says:

    The views look like they were well worth the struggle! There’s nothing like that view at the top where you can see the blue ridges of the mountains one after the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      It’s so peaceful up there I wish I didn’t have to go back to reality. The hike down was painful on the knees but I was so happy from the experience that I ignored it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Reblogged this on Griffin's Nest and commented:
    Truly inspiring!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you for the reblog 😊

      Like

  18. I am so glad you didn’t give up! You are so inspiring!! The photos are gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      The people on the hike were so encouraging to a struggling solo hiker. It gave me strength to just keep going (that and the tons of food I had in my backpack πŸ˜‚) Thank you for reading and appreciate the comment! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Meerykhati says:

    Hi !!! Bel awesome pics and nice post .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. Happy New Year 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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