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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