Access to Baldy Notch year round via ski-lift, cutting down the effort required to reach the summit of Mt. Baldy (elevation 10,064′) by close to half of the next shortest route is what allows Mt. Baldy to be in this challenge. It is the highest and likely the most popular summit in Angeles National Forest. Just above treeline and extreme in many respects Mt. Baldy is simultaneously challenging and accessible (I’ve seen young children at the summit–though, not in snow). All routes to Mt. Baldy traverse incredible terrain with stretches that are strenuous. The shortest route from Baldy Notch via the remarkable Devil’s Backbone Trail is around 6.4 miles and 2,225′ of gain and achievable for most people who like to hike.
View from Mt. Baldy looking toward West Baldy in snow.