Icehouse Canyon to Mt. Baldy

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Hike: Icehouse Canyon to Icehouse Saddle, Three Tee’s trail to Baldy Notch, Devil’s Backbone Trail to Mt. Baldy, Baldy Bowl Trail to Manker Flats.

Note: This hike requires a car shuttle from Manker Flats to Icehouse Saddle.

Stats: Icehouse Saddle to Mt. Baldy: 12.2 miles, 6785′ gain, 1856′ loss.  Mt. Baldy to Manker Flats: 4.2 miles, 3904′ loss.  Total Loop: 16.4 miles, 6785′ gain, 5760′ loss.

Trailhead: Icehouse Canyon

From the Icehouse Canyon Trailhead, head up Icehouse Canyon.

Icehouse Canyon Trailhead

At the lower junction with the Chapman Trail, continue straight up Icehouse Canyon

Lower Junction Icehouse Canyon and Chapman Trails

At the Upper Junction with the Chapman Trail turn right and head up to Icehouse Saddle

Upper Junction of Icehouse Canyon and Chapman Trails

From Icehouse Saddle there are several trailheads, but they are all clearly marked.  Ttake the Three Tee’s Trail.

Three Tee’s Trailhead at Icehouse Saddle

At the Junction with the Timber Mountain Trail, continue on the Three Tee’s Trail.  This will take you down into a saddle and then up to Telegraph Peak.  Optionally, you could add a summit trek up to Timber Mountain but that isn’t calculated in the stats above.

Junction at Timber Mountain

At the junction to Telegraph Peak, continue along the Three Tee’s Trail.  This will take you down into another saddle and up to Thunder Mountain.  Like Timber Mountain, the trail to the summit isn’t calculated in the stats above.

Junction at Telegraph Peak

Close to Thunder Mountain Peak you will see another trail sign giving distances back down to  Icehouse Canyon.  Continue up toward the Peak (again reaching the Peak isn’t in the stats above).

Trail Marker at end of Three Tee’s Trail near the Thunder Mountain Peak.

View leading up to Thunder Mountain

On the left side of the road/ski run leading to the summit of Thunder Mountain is a road that leads down to Baldy notch.

Road leading down to Baldy Notch

As you head down the road, you will see a split.  On the left is a ski run.  Continue along the road to the right.

Junction with ski run. Continue down road on right.

A good landmark to pay attention to is a small reservoir you will pass close to Baldy Notch

Reservoir along road connecting Baldy Notch and Thunder Mountain

Down at Baldy Notch, you reach a junction of three roads.  The left one  leads down to the ski lift area, another on the right leads down to Stockton Flat.  The one you want to take is the one in middle leading up to the Devil’s Backbone Trail.

View of junction at Baldy notch showing road to the left leading down and middle road leading up to the Devil’s Backbone Trail to Mt. Baldy.

View of junction at Baldy Notch showing road on the right leading down and middle road leading up to Devil’s Backbone Trail to Mt. Baldy

From here you can take the road up to the top of the ski lift and the beginning of the Devil’s Backbone Trail, or you can take the path that isn’t as steep.  This path switchbacks under the ski lift a few times and and meets the steeper road in a couple places.  I prefer to take the path.

The first junction of the path and the road. The path is on the left.

The second junction with the path and road. Again, the path is on the left

Devil’s Backbone starts at the top of the ski lift and leads to Mt. Baldy.

Top of ski lift marking the beginning of the Devil’s Backbone Trail to Mt. Baldy

From this point it’s straightforward to follow the trail up to Mt. Baldy.  At Mt. Baldy, there is an optical illusion when viewing West Baldy where West Baldy appears taller.  While it’s a nice trek to West Baldy (and once there you will verify it is lower), you are indeed standing on Mt. Baldy.  Significantly, the trail leading by West Baldy is the Mt. Baldy Trail which leads down to the Visitor’s Center–not Manker Flats.

View toward West Baldy

There are four major trails that converge at the summit.  The North Backbone Trail leads down to Mt. Dawson and Pine Mountain.

View down the North Backbone Trail

This hike continues down the Baldy Bowl trail leading to Manker Flats.

View down Baldy Bowl Trail

This trail is fairly obvious to follow.  However, the first time attempting it you might feel some concern as there are multiple paths that constantly criss-cross their way down the mountain.  The one spot where it’s important to go a certain way (and may not be immediately obvious whether or not you’re proceeding in the right direction)  is marked with a sign.

Sign in key spot showing the way to continue down the Baldy Bowl Trail down to Manker Flats.

From this point you will just follow the trail down to the bottom of the bowl, then past the San Antonio Ski Hut, and finally reach the road leading down to Manker Flats.

Junction of Baldy Bowl Trail and road leading to Baldy Notch

Along the road leading down to Manker Flats, there is a great view of San Antonio Falls.

San Antonio Falls

The road then turns to pavement and leads down to Manker Flats.

Paved road leading down to Manker Flats

9 thoughts on “Icehouse Canyon to Mt. Baldy

  1. I enjoyed this route which was a training hike for an upcoming 90 mile trip I have planned on the JMT. I had 35 lbs in my pack and averaged 2mph for the entire trek of 24.4 miles up and back. A very enjoyable and challenging hike!


  2. I trekked from Icehouse trailhead to Mt Baldy and went back down the same way in 12.5 hours 24.4 miles on Sat 8/24. This was as challenging as cactus to clouds and the views were equally spectacular.

    Hiker Life


    • Hi Ivan, it’s definitely feasible especially because you’re doing it on a weekend and can refill your water supply at the Top of the Notch restaurant at Baldy Notch. Have a great trip! If it’s too windy you can stay the night at the inconspicuous campground between the summit and the ski hut:


  3. Pingback: Icehouse Canyon to Mt. Baldy | Hiking Angeles Forest

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