Trailhead: Vincent Gap parking lot
Length: 8.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 2900 ft.
Difficulty: Strenuous, but a great first peak, kinda peak.
Total time: 4 hours
Parking: Adventure pass required
Most hikers in So Cal are all gaga over Baden-Powell, but I wasn’t that into it. To be fair I’d just hiked Whitney and Cactus to Clouds prior to slogging up BP, so I was pretty snobby about it and complained that it was boring the entire time because in comparison it wasn’t as difficult as two of the hardest climbs in California. Also the view wasn’t as great as the Sierras, because, hello, THE SIERRAS.
However, because it IS so popular I thought I’d write it up so that I can generate more traffic to my site. Wait, did I type that out loud?
What I can say about this trail, is that it’s a reasonable distance with an elevation gain that is just enough to challenge you but not kill you. And, it’s covered for most of it, so you can do this one in the summer and not fry. The trail is also very well kept and extremely easy to follow.
Towards the top of the trail everything opens up and the canopy of trees disappates. You’ll also begin to see limber pines which have been around for over a thousand years.
Wally Waldron, named after a Boy Scout leader, is the most famous of the limber pines, estimated to be 1500 years old, so you know, almost as old as the laptop they make me carry around to do presentations at work.
The top also has an American flag, which was fairly recently replaced by those conscientious members at Lazy Ass Hiking. This flag actually was donated by a member named Ozzy who was celebrating his brand spankin’ new U.S. Citizenship.
This peak is definitely a great one for someone who has done enough conditioning hikes and is ready to tackle his or her first peak. I’d suggest trying this one between April – October to avoid massive snow fall, although you will probably see some snow into early May #elnino.