This small bouldering area lies at the base of the Baldy Bowl on Mt. San Antonio/Mt. Baldy. The approach is a long hike in but the views and cool temps during the summer months make it a fun place to visit. Descent granite and short sit start climbs are concentrated in a rock field below the summit.

Many climbs here have bad landings on the sharp broken rock that litter the floor. Bring a bouldering pad or two and please be courteous of day hikers sharing this popular trail.

Getting There

Take Mt. Baldy Road from the cities of Upland or Claremont. Drive up this road until you reach Manker Flats, then park at the upper end.

To the left side will be a paved and gated road (Falls Road). Walk and follow this for 0.6 mile to reach the San Antonio Falls.

Go up the hairpin turn and continue for another 0.3 mile, where you will see a narrow path on the left angling up the slope, with a sign that says Mt Baldy Trail. This is also known as the the Ski Hut Trail.

After 2.5 miles from the start of the Mt Baldy Trail, you will reach the Ski Hut itself. Follow the trail to the left past the Ski Hut, crossing a small creek, to where the trail curves west and ascends to a boulder field on both sides of the trail.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Rock Garden

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1-2 5
Natural Showmanship
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Natural Showmanship Piton Rock
V1-2 5 Boulder
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Foothill Ranch, CA
Dreifert   Foothill Ranch, CA
There are three bolts on top of the Natural Showmanship boulder. They have Metolius hangers and rusted washers, I'd trust them for a top rope belay for the backside of this boulder which is a steeper and taller version of the aforementioned slab on the front.

This place is a sweet ending to the steep 2.5mi approach. There was abundant clean water flowing in the stream nearby. The host at the ski hut let us use their sink for refills, which is piped from the same stream. Jun 10, 2012
All up in yo bidniss.
TacoDelRio   All up in yo bidniss.
FWIW the name of the largest boulder is Piton Rock, or so I've been told. Jan 14, 2013
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
Yep, Piton Rock, is what all the old timers told us they called it. Jun 2, 2013
Sarah Barron
Glendora, CA
Sarah Barron   Glendora, CA
For more about Piton Rock & the "old timers": sangabrielmnts.myfreeforum.… Aug 21, 2013
My experience at Manker Flats Campground - I was not that content with the atmosphere, but I'd typically prefer more secluded and private campgrounds. This offers neither but a heavily regulated campground with the fees demanded upon arrival nearly.

Ski Hut Trail Hike ( To reach Rock Garden )- The hike was one of the best I've ever done, meaning it was a difficult ascent. Taking pads will make it additionally fun.

Rock Garden- It was a nuisance to move around from boulder to boulder due to the extremity of rocks all around. Honestly, I would never suggest anyone to go there. Despite everything else, the boulders aren't worth it. Aug 8, 2015
Tony Yeary
Arcadia, Califoria
Tony Yeary   Arcadia, Califoria  
I think the Rock Garden is a fine outing when combined with a hike of Baldy or just a workout hike to the hut. Yes, it's not a great singular destination, yes the boulders are jumbled and it might be inconvenient to move easily from one to another, but that's how it can be in the alpine arena. For local alpine bouldering at 8k, it's not bad for So Cal. Mar 5, 2016