Type: Snow, 3000 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 878 total · 14/month
Shared By: Nick Mudd on Nov 28, 2013
Admins: jt512, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin ., Vicki Schwantes

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The Devil's Backbone is the sharp ridge extending due east from the summit of Mt. Baldy, across neighboring Mt. Hardwood, and down past the ski resort to the valley floor. It is a fun way to the top, offering exposed traverses with 1000+ft slopes on either sides, incredible views of the surrounding mountains (and the Sierras on a clear day), vast snowfields, and of course the summit of Mt. Baldy.


Park at the end of Mt. Baldy Rd. and either walk up the access road or take the ski lift to Top of the Notch restaurant. Some may consider it cheating to take the lift, but all you're skipping is a boring 1 hour trudge up a gravel road.

Have a nice breakfast at the restaurant, then head up Backbone road until it ends (about a mile). From there, veer to the left and follow the Backbone all the way to Mt. Baldy. It's impossible to get lost of the ridge itself--there's only two ways you can go: forward and back (and down, but try to avoid that). When you reach Mt. Harwood's huge snowfield, skirt the lower, southern edge of it and you will come to the saddle between Hardwood and Baldy. Cross it, and you'll find yourself at the base of the final slope up to Baldy's summit. Hang out, high-five, drink something warm (it can be VERY windy and cold on top), and head back down. Can be done easily in one day.


Ice ax & crampons in winter. During/after heavy snowfall there can be ice, deep drifts, and cornices on the ridge, with a very long way to fall, so basic mountaineering skills are suggested.


Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
Great work, Nick. Much better than the other route descriptions posted for the Mt. San Antonio area. Mar 21, 2014