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Snowshoeing at Mt. Baldy – March, 2012

Saturday, August 29th, 2015 by

We’ve had a few days of weather reminding us that fall is approaching, and term has started already for Nathan, but the summer weather appears to be back for a few weeks now. So, in honor of appreciating the last few weeks of summer, let’s talk about snow in LA, yes?

March 18 – 2012, I went with Jenny, and we went and walked around at Mt. Baldy a bit (around Manker Flats, the waterfall, and the fireroad). It was another example of the variability I love to see in the outdoors you can experience in the greater LA area – if you’re willing to take advantage of it. Or if someone calls you up and encourages you to take advantage of it 🙂

Water still falling

This was another little last minute thing. There had been a good storm, and Jenny rang me up and asked if I wanted to go for a quick snowshoe jaunt. She didn’t really know so much of what was up near Baldy yet, and I knew a bit, but not so much more about this snow travel version of it, but I said heck, let’s go for it. I don’t think we ended up doing quite as much travel as maybe we could have, but overall I think we still got a really nice day and some awesome things to see out of it.

As usual with trips heading up to wintry things in Southern California, the drive itself was begun in sunny and green landscape (it is the paradox of SoCal that the lower elevations are much greener in the winter than other times seasonably 🙂 But soon we started to see the hillsides around us dusted in snow. Then a bit more than dusted. Then verging into heavily covered. When we stopped at the visitor’s center to get our permit, I would in fact say that there was “a lot” of snow – involving even seeing all the yuccas all snow covered, which never ceases to entertain me. Shortly after that, we pulled over at the chain station, just before the road starts some of its real crazy up sections, and Jenny got to learn how to put on her new “quick, easy” chains, which of course, this being the first application, were neither quick, nor easy. However, neither were they overly difficult, and we proceeded onwards, quickly getting to Manker Flats parking where we stopped car travel, getting ready to continue with on foot.

Snow dusting

More than just a dusting now…

We started on up the fire road, and unlike some of my prior adventures up this way, we got to snow basically right away. We had our snowshoes on well before the first turn in the road, by the waterfall. However, instead of continuing up, we ducked over and down, towards the waterfall, which was great fun, as I had never gone over and seen it up close before. It was going pretty gangbusters, providing some great tumbling water and slush, then running under the snow all around us. It’s only a small waterfall, but watching it tumble down in the middle of a snowy day in southern california was a pretty memorable experience, and some truly impressive icicles hanging around. After tramping around there a bit, we continued on up the fireroad, and for once, rather than turning up the side trail towards the ski hut, we stayed on the fire road. Total craziness.

approaching the falls


The snow started getting pretty deep, and we got to some unmarked parts – breaking some trail, which is always harder work than I imagine it is going to be. We walked on, and the road curves around a small valley, and then ends up at the bottom of a hill where, looking up, you can sort of kind of see some of the Baldy Ski area well up above you. I think some of our original intent was to maybe try and get up there and have a nice warm drink, but it was going to be quite a great deal of uphill, and I think it was 80% my decision, with 20% of Jenny agreeing, but also looking wistfully upwards, that we decided we should head back. To the car, but from there, only to Baldy Village, where we stopped in at the restaurant and got ourselves some hot chocolate and people watching 🙂

“fire road”

group shot

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