Have a Baldy

When the biggest mountain in the San Gabriels decides to form a waterfall, it doesn't hold back. San…

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When the biggest mountain in the San Gabriels decides to form a waterfall, it doesn’t hold back. San Antonio Falls thunders in three tiers down Mount Baldy’s southern face. Unlike Baldy’s 10,068-foot summit, the waterfall is easy to reach, requiring just 1.2 miles (round-trip) of hiking. The first half mile of the hike is paved and leads to a horseshoe bend where the falls can be seen—and heard—churning through a trench in the mountainside. Capping the drama is the summit of Baldy, visible if you can crane your neck to look that high. A spur path drops down to the creek. Grab a seat on a boulder and watch the oasis tumble and crash. Those who are sure-footed can rock hop to the other side, though common sense should prevail: this water’s so cold it stings. On the return journey, take in a long view down San Antonio Canyon toward Pomona Valley. As the old saying goes, Baldy’s beautiful.

Take I-210 toward Claremont to the Baseline Rd. exit. At the end of the ramp, turn left and make an immediate right on Padua Ave. Drive 1.8 miles north to Mount Baldy Rd. Turn right and drive 7 miles into the mountains to Mount Baldy Village where a $5 National Forest Adventure Pass can be purchased from the Mount Baldy Visitor Center. Proceed another 4.4 miles up Mount Baldy Rd. Pass Manker Flats Campground and find roadside parking on the left near the Falls Rd. intersection. Display your Adventure Pass and begin hiking up Falls Rd. When the waterfall comes into view at a major turn in the road, continue straight down a dirt path to the falls. Dog-friendly!

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