Supermoon Overnight on
Mt. Baden- Powell

June 2013
From the end of our street one of the big mountains we can see is Mt.
Baden-Powell, one of the highest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains and named
after the founder of the Boy Scouts.  It's been calling my name for a while so I
asked Nick and Albert if they'd join me on a dayhike up the mountain.   However,
with the prospect of seeing the Supermoon, we decided to make it an overnighter
and camp on top.  So we loaded up on water and set out on this well-traveled trail,
being that it is a section of the PCT and tops off on a scenic peak with an amazing

I was off my game, for sure, on the hike.  I've worked a lot of overtime lately on
a fire, and haven't gotten much sleep.  From Vincent Gap the trail climbs 2,800'
in 4 miles and has 41 switchbacks.  But since we had all day to do it, even though I
was slow we made it in plenty of time to enjoy the view, rest and eat, set up
camp, and watch the moon rise.

1.5 miles up the trail there is a side trail to a small spring.  There was water, but
just enough to nourish the scarlet monkeyflower and white shooting stars.  I'm
glad we carried all our water, even though the weight slowed me down.  As the
trail climbed higher the white fir gave way to Lodgepole Pine, and above 9,000'
the first Limber Pines appeared.  The best part for me were the amazingly
beautiful and ancient limber pines atop the mountain.  Of course I loved the
famous Wally Tree, named after a Boy Scout volunteer, with its ancient wood
glowing orange at sunset.  But all the gnarled pines near the summit were duly

We watched the sun set and the moon rise, talked to some boy scouts who
summited on a night hike, and then went to sleep sometime around 10 pm.  I had
set up my tent next to a huge limber pine which helped block the wind that came
and went throughout the night.  I slept okay despite this being the first night
I've spent away from my son!

In the morning we ate breakfast, packed up, and headed further west along the
backbone of the mountains.  We had left a car 4.3 miles away at Dawson Saddle,
so it made for a nice shuttle hike.  Along the way we admired the views south to
the cloud-filled Los Angeles basin and north towards the wide-open Mojave
Desert.  I also enjoyed the plethora of lupine, blue penstemon, and buckwheat
blooming along the trail.

We got back to the car around noon, then drove to Vincent Gap to pick up the
other vehicle, then on to Wrightwood.  We ate at a Mexican Restaurant there -
an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch!  Chorizo with eggs, chile relleno, and all the
watermelon and cantaloupe I could eat.  It was yummy

Here are some pics...
Mt. Islip is at the center of this photo

More pics here!

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That's Mt. Baldy across the way