Presidents’ Day Solo Hike

Peak SummitedMount Baldy
TrailheadManker Flats

The plan was to hike San Bernardino on Monday morning, but Sunday night as I was setting out my gear for the next day and checking Mountain Forecast, I realized I had forgotten to submit a Cucamonga Wilderness permit. Doh! Not wanting to risk fines, I decided to do Baldy instead. It also meant I'd get an extra hour of sleep as I live closer to that trail!

Since I was alone, I decided given the recent snow and low temperatures to go up and down the Ski Hut trail from Manker Flats rather than attempt the Backbone. The temperature at Manker Flats was around freezing, and by the time I reached the Ski Hut, my hydration reservoir was frozen, in spite of the neoprene sleeve I put over the tube to try to insulate it.

It had snowed Sunday night, so there was light powder all the way from the trailhead to just above the treeline, and patches of older snow and ice from there to the peak. I brought both Yaktrax and trail crampons with me just in case but only used the former.

I kept an eye on the clouds and managed to time my summit perfectly – it was nice and sunny (windy, as always, but not miserable). About half an hour after I started making my way back down a dark cloud had descended on the summit so I was glad I made it up when I did.

The clouds set in for the rest of the day, and it started snowing lightly after I passed the Ski Hut on the way down. I had expected to see more people out on the trails on a holiday but was pleasantly surprised to have the trail mostly to myself – only encountering about 15 people all day.


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