Mount San Antonio
|Mount San Antonio|
Mt. San Antonio above the clouds
|Elevation||10,064 ft (3,068 m) NAVD 88|
|Prominence||6,224 ft (1,897 m)|
|Location||Los Angeles County / San Bernardino County, California, U.S.|
|Range||San Gabriel Mountains|
|Topo map||USGS Mount San Antonio|
|Easiest route||Ski lift to Baldy Notch, Devil's Backbone Trail (hike)|
Mount San Antonio, commonly known as Mount Baldy, at 10,068 ft (3,069 m), is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, and the highest point in Los Angeles County. Mount San Antonio's sometimes snow-capped peaks are visible on clear days and dominate the view of the Los Angeles skyline.
The summit has two peaks: the main peak, elevation 10,068 feet (3,069 m), and a sub-peak, West Baldy, at 9,988 feet (3,044 m). The main peak marks the boundary between San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County.
The mountain's southern watershed drains into San Antonio Creek, the north side into Lytle Creek and the Fish Fork of the San Gabriel River. San Antonio and Lytle Creeks are part of the Santa Ana River watershed. San Antonio Creek descends through a deep canyon which has several waterfalls, the last about 75 feet (23 m) high.
The mountain is connected by a narrow ridge, "The Devil's Backbone," to nearby Thunder Mountain, which is home to a ski resort, the closest one to Los Angeles. South of the resort, and connected to its ski lift by an asphalt road, lies Mt Baldy Village, which has its own fire department, church, visitor's center and school district. Mt. Baldy School (the abbreviation is the standard usage) has about 105 students.
There are no roads or maintained trails connecting the mountain to the less populated region to its north, but a use trail leads over Dawson and Pine Mountains to Wright Mountain and the Pacific Crest Trail, overlooking the town of Wrightwood.
Mount San Antonio lies in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains, one of the Transverse Ranges of Southern California, formed around the San Andreas Fault system. The Transverse Ranges were formed because of a dog-leg bend in the San Andreas, which is a transform fault. The bend makes it difficult for the two plates to move smoothly past one another, and mountains were raised as a result.
The lower land area of the mountain consists of an ecological community known as yellow pine forest. Despite the name, yellow pine is not present in this particular area, which instead contains lodgepole pines, Jeffrey pines, white fir, and some sugar pine.
Higher up, the yellow pine forest community gives way to a pure lodgepole forest. Near 9000 ft (2750 m) these become increasingly krummholzed, and beyond about 9500 ft (2900 m) lies an unforested subalpine zone.
Shrubs include manzanita, mountain whitethorn, buckwheat, mountain gooseberry. Bighorn sheep lamb in the area. Wildflower species include Galium parishii, San Gabriel alumroot, gray monardella, pumice alpinegold, Parry's pussypaws, Nuttall's sandwort, Caulanthus. There are also Ross's sedge and rockcress. Oreonana vestita, a type of mountainparsley, is adapted to talus.
For mountaineers, the winter and spring offer a snow climbing challenge. The "Baldy Bowl" south of the summit is often climbed with crampons and ice ax, depending on snow conditions. The bowl can be treacherous for inexperienced climbers as some sections have slopes of 45° to 50°. Avalanches and rock fall are both hazards. There are also a number of summer routes to the summit involving cross-country travel or scrambling, and it is possible to rappel down the canyon of San Antonio Creek.
For road cyclists the climb through Mt. Baldy Village to the base of the ski lifts is popular. It has been used as the finish of the penultimate stage of the 2011 and 2012 Amgen Tour of California.
Since 1965, each Labor Day, the San Antonio Canyon Town Hall has sponsored a "Run to the Top" on Mt Baldy in which a 8-mile (13 km) course over roads and trails ends at the 10,064-foot (3,068 m) summit for a 4,000-foot (1,200 m) elevation gain.
The Tongva tribe call the mountain Yoát or Joat, which means snow, and the Mohave call it Avii Kwatiinyam. The name Mount San Antonio was probably bestowed by Antonio Maria Lugo, owner of a rancho near present-day Compton, ca. 1840, in honor of his patron saint Anthony of Padua.
In the 1860's, the California Gold Rush brought miners to the mountain, which they called Old Baldy because its top was above the tree line. In 1875 an army surveying party made the first recorded ascent, via Lytle Creek, and estimated the height of the peak. Placer mining gave way to hydraulic mining in the 1880's and continued through the 90's. The Banks (Hocumac) Mine was built below the Devil's Backbone ridge connecting the summit to Thunder Mountain, and the remains of the Gold Ridge Diggings are found near the headwaters of San Antonio Canyon. Stoddard's Resort was built in the 1880's, and early mountain guide William B. Dewey led parties of guests to the summit on a loop corresponding to the present-day Mt. Baldy Trail and Devil's Backbone Trail.
San Antonio Canyon became accessible by automobile in 1908, and the resort town of Camp Baldy grew up. William Dewey built the Baldy Summit Inn, 80 feet below the mountaintop, in 1910, but it was damaged by a cooking fire in 1913 and never rebuilt. Between 1922 and 1927 American physicist Albert Michelson performed a number of experiments involving bouncing a beam of light off a reflector at Lookout Mountain, a prominence 3.2 miles (5.1 km) southwest of the peak, from the observatory at Mount Wilson some 22 miles (35 km) away. The distance was accurately measured and the speed of light calculated to be 299,796±4 km/s.
During Prohibition, the Mount Baldy Lodge at Camp Baldy became known as a place where one could get a drink away from the watchful eyes of the police. Camp Baldy was destroyed by a flood in 1938, but was rebuilt and later became Mt. Baldy Village. The Sierra Club built a mountain hut, known as the "ski hut," by the Baldy Bowl near the headwaters of San Antonio Creek in 1935; it burned down that year but was immediately replaced and remains standing today. The ski lift dates to 1952 and was expanded and modernized in 1975.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mount San Antonio|
- List of highest points in California by county
- List of Ultras of North America
- List of Ultras of the United States
- Mt. Baldy Joint School District
- Mount Baldy Ski Lifts
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- "Official Boundaries of the County of Los Angeles". Los Angeles Almanac. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- "San Antonio Falls". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- "Mt Baldy Fire Department". Retrieved 2012-12-30.
- "Welcome to Mt Baldy Village Church". Retrieved 2012-12-30.
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- Sierra Club Hundred Peaks Section, 100 Peaks Lookout newsletter, May 1969
- John W. Robinson, Trails of the Angels: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels, p. 201
- Jerry Schad, Afoot and Afield Los Angeles County: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide
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