Groupon Grabs: Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts
Welcome to the very first post in my newest series, "Groupon Grabs"! I'll be showing you all the different types of cool and fun activities that you can find on Groupon. If you don't know what Groupon is, it's a website that basically offers various products, services, and activities at discounted prices.
Now I know some of you are probably quite skeptical of Groupon and how it works because I used to be that way too! I'll explain this just once here on this post to avoid being redundant. So for some reason, I had this strong inclination to think that Groupon was a shady business. But then a Groupon for Cardio Barre popped up and I just couldn't resist! It was saving me like $100 so I obviously had to get it. And it all worked out alright! I bought my Groupon, went to the studio, redeemed it successfully for my 10 Cardio Barre classes, and broke a sweat. Ever since then I occasionally browse through Groupon instead of studying trying to find some good deals!
Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts
This Groupon was for a roundtrip scenic ride on the Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts and a $10 meal voucher that is redeemable at the Top of the Notch Restaurant. I have never really looked into either hiking or snowboarding at Mt. Baldy so this trip was definitely not on my radar. However, I went for the Groupon anyways because it was so cheap! The deal that my friends and I got was a 4 person package, so that's 4 roundtrip ski lift tickets and $40 for food. Without the Groupon a roundtrip ski lift ticket alone would have cost us $25 a person. But, with the Groupon we each spent only $13! Not a bad trade off for a delicious breakfast and a challenging hike with gorgeous views. Oh, by the way if you didn't already know, Mt. Baldy is the highest point in Los Angeles County! That definitely makes this mountain and this Groupon deal way cooler.
Unfortunately, we went on an extremely windy day, which made it exceedingly unsafe to travel across the Devil's Backbone portion of the hike and onward to the summit. This part of the trail is called the Devil's Backbone because it will have you traveling on top of the mountain ridge with drop offs on both sides of you. Also, from certain angles the trail looks like, well to me, a dinosaur's backbone.
If it wasn't so windy our hike, with the scenic ski lift ride, to the summit would have been a 6.4 mile loop with about a 2,300ft. elevation gain. If you're interested in reaching Mt. Baldy's summit this way here are directions for you!
Reaching Mt. Baldy's Summit via Ski Lifts
- Purchase your ski lift tickets online and be sure to activate them online before you go
- Drive to 8401 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759 and park your car in the lot there
- Get your physical lift ticket from inside the little store
- Board the ski lift and enjoy the 15-20min scenic ride that will take you up 1,300ft. of elevation
- The ride will end next to the Top of the Notch Restaurant
- Now, if you're facing the restaurant looking at where you just came from head to your right and if your facing away from the restaurant looking at the mountains head to your left (once you walk past the restaurant you should see a big bell on your left hand-side)
- Start on the trail that sits next to the in-operational ski lift and the ski run (photo in gallery below)
- At a little over 1 mile into the hike you'll find yourself at the top of the in-operational ski lift (photo in gallery below)
- Keep on the trail and in just a bit you'll be at the start of the Devil's Backbone (photo in gallery below)
- The Devil's Backbone trail ends about 2 miles into the hike and from here you'll be traversing across the southern face of Mt. Hardwood
- At 2.6 miles into the hike you'll reach the Mt. Baldy/Mt. Hardwood saddle, which means you're almost to the top!
- All you have to do now is go 0.7 miles further and 700ft. up to reach the summit! But here comes a huge P.S. This part of the hike is not only marked by winding switchbacks, it is also the steepest stretch that you will encounter during this loop
- But you're basically already there so don't give up because you know it'll feel amazing once you're on top of the world, or I guess on top of Los Angeles County!
When you do decide to head up to Mt. Baldy make sure you are well prepared with warm and cold weather clothing (mountain weather changes rapidly), an ample amount of water and snacks, and proper hiking shoes (the terrain can be rocky and/or full of loose stones). Also, it's good to know that there is absolutely no cell service on the mountain.