Mt. Baldy Has a Secret Base Lodge, and You’re Staying in It

Hit the trail. Book the cabin. Drink the beer.

By Reuben Brody

Mt. Baldy
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20 July 2018

If you’re an adventure junkie living in L.A., Mt. San Antonio (aka Mt. Baldy) is bedrock. At nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, it’s the tallest peak in the County. And the hikes that lead to the summit boast elevation gains of around 4,000 feet, so it’s a butt-buster — and one worth staying the night for.

Fortunately we know of a secret cabin at base camp you and your friends can annex for the night.

You’ll want to take the whole crew on this one.

Mt. Baldy

THE DIGS: Harwood Lodge
First off, yes, you’ll need to be a member of The Sierra Club to stay here. But memberships are not only affordable, they also go toward preserving our Nation’s open spaces — those wonderful places where we all seek sanctuary that are under threat now more than ever. Harwood Lodge has been a base camp for Baldy hikers since the stones were set in 1930. It’s open to members and their guests, can accommodate up to 64 guests and has a fully stocked kitchen.

Mt. Baldy

THE HIKE: Hike Mt. Baldy
Given how hot it can get by the afternoon, do not tarry. You want to get up and going as fast as possible. Eat a light breakfast and head out on the trail. Mt. Baldy is a burly climb, and weather can change on a dime, so make sure you have a warm layer and rain jacket just in case. Pack plenty of snacks, water and sunscreen. All in, you’re looking at about seven hours round trip, which will yield some epic views of pretty much everything SoCal. Pro move: Be sure you have a massage booked for when you get back to town (we like Zeel).

Mt. Baldy

THE DINNER: Campfire Jambalaya & BLTs
We made this campfire jambalaya recipe on a recent camping trip and can attest to its strength. It’s easy to make and will feed about six people. For lunch, Chef Drew Terp of the General Store in Los Alamos gave us this recipe: thick cut bacon (go to Belcampo), duck fat (Belcampo), thick cut bread (Gjusta), big tomato (pick a firm one), crisp romaine and Sir Kensington’s mayo. Cook the bacon in one skillet. Drain the grease and use the duck fat in a separate pan to fry the bread. Once the bread is crisp one the outsides and the bacon is to your liking, make your sandwich. And finish with some super local brews from Angel City Brewing, like their two most recent releases, an approachable sour and an avocado-infused ale.

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