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North Backbone Trail


Hiking Trails

North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingView Photos (47) Map of North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingView Maps (4)

North Backbone Trail Information

Length: 4.0 miles
Type: One Way
Gain/Loss: +2767'/-1113'
Difficulty: Very Hard
Trailhead: Blue Ridge Road (Wright Mountain)
Location: South of Wrightwood

North Backbone Trail Elevation Profile

North Backbone Trail Elevation Profile

*Elevation data provided by National Geographic Topo!*


North Backbone Trail Description

The North Backbone Trail is located south of Wrightwood and connects Wright Mountain (Blue Ridge) to the peak of Mt Baldy. This is without question the most difficult trail in the area. The North Backbone Trail doesn't waste your time with easy switchbacks... rather it gets straight to the point and forces you to climb steep sections of mountain side. Climbing one mountain wouldn't be so bad, but the North Backbone Trail forces you up Pine Mountain (elevation 9,648'), down and up Dawson Peak (elevation 9,575'), down and finally up to the peak of Mt Baldy (San Antonio at 10,064'). These are the three highest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains and the North Backbone Trail doesn't let you miss any of them.

The trail itself is maintained well enough that you won't lose the trail until you hit large patches of snow (depending on the season). In any case, you know the general direction you're headed...which is up. It's easy to find the trail if you lose it temporarily. If hiking this trail, don't do it alone and make sure you bring a lot of water. The last thing you want to do is make it to Mt Baldy and not have enough food and water for energy to make it back home. This trail is not for the weak at heart and should only be attempted by those in really good shape who know what their bodies are capable of. If you had a hard time on the Acorn Trail or Mt Baden Powell Trail, this one probably isn't for you.

Directions to North Backbone Trail from Wrightwood

From Wrightwood, take Hwy 2 westbound past Big Pines up to Inspiration Point. From Inspiration Point, take Access Road 3N06 eastbound along the Blue Ridge past both of Mountain High's Ski Resorts and past the Blue Ridge and Guffy Campgrounds. Continue approximately 2 miles past the 3N39 Access Road and the trail head will be on your right, where the north ridge of Pine Mountain meets the south side of Wright Mountain.

Don't forget to display a National Forest Adventure Pass in the windshield of your vehicle.

North Backbone Trail Photos

North face of Mt Baldy from North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingStart of North Backbone Trail on backside of Wright Mountain - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail looking up toward Pine Mountain - Wrightwood CA HikingLooking toward San Bernardino Mountains from North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking
Looking back at Wright Mountain on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingPine Mountain on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking
North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingClimbing up rocks on the North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking
North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingSnow on Pine Mountain off North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingSnow on North Backbone Trail on Pine Mountain - Wrightwood CA HikingNear top of Pine Mountain on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking
Looking at Mt Baldy from peak of Pine Mountain on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingTrees atop Pine Mountain on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Ridge of Mt Baldy on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingDawson Peak on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking
Dawson Peak (left) and Mt Baldy (right) on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingPine Mountain from North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail/Dawson Peak Trail split - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail intersection with Dawson Peak Trail on Dawson Peak - Wrightwood CA Hiking
North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail climbing Dawson Peak - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingMt Baldy on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking
Looking back at Pine Mountain from Dawson Peak on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail approaching Mt Baldy - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking
North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingLooking back at Dawson Peak on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking
North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingSnow on North Backbone Trail of Mt Baldy - Wrightwood CA HikingNear the peak of Mt Baldy on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingSnow on North Backbone Trail overlooking San Bernardino Mountains - Wrightwood CA Hiking
North Backbone Trail on Mt Baldy - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail on face of Mt Baldy - Wrightwood CA HikingPeak of Mt Baldy on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingTop of North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking
Top of Mt Baldy on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingRocks on the Peak of Mt Baldy on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA HikingLooking back at Pine Mountain (left) and Dawson Peak (right) on North Backbone Trail - Wrightwood CA Hiking

North Backbone Trail Maps

North Backbone Trail Full Map - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail Map (First Half) - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail Map (Second Half) - Wrightwood CA HikingNorth Backbone Trail Area Map - Wrightwood CA Hiking

 

 

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