If you are looking for a great way to spend some time during the summer, you should consider the summer hiking season on California’s Mount San Antonio, more commonly known as Mount Baldy or Old Baldy. The season runs from June and stretches into October with plenty of sunshine and moderate temperatures. Be sure to pay attention to weather forecasts, however, and avoid hiking when thunderstorms are likely.

There are a few things you should take along on your hike. A map and compass are essential so that you can properly navigate, especially if you choose to wander off the established trails. Sunscreen is especially important in the sun-filled summer months. Be sure to wear a good pair of sunglasses as there is a lot of glare on Old Baldy due to the sun reflecting off the exposed rock.

Water and food are needed, of course, but also take extra for unexpected situations. Other emergency supplies should include a first aid kit, extra clothes, rain gear, a flashlight, water purification equipment and a multi-purpose tool or pocket knife. It is like getting the cheapest car insurance you can when you are on a tight budget because you know you need it just in case.

Once you are prepared with proper supplies, you will need to choose the trail you wish to explore. As the highest point in Los Angeles County, Mount Baldy at 10,068 feet offers plenty of ground to cover. This wonderful mountain even offers a second, slightly less lofty peak known as West Baldy.

There are several trails to choose from, but some of the most popular are Devils Backbone Trail, Bear Canyon Trail and Baldy Bowl Trail. The latter two are also known as Old Mount Baldy Trail and Ski Hut Trail, respectively. However you choose to ascend the mountain, you are in for some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable.

Along the way you might run across wildlife ranging from squirrels and a wide variety of birds to bighorn sheep and mule deer. There is also an astounding array of flora on Mount Baldy including shrubbery like silk tassel and manzanita to trees such as cottonwoods and sycamores. It is truly a diverse ecosystem that offers dazzling discoveries around every corner!

So choose your trail, get good and rested, and load up with the supplies you need for a safe journey. Remember that preparation is like cheap insurance. You need it the most when you can afford it the least. You can enjoy your hike more fully when you know you are prepared for any emergency that should arise. Head on up the mountain and let nature show you her priceless beauty!