Mount San Antonio, also known as Mt 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. It is easily accessible by car although some snow chains or equipment might be required at times. During winter Mt Baldy is the snow-capped mountain that is highly visible from most of Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire. It remains one of the most photographed sites in Southern California.
Skiers, snowboarders, and tubers are more than welcome at Mt Baldy but most residents do not realize that the mountain is within a 60-minute drive for most Angelenos. Bring your family, friends, partners even dogs and cats and enjoy a wonderful weekend playing in the snow, hiking or just roaming around the village resorts. During winter the mountain is covered with glorious powder for off and on-piste fans, skiing, thrilling chair lift rides and a view to rival anywhere in the French Alps (perhaps a slight exaggeration), this buzzing resort brings as much attitude as altitude!
We decided to get our snow gear at the cheap end and purchased it at the second-hand ski store called Snow Clothes 4-Less located at Hacienda Heights California (https://www.yelp.com/biz/snow-clothes-4-less-hacienda-heights-2). Why purchase expensive equipment for a day spent playing in the snow? We ended up buying one ski jacket, 1 pair of pants and one jumpsuit for 54 $! Great bargain! Next stop is booking your package! Again why pay more when you can pay less and still get the same experience. We used Liftopia to book our tubing package, 24$ per person, that included a round-trip scenic ride on the Sugar Pine chairlift and a 90-minute tubing session at Mt. Baldy. Tubing sessions are on a first come, first served basis for the following start times: 8:30 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. You can see the package below (date and price varies):
I love using Liftopia because your money is automatically refunded to you to use on a different date in case of bad weather (which is exactly what happened to us).
The Tubing Park is located at the top of the first chair lift right next to 'The 'Top of the Notch'' restaurant and ski center. Tubing is very popular with teenagers and involves riding down cultivated snow channels on an inner tube and it is highly recommended for families as parents can bring their kids for tubing while Mom and Dad enjoy food, drink, and the view. Tubes are provided for you at the top, however, make sure to bring a pair of gloves as you will have to pull them up the side of the trail once you are done.
After our morning snow fight and tubing season we arrived again at the ''The Top of the Notch'' Restaurant and decided to stop in for a meal. Lunch was about $8 to $12 a person with a broad range of salads, hamburgers, and sandwiches. Located at 7,800ft with a rich history beginning in the 1950s, the Top of the Notch provides a unique dining experience overlooking Southern California. This is casual dining with a taste of heavenly heights! The kitchen serves a classic American menu for breakfast from 8 am – 11 am and lunch from 11 am – 5 pm (walk-ins welcome). Bar proudly serves local craft beer along with house wines. If craft beer is speaking your language, check out the Battle of the Brews on Sundays through the spring and summer. The Notch dining area consists of a large indoor space along with a wrap around patio with spectacular views. I decided to treat myself with a Pulled Pork Sandwich ($12.50) - a tender shredded and grilled pork with a BBQ sauce served on a toasted french roll and topped with fresh slaw and potato salad. My husband settled for a Bacon Blue Burger ($12.50) - Charbroiled 1/3 lb Pattie topped w/ blue cheese crumbles, bacon, lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion and mayo served on a toasted Kaiser roll. We also enjoyed some craft beer and hot cocoa with marshmallows!
It's an understatement to say that our ride back on the chair lift was pleasant and warm, uniquely intimate and above all beautifully scenic. Don't get me wrong, I am a city girl through and through, but there is something about loneliness and grandeur of the mountain that speaks to my soul. Something serene and mystical that calls for me to pack my bags and leave the glittering lights of the city behind me.
For more information about Mt Baldy check out their main website (https://mtbaldyskilifts.com/) and make sure to check their morning release before you head out!