Climbing
Trad climbing
Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Grade IV
Elevation Gain
728.00 ft (221.89 m)
Distance
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Mount Baldy, or Mount San Antonio, is no stranger to the hiking community within the Los Angeles Area. It's the highest point in Los Angeles county at 10,066 feet, and can be seen from most directions when driving around the city -- all the way to Orange and Riverside Counties. 

Hiking and trail running aren't the only activities you can do on this mountain. An adventure often overlooked, rappelling the San Antonio Falls. There are guiding companies for anyone who'd like to try this adventure but don't have rappelling experience.

Getting to the top of the waterfall isn't straightforward, as there isn't any trail. About 0.5 miles in from the trailhead, take the side trail toward the bottom of the waterfall. This is a popular spot to hang out by the water. Once you get to the bottom of the waterfall, head right towards the slab that will lead you up the gully.

The first couple slabs can be pretty slippery. If you aren't confident, get someone to belay you up the first section. Once you pass the slab, go slightly to the right, aiming for a couple of big trees. You can take the gully, but chances are you will kick a lot of rocks down that can be dangerous for your partner and people below by the water. Try to watch your step and yell "ROCK" if you slip up to warn the others. 

After the second big tree, start finding a place to cross the gully to the other rib. Once safely across the gully, skirt around the rib and you should start seeing the waterfall. Keep climbing up and you will get to a slightly open place with a bolt on the ground. Go a bit further to reach the top of the first rappel. 

There are usually some rappelling anchors already installed but please inspect before using to make sure it isn't frayed. There are a total four rappels to get to the bottom. The first rappel is slightly awkward, as it kinda makes an L shape. Make sure to not get out of your system at the first pond, but head toward your left to the next anchor that will be on the left wall. The second rappel anchor is set on the left big wall. This portion will most likely get you wet since you will be rappelling right underneath the waterfall. You can try to avoid it by staying to the left side of the falls, but the rock is very slippery and the rope direction will try to get you right underneath the falls. 

The start of the third rappel is very obvious and a short one. You can even see the last anchor from here. The last rappel will get you to the very bottom of the waterfall and the start of your uphill. Make sure there is no one below before throwing your rope down. 

Once you're done and packed up, head back the same way you came in. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall
Summer

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Adventure Pass required

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Easy access.

Cons

Summer crowds.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

6,260.00 ft (1,908.05 m)

Highest point

6,611.00 ft (2,015.03 m)

Features

Old-growth forest
Waterfalls

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Primary aspect

South facing

Class / Rating

5

Drinking water

Unfrozen water

Location

Nearby Adventures

San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.