Mount Baldy is located in San Bernardino County in Southern California, not the place you’d think of when it comes to a ski resort. The mountain, only a short drive from downtown Los Angeles, is in the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains. A smaller resort when compared to its larger cousins to the north, Mount Baldy still hosts an impressive 26 named trails spread out over 400 acres. The difficulty spread consists of 20 percent novice, 40 percent intermediate, 20 percent advanced, and 20 percent expert. Base elevation is at 6500 feet and the summit is at 8600 feet. This gives Baldy a respectable vertical of 2100 feet.
Mount Baldy is serviced by four chairlifts. From the base, skiers take Chair 1 up to The Notch, a restaurant and lodge that overlooks Los Angeles. From The Notch, Skiers can take a steep straight back to the base or go through one of several expert chutes. Three other lifts are close to The Notch. Chair 4 leads to a nice selection of intermediate cruisers. Beginning and expert skiers share Chair 3 as it leads to a gently swooping cruiser for novices or a series of steeps and chutes for expert skiers. While the six double black diamond runs at Baldy don’t compare to a couloir at Jackson, they’re still hairy enough to give you a fun run down the slopes.
Baldy isn’t trying to compete with Mammoth or Tahoe for size or apres-ski. It’s a ski area that has some fun runs and will keep you entertained for the time you spend here. Because it’s located so far south, there are times when the mountain won’t open due to lack of snow. They do have some snowmaking capability, but that goes to keeping the terrain park open. When this section is open, sometimes the line is no wider than a Snowcat, but that only makes the run more challenging.
If you’re in Los Angeles and you look northeast and see snow on Baldy, it makes for a fun weekend to hit the slopes. If you’re coming from out of state, make sure to check the weather. Baldy doesn’t refund tickets if the lifts aren’t open due to weather, so be aware of this when you’re headed here.