Read skier and snowboarder-submitted reviews on Mt. Baldy that rank the ski resort and mountain town on a scale of one to five stars for attributes such as terrain, nightlife and family friendliness. See how Mt. Baldy stacks up in the reviews, on and off the slopes, from skiing and family activities to the après scene. Read up on pros, cons and other comments in reviews left by fellow skiers and riders. Don't forget to submit your own Mt. Baldy review! Scroll to the bottom of this page to let other travelers know about your skiing and resort experience.
Reviews for Mt. Baldy
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Located in the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains in the remote Angeles National Forest wilderness, Mount Baldy is perhaps best known for its location right beside the most prominent peak in the range, Mount San Antonio, whose snow capped peaks can be seen from the city of Los Angeles. A true ski area—not a resort—without the snowmaking or amenities most SoCal resorts are known for, Baldy offers some of the rawest slopes anywhere. But the resort’s unrefined and modest dimensions won’t be for everyone, and the remarkable views don’t tell the whole story.
Mount Baldy seldom sees the snowfall totals that other, farther North California resorts do, with dry spells lasting weeks or more. On the worst days, you can expect entire terrain pods to be shut down due to poor coverage.
However, although it tends to be unenjoyable when dry, the mountain can see feet of snow in a single storm, making for some of the best powder days anywhere. The area tends to remain a bit colder than Southern California resorts nearby because of its higher elevation, but temperatures can fluctuate around freezing during earlier season months, resulting in freeze/thaw cycles and a crusty, icy base layer. Occasionally, the resort even sees rain. It’s not really until February that the most reliable temperatures and terrain openings tend to occur, although good powder days can occur as early as November.
Due to the inconsistent snowstorm conditions, Mount Baldy often sees clear skies throughout the season. And on a regular bluebird day, views open up to some of the most astonishing terrain at any ski resort. Baldy isn’t the most imposing or tall resort, but it’s surrounded by some truly stunning peaks. The most notable mountains in the area include Telegraph Peak, which is one of the most picturesque mountains in the region, and the true Mount Baldy peak, which is actually a miles and a half from the ski area that takes its name, the third most prominent mountain in Southern California.
Beginner and intermediate terrain at Baldy is limited, with very little grooming outside a couple beginner areas. On the other hand, the resort boasts an incredible concentration of truly extreme terrain even with an impressive in-bounds vertical drop. The resort marks off the most formidable chutes and cliff areas as Extreme Danger Zones, with warnings posted on maps and signs. Some trails require free falls, and a few lines are so extreme that months of accumulation is required before they’re skiable. Getting to some, but not all Extreme Danger Zone territories requires passing a warning sign, but if you're looking for the most extreme lines, it's entirely likely that you will unknowingly enter one anyway. All obstacles in these areas are unmarked, so scoping lines is an absolute must.
When it comes to areas that aren’t Extreme Danger Zones, getting around Baldy is fairly straightforward. The resort generally maintains decent signage and displays clear trail maps at major junctions. However, certain trails are a bit difficult to find, and some signs can get snowed in as the season progresses.
Mount Baldy is probably more integrated with sidecountry skiing than any other ski resort in the United States, and some of these iconic peaks are home to popular out-of-bounds routes. Baldy's in-bounds elevation doesn’t extend nearly as high as the mountains it sits on, and gates near the top of lifts allow visitors to easily hike to several backcountry routes and ski directly back into the resort. Some backcountry routes are even accessible without hiking and can be lapped via lift. Additionally, some solid touring routes can be reached from the Baldy parking lots. However, these backcountry areas are not patrolled or avalanche controlled, and several fatalities have occurred in recent years. Be sure to use utmost caution when exiting the resort.
To keep in-bounds guests safe after storms, Baldy conducts extensive avalanche mitigation work when necessary. However, especially heavy snow dumps coupled with the nature of the resort’s terrain, certain mountain sections can be quite complicated to address. Some advanced areas, most notably South Bowl, typically take several days to mitigate—and can remain closed through small parts of the peak season.
That being said, if you’re looking to go in for a break, Mount Baldy offers at least one option no matter what day it is. Besides the Notch Restaurant, which offers food, drink, indoor seating, and bathrooms, a small hut also exists at the base of Chair 1.
Mount Baldy’s function-over-form ideology also manifests when it comes to the lifts themselves. Baldy’s four double lifts offer poor capacity, and they’re all slow, fixed-grip chairs. Thankfully, the mountain rarely sees large crowds, so lift lines tend to stay short, although resort traffic has increased slightly in recent years. It’s worth noting that a line will build up pretty much every day at the base as everyone tries to load Sugarpine Chair 1. The only other place where long lines do occur is at the ticket window—skiers have to check in there to claim their physical ticket, even if bought in advance, so anyone not holding a season pass will have to wait in line there.
Within a mile of the resort lies a 7 luxury cabin complex and a large, single party lodge. The nearest town, Mt Baldy, which is 5 miles away offers a few more small accommodation options. The best bet for close-by lodging is Upland, which is 25-45 minutes away.
No matter where you stay, accessing Mount Baldy requires traversing a narrow, windy mountain pass that can see sketchy conditions at times.
As a remote mountain with no on-site lodging, Baldy does not lend itself to an extensive aprés-ski atmosphere. That being said, the area boasts an amicable atmosphere, and the bar at the Notch Restaurant can offer enjoyable happy hour vibes.
Mount Baldy isn’t perfect—but it really isn’t trying to be. For those looking for crazy chutes, easy-to-reach backcountry, and a laid back Southern California atmosphere, this resort is really hard to beat. While it can be quite a pain to reach the mountain, ticket prices remain refreshingly low, undercutting every major destination resort in the state. For those experienced enough to handle it—even if staying entirely in-bounds—the Baldy experience is quite the bargain.
... Full Review
This is a great place to pick up ski/snowboarding. Tickets and location is quite accessible for those in the LA area. Has never been too crowded for my purposes (including weekend/holiday rushes). This year ('22-23) they added more park stuff on thr latter half of the bunny slope which enabled me to practice jump and rail stuff for thr first time. Loved the experience and growth I've made through this facility. Worth supporting!... Full Review
After waiting on hold for 10 minutes, it forced me to leave a voicemail. No call back. No reply to my email either. I just wanted to know if they offer a discount for disabled veterans, like every other ski resort. I finally got through to someone a couple days later only to find out that they don't. And that the ticket prices for my selected day had increased. I explained to them that I would have been able to purchase the lower price ticket had their customer service responded. They didn't do anything to make the situation right. Got to the mountain the next day and first thing I saw was a group of younger guys almost fighting over a pair of stolen gloves. Then I found out chair 4 was closed (essentially half the mountain) because they didn't have enough staff. I found out the resort is only paying their employees minimum wage- no wonder they can't find workers. So, I paid $81 to ride one lift all day. Not worth it. I won't be going back. ... Full Review
Old school Baldy lifts has been providing thrills and joy for generations. It's a classic local ski/board area like no other. Facilities are basic. Follow the ridgelines and you'll find yourself looking into some fantastic bowls that will force adrenaline through you veins. ... Full Review
I paid for everythinng (lift,tube,food,parking) and i only have fun tru lifting the top of the mountain...other than that food service takes forever just for a sandwich or nuggets! So we ended up wasting $400!!!!! ... Full Review
snowboarded this place for years its unreal ... Full Review
When there is snow nothing comes close to Mt Baldy as far as high level terrain. When there is enough snow to the parking lot it’s a nice finish to end the day but because it’s lower elevation quality of snow for the parking lot run is less then optimal. If you are an advanced skier who lives in SoCal and can’t drive to Mammoth for the weekend I suggest Mt Baldy. Thunder mountain has steeps, moguls, trees and even groomed run or two. I can literally stay on the chair all day. Easy to get to and not that expensive (lots of deals available) Mt Baldy is my SoCal favorite. ... Full Review
Have skied every mountain in SoCal with the exception of waterman. When Baldy gets snow, it is hands down the best there is. Pow days at baldy have literally brought me to tears before cause theyre that good. No lift lines if you go on a weekday, and even if you go on a weekend it isn't bad. Lift ops are awesome too. Ebveryones there just to have a good time. Runs off 3 are fun and steep but there are a couple mellow groomers off it if that's what youre into. Chair 4 is lots of fun as well and a little less steep. Tree skiing off of both is great though. Would not really recommend this mountain to a beginner.. youre better off learning somewhere like bear or mammoth where there is more beginners terrain. Keep in mind that baldy is old and somewhat outdated, so techinical issues happen sometimes. No big deal, it makes the days you get to ski baldy that much better, and baldy's old school no frills feel is why I love it. To everyone complaining about the chairs being too slow, get over yourself and enjoy the views baldy has to offer..or just don't come up haha. ... Full Review