Hiking Throop Peak to Baden-Powell
Of course I was dimly aware you could hike the San Gabriel Crest from Windy Gap as an alternate way to get to Baden-Powell's summit, but the route never particularly interested me.
I envisioned it as a mostly tree-bound hike in boring, low-angle terrain.
Last weekend my car unexpectedly ended up in the shop, so our plans to do a hike and climb with an off-road approach got quashed. Instead, my son found an obscure trail going up Throop's north ridge from Dawson Saddle listed in an old SoCal hiking guidebook.
The hike sounded easy and...boring. And since the trailhead involved no AWD travel, it seemed like a good choice, so we stole my wife's car and headed up California Highway 2 on Sunday.
Boy, did this one exceed my expectations. On the way up, we detoured off-trail to catch each of the ridge's major summits, and the views throughout were absolutely spectacular. This one just completely exceeded my expectations.
In the vicinity of Throop/Burnham's summits, you're in one of the thinner parts of the range, so views both north and south are stunning. High desert, the Sierra, the Panamints, and lots more to your left; Los Angeles Basin, downtown, Catalina, Palos Verdes, and much more to your right.
And then there are the views of San Gabriel Canyon, which alone make the hike unforgettable. I recommend this one. Given that we were hiking on a beautiful Sunday morning, we saw virtually no one on the trail until we got to Baden-Powell's summit. What a treasure the San Gabriels are!
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— June 16, 2021
Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents
Joseph Gregory June 18, 2021 at 6:45 am
Great video! The PCT route from Dawson is definitely my favorite way up MBP. Three summits above 8,000 (if you tag Throop) airplane views, and very doable hiking.
There is also a use trail on the other side of Dawson Gap that takes you to Mount Lewis and Mount Williamson (the Lesser).
Dan Conger June 18, 2021 at 1:05 pm
So many of the tens of millions of denizens of the LA Basin have no idea that these beautiful mountains are so close by.
Brad brown June 18, 2021 at 4:39 pm
Bob and I did that 3 peaker starting at BP, B, TP (lunch) and reversed 3 years ago me thinks. The ridge views are extraordinary as reported. Makes for a fairly big day 14+/4500’ range as I recall, especially with altitude regained on the way back. The trail between the bookend peaks was relatively quiet but for the competitors in the Angeles 100-talk about being humbled pace wise, those guys are moving. Love seeing these posts again Andy!
Matt D June 22, 2021 at 12:38 pm
I love Throop Peak so much... always holds the snow!
If you're looking for an adventure on the other side of the ridge, you can start at Crystal Lake, hike to Windy Gap, and then out the ridge to Throop. On the way back, turn left and go to South Mt Hawkins and then down the fire road back to Crystal Lake.