Mighty Among Giants

Hike to Stoddard Peak near Mount Baldy in Los Angeles County

It’s not the tallest summit, but at 4,624 feet Stoddard Peak near Los Angeles is still mighty among nearby giants like Mount Baldy and the popular Potato Mountain. It’s also less trafficked. Go on a 5.9-mile (round-trip) hike where the 1,145-foot elevation gain is felt mostly in the last stretch. And the reward? Huge!

The hike begins smoothly, circling up a fire road nestled in the shaded forest for the first 2.5 miles. As you navigate the trail, you’ll see the neighboring peaks of Mount Baldy, Mount Harwood, and other high summits currently topped with snow.

After a leisurely uphill, the last 0.9 mile is when you’ll kick it into gear. A trail marker points the way up to a ridge. The ridgeline has two false peaks before you get to the brilliant summit vista for a panorama of peaks.

 POST-HIKE (and best named) BEERS: Refuel at Last Name Brewing, home to delicious, cleverly named craft beers (James Blonde, Buzz Lightbeer, David Hasselhops, are just a few of the options) and non-beers, or Naut Bier (hint, it’s a hard seltzer in various flavors). There's also the seasonal option, Oktober Fiesta. Pints, tasting flights, and growlers available, as well as a rotating selection of food trucks in the beer garden.

From downtown Los Angeles, take the I-10 E to the 210 E. Take Exit 52 toward Base Line Rd. Continue via Padua Ave. The parking lot is off of Mt. Baldy Rd. Note: Along the route, you’ll pass homes of local residents and a gate with a sign saying “Road Closed.” All of the gates and fences have spaces to walk through and are welcome to hikers. Dog-friendly!

Story and photos by Breonna Carter, @mountainsquake.

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