See Mt. Baldy in your summit future? Come stay the night before at Manker Campground right outside the trails that lead up to it. At 6,000 feet you’ll be sitting pretty around a campfire dreaming of the hike ahead of you. For a re-up on water on the way there or back, make a visit to the stream where you can gather the gift straight from Mother Earth. Just be sure to treat it prior to quenching your thirst. Don’t plan on making the trek to Baldy’s summit? Fair enough, Manker is also great for some plain ole fashioned chillaxin’.
The vibe at Manker Campground
Drop some Manker Campground knowledge on us.
We camped in Manker so we could summit Mt. Baldy the next morning. Campground is easy to find and, at least during the week, quiet (thank god). We woke up at 4am to begin our summit bid and had a phenomenal day. Logged more than 14 miles and got back to camp almost crawling. Not a hike for the faint of heart but definitely worth it. The loop through Devils Backbone down through Ski Hut is, in my opinion, the way to go. Prepare for some amazing views. As other reviews here state, make sure you stop at Mt. Baldy Lodge for some well deserved food and drinks. It is amazing to think this place is so close to LA.
We had a great time! It's barely an hour drive from LA, we drove up early Saturday morning, were able to grab a sight (if we had gotten there past 12 may not have happened), and headed home Sunday afternoon. Plenty of beautiful hikes around the area, many which lead to waterfalls. But we did meet a few rattlesnakes.
HEADS UP: The town close by is great for a Bloody Mary (have Missy at the Lodge make you her signature). BUT the town is without a gas station and general store. So, load up on firewood, food and gas before you head up the mountain. Also, if you're heading there to fish, it's basically a no go. We were told a combo of a flash flood then drought took out the fishing. The only option is a trout pond... but that's for the kids.
Update: In my last review I forgot to mention there is more than just the mountain around! In the summer take advantage of the Ski Lifts to get up to Baldy Notch for breakfast lunch or dinner. From the camp ground to you can hike to a near by waterfall. And all along the way keep an eye out for wild life! My all time favorite is seeing the big horn sheep on the Ski Hut Trail, but it's completely possible to see bear, raccoons, deer, mountain lion, snakes, and even eagle. So keep an eye out
Perfect for summiting Mt Baldy in the open season.
It sits literally across the trail head and is perfect to relax in. All spots are first come first serve, and are fairly exposed and open the view by the neighboring campsites.
Be sure to bring pleanty of warm clothes, even in the summer temp can ready 30° at night. Have fun and enjoy this area for the nature that surrounds it!