Feel good about driving 55 miles on a winding mountain road into the middle of nowhere to go for a hike? Perfect, because that's what has to be done in order to bag 3 peaks in a day. This is a one way hike so you'll have to do some convincing to get friends to drive with you. Maybe leave out the part about the long windy road. Tell them how the drive is beautiful and around every turn in the road is a new view of rock formations and valleys! Throw in the fact that La Canada Flintridge would be the perfect town to have some well deserved dinner after the hike. Convinced? Good.
This hike is about 9.5 miles one way from Dawson Saddle to the Vincent Gap parking lot. You'll have to both drive to Vincent Gap and leave a car there and drive back to Dawson Saddle. Along the way you will be able to summit Throop Peak, Mt. Burnham and the highest, Mt. Baden-Powell. The latter is the 4th highest peak in the San Gabriel mountains at 9,407 feet. It was named after Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts and is the highest point along the Boy Scout's Silver Moccasin trail.
There are a few things to look forward to on this hike. First and foremost the ability to proclaim that you conquered 3 peaks in one day. Secondly, the views from the top are of course spectacular. Lastly, the elated feeling you will get while descending the last few miles while others are struggling on their way up. Seriously, going from Vincent Gap is brutal with a dizzying number of switchbacks. We encountered several desperate-looking groups asking the same question, "Are we almost there?" Going the way I have suggested is a much more pleasant, gradual incline.
The important information: Take the 210 to the 2 (Los Angeles Crest Highway). Follow this for about 55 miles until the Vincent Gap parking lot. The road is well maintained and not too curvy so it's possible to go at a decent speed and arrive at the lot in about an hour and fifteen minutes. Watch for fallen rocks in the road! There was an incident involving a rock on the way back which ended in a lesson on how to change a flat tire.
Don't Forget to display your Adventure Pass. They are available for purchase right at the start of highway 2 at the Shell gas station.