Big Baldy Ridge Trail

Big Baldy Ridge, Part 4

First glimpse of Big Baldy

First glimpse of Big Baldy

It wasn’t long after we began our adventure that we saw our first glimpse of Big Baldy.

The object of our hike was on a hill, blanketed in evergreens. Several areas of barren rock peeked out from behind the trees. Big Baldy, at 8,209 feet in elevation, popped up from the top of the hill and cascaded down the mountainside. It wore its name proudly, as the rock did indeed resemble a bald head and the trees a receding hairline.

The top of Big Baldy Ridge

The top of Big Baldy Ridge

We trekked around this balding spot in the mountainside and climbed to its top.

View of the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range from Big Baldy Ridge.

View of the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range from Big Baldy Ridge.

What a spectacular vision that was!

From the top of Big Baldy, jaw-dropping scenes greeted us from every direction. There were no trees to block the stunning views of the rough, jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. These sharp, blue-gray granite rocks made the rolling, tree-laden green mountains in front of them appear as mere hills. Their pointy teeth reached toward the azure sky and were sprinkled in pure white snow, left over from winter.

More views of Sierra Nevada back country from Big Baldy Ridge.

More views of Sierra Nevada back country from Big Baldy Ridge.

We could see 360 degrees from this vantage point, looking far into the backcountry of Kings Canyon, Sequoia National Park and parts of the Sierra National Forest.

Sawtooth Peak

Sawtooth Peak

Everywhere we turned, there was breath-taking scenery. To the north, Nelson Mountain and Eagle Peak, near Courtright Reservoir in the Sierra National Forest, were visible. Also to the north, we could see Spanish Mountain, Obelisk, Castle Peak, Mount Goddard and other serrated peaks of northern Kings Canyon National Park.

Located to the east, are the Great Western Divide, the Kaweah Peaks, Mount Silliman and Alta Peak; to the southeast, is the famous Sawtooth Peak.

This concludes the Big Baldy Ridge Hike. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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Big Baldy Ridge, Part 3

Pussy paws

Pussy paws

Because it was early spring when we embarked upon our hike, mountain wildflowers were in abundance. Light pink pussy paws, resembling little fluffy cotton balls, sprouted from the rocky ground. Tiny, bright yellow wildflowers, attached to long green stems, turned their petals towards the warm sun. Hot pink, trumpet-shaped skyrockets sprung out from little bushes, which found places to grow inside the cleft of nearby rocks.

Yellow wallflower

Yellow wildflower

Hot pink trumpet flowers

Hot pink skyrockets

The most common flower on our hike was the Douglas phlox. These white, delicate blossoms, with their intense green, bush-like stems, grew in bunches and hugged the ground all along the trail.

White douglas phlox

White Douglas phlox

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

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Big Baldy Ridge, Part 2

Hiking the Big Baldy Ridge Trail

Hiking the Big Baldy Ridge Trail

This easy trail is only four miles long, round trip. It begins in the woods and slowly climbs up to Big Baldy’s exposed rocky ridge. The dirt path along the Big Baldy Ridge Trail winds its way in and out of a deep, green pine and fir forest, interchanging with wide open, rock-strewn spaces. The underbrush, as well as the rocky sections, are scattered with native mahogany-barked bushes such as chinquapin and manzanita. Large, gray boulders are interspersed throughout the entire route.

Lizard sunning himself on one of the boulders.

Lizard sunning himself on one of the boulders.

However, not all of the boulders are gray.

Yellow flowers scattered among the quartz rocks.

Yellow flowers scattered among the quartz rocks.

One of the most striking sights along the trail is a collection of large, pink quartz boulders, which sparkle like gems in the sunlight. These rose-colored rocks are smattered with white, black and yellow minerals, adding depth to their color. Vivid, yellow flowers with their lacy, pale green stems cover the hillside, filling in around the stones.

Thank you for reading “The Big Baldy Ridge Hike!” Stay tuned for tomorrow. I will be posting pictures of the nice variety of wildflowers, which grow along this trail!

Glenda Brehm

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Big Baldy Ridge, Part 1

Big Baldy

Big Baldy

Big Baldy

Big Baldy

Big Baldy Ridge Trail Sign

Big Baldy Ridge Trail Sign

Like a dimpled, naked scalp, Big Baldy juts its light gray head out among a forest of dark coniferous trees. The ridge, named after this bald spot in the forest, climbs high above the San Joaquin Valley and towers over the verdant crowns of the giant sequoia trees in neighboring Redwood Canyon.

Earlier this spring, my husband Dan and I decided to hike the Big Baldy Ridge Trail, located just inside the north entrance to Sequoia National Park in central California.

A close-up of the crowns of the giant sequoias of Redwood Canyon. See Redwood Canyon Hike for a description of this trail.

A close-up of the crowns of the giant sequoias of Redwood Canyon. See Redwood Canyon Hike for a description of this trail.

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