Our first hike since we got back from Kauai; the 9th one for the summer. Quite a change from the last hike we did in Kauai -- the muddy Pihea trail; this one is actually close by. Access to Bear Flats is from Bear Canyon Drive in Mt. Baldy Village. The actual hike is only 3.5 miles round trip but with the walk from where we parked to where the trail started added another 2 miles. Overall, not a bad 5.5 miles for a Sunday "stroll". We started tahe hike at 1130am yesterday but most of the uphill trail was shaded from old growth oak trees. Bear Flats was somewhat of a disappointment other than a sign that says "Backpack Stoves By Permit" only. This is very, very dry terrain.JJ had to refresh his head from a cold water stream once we got to Bear Flats. The hike up was challenging with the elevation starting at around 4500 feet. I need to confirm but based on my topographic map, it was a 2000 feet elevation gain to Bear Flats from the village. The hike down was not easy as well with the steep downhill that's not too kind for knees. We did see several hikers coming down with their hiking poles to help ease the descent, I assume.
This is the view facing southeast. The village is at the center of the photo and in the far distance, we saw Upland/Rancho Cucamonga. Overall, the hike was fine but the kids were so used to having some kind of reward at the destination (e.g. waterfall, mud, abandoned mine) that they were somewhat disappointed. However, I'm absolutely sure they got a decent workout. We grabbed some tacos for lunch and they wolfed them down like gangbusters. I just can't believe they have 3 weeks left in this summer vacation and it's been a blast.