Awhile ago I wrote a short article which included facts about Baden-Powell.  I mentioned that in California there was a mountain peak which is named after Lord Baden-Powell. The peak was cleared and a monument dedicated at the peak in his honor by the Greater Los Angeles Council, way back in the 1940’s.  I found that at that time they created the Boy Scout Trail. This trail was an old one previously used only by animals and Indian tribes.  The local Scouts cleared it and later campsites, picnic areas, and an occasional toilet was added.

I really liked the idea of the Scouts creating their “own trail” and if Scouts spent at least five days hiking the 53 miles, they could receive the Silver Moccasins BSA patch named after the current name of the trail. The trek begins at Chandry Flats, the next peak over, and ends at the peak of Mt. Baden Powell. It crosses a highway several times, so to me it offered safety if needed.

After looking at lots of pictures, and realizing that natural beauty has a different meaning for all of us, I thought that it looked rather dead and dry.  No lush green for this long term trek.  So what brought hikers to it?  It has views from way above LA, and is truly challenging. When I say challenging, I mean it should only be attempted in Spring or early Fall. The snow is a problem, as well as the extreme summer heat which limits comfort as well as access to water. Campgrounds tend to be a mile off trail. The greatest challenge, however is limited flat range. The entire trail is a series of switchbacks which go up to 10,000 feet and back down to five or six thousand. That could be a deal breaker for many.  Also a GPS tracker is essential as the trail is not always clearly marked.  People seem to wander off trail. The forest service has an active S&R detail.

So, in my limited knowledge of this trek, one should not be looking for a lot of flowers, fauna or wildlife. It should be taken as a true endurance test and learning experience, perhaps making the more picturesque trails a much easier accomplishment in the future.  Please research it thoroughly before making up your mind to make this trek.  You will also need prior approval.  Hating to discourage anyone, the patch is awesome!

Here are a few more resources for you, if you are interested in making this trip:

High Adventure Award Application

Long-term Trekking in the Greater Los Angeles Council

High Adventure Awards

If you’re headed out on any a long-term trek, I have also written the following articles to help you prepare:

Great Food Suggestions for a Long-term Trek

Creating Potable Water for Long-Term Trekking

Preparing for a Long-Term Trek

Tips for Scouts When Hiking and Camping in Bear Country

 

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