In the 1930′s when the Forest Service created pack trails to the peaks upon which fire lookouts were built they often encountered places where it was just too darned steep to hike straight up. When the incline exceeded a pitch of 15 to 20%, switchbacks were built to make the trail a little easier for hikers and pack stock to negotiate.
The top mile or so of USFS trail 340 to the Baldy Mountain Lookout is like that and that mile of trail contains 13 switchbacks as it climbs from about 6,400 feet to 7,464 feet. These photos were taken as the sun came up along that section of trail last Thursday morning and I have added the time of the morning at which each was taken just for the heck of it. I thought someone might find them interesting.
7:08 AM. This mound of rocks at the very top was the base upon which the lookout cabin was built in about 1934.
The leaves are starting to develop their fall colors quite rapidly now. This small scene was on the hillside above the Todd Creek trail at about 5,000 feet yesterday. It will be exhilarating to try to keep up with the bursts of color!