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    5 months ago
    This is a nice and easy trail for any young adventurer. Brought my 4 1/2 year old daughter and she was keeping up with the adults. Water was low today but the falls were amazing. Make sure you check the weather, flash floods can occur. Would recommend as a day trip if you’re from Los Angeles or the OC.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    6 months ago
    Solo hiked Fri 09/01/2023 – Angelus Oaks TH-San Bernardino West/East Pks-Anderson Pk-Alto Diablo Pk-Shields Peak-Gerhardt Pk. Early start with an electrical storm in the distance but dry with only a little wind. Great views off the first 4 peaks before the clouds moved in with a few sprinkles. Limber Pine Spring is still a mini waterfall and great place to filter some extra water on the way up. The San Bernardino Ridgeline is a scenic, beautiful hike in itself, much like Ten Thousand Foot Ridge. There are plenty of the original USFS carved tree blazes marking the ridge route but the trail path itself is well defined right now. Several fallen trees to navigate with a few small washout areas but nothing unsurmountable - unless you’re on horseback or leading stock. Most people would have a lot of fun scrambling up the Shields Peak rock pile – I certainly did. Was very luck with the weather today as the clouds didn’t roll in until after the fourth peak (Shields) and then there was a fine cooling mist all the way down with no bugs. Conversed with a lot of nice people on the way down including the trail runners, making it to the car just as the rain started (the day’s weather felt like it was timed as if would be on a movie set). Gerhardt Peak was an ant hill compared to the others but a new peak for me. Highly recommend this hike, even if the turnaround is SB Peak. Logged 24.1 miles/6118 vertical ft. with Gaia
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    6 months, 1 week ago
    Solo hiked Fri 08/25/2023 – Momyer Creek TH-Vivian Creek Tr-SG Mtn-Big Draw/Jepson Pks- Little Dobbs/Dobbs Pks-SB Pk Tr-Falls Creek Tr-Momyer Creek Tr. Bugs and bats in the dark on Vivian to make an interesting start. Nice to see High Creek Falls still roaring this late in summer with nice cold water upstream. Gusty on the ridge line but not bad on the summits with very nice weather/views. Spectacular views of Big Bear Lake, Dry Lake, San Jacinto Peak, Yucaipa Ridge and Lake Perris from Jepson and Little Dobbs were just a mentionable few. Going down the Falls Creek Trail was quite an adventure with a few jungle/oasis zones. The 3 lush green oasis areas were like being on a Hawaiian hike with many plant types, flowing strongly with cold water to filter while the White-Buck Thorn/Manzanita jungle zones were easily traversed but make it a “long pants only” trail. As others have said, there are several new blow downs across most of the trails, along with several new washout areas. They were all easy to deal, just requiring a little more care and effort to traverse (like being in the wilderness in general). Crossed Mill Creek easily on the Vivian start but it was not so easy to cross at the Momyer finish. Didn’t see anyone all day on any of the 4 trails I used. Now is a great time to hike these trails with lower fire danger, better weather and still-viable water sources. Trail crews have done a great job this year clearing blow downs and bush trimming but it’s definitely a game of “catch up” after an extraordinary winter and now Hilary. Logged 25.8 miles/6872 vertical ft. with Gaia
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    6 months, 1 week ago
    Solo hiked Fri 08/25/2023 – Momyer Creek TH-Vivian Creek Tr-SG Mtn-Big Draw/Jepson Pks- Little Dobbs/Dobbs Pks-SB Pk Tr-Falls Creek Tr-Momyer Creek Tr. Bugs and bats in the dark on Vivian to make an interesting start. Nice to see High Creek Falls still roaring this late in summer with nice cold water upstream. Gusty on the ridge line but not bad on the summits with very nice weather/views. Spectacular views of Big Bear Lake, Dry Lake, San Jacinto Peak, Yucaipa Ridge and Lake Perris from Jepson and Little Dobbs were just a mentionable few. Going down the Falls Creek Trail was quite an adventure with a few jungle/oasis zones. The 3 lush green oasis areas were like being on a Hawaiian hike with many plant types, flowing strongly with cold water to filter while the White-Buck Thorn/Manzanita jungle zones were easily traversed but make it a “long pants only” trail. As others have said, there are several new blow downs across most of the trails, along with several new washout areas. They were all easy to deal, just requiring a little more care and effort to traverse (like being in the wilderness in general). Crossed Mill Creek easily on the Vivian start but it was not so easy to cross at the Momyer finish. Didn’t see anyone all day on any of the 4 trails I used. Now is a great time to hike these trails with lower fire danger, better weather and still-viable water sources. Trail crews have done a great job this year clearing blow downs and bush trimming but it’s definitely a game of “catch up” after an extraordinary winter and now Hilary. Logged 25.8 miles/6872 vertical ft. with Gaia
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    8 months ago
    Started at 7:30am at the trailhead to beat the heat. It did get hot but wasn’t too bad in the morning. The first 3 miles are brutal because of elevation change and being exposed. There is decent coverage though too. We got to camp at 11 and then just hung out at the river almost the entire day. We did a couple cold plunges as well. Mosquitoes were annoying all day and would be interested in us but we both only got a couple bites. I did stay pretty covered up the entire time. We met another hiker named Cory who was up here along and only on his second trip. We had dinner together and hung out for a couple hours.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Hiked Friday 06/09/2023 solo – Shields-Alto Diablo-Anderson peaks from Momyer Creek Trailhead. Wow! Very scenic, beautiful trail up to the SB Trail with great views the whole way. While the Buckthorn and Manzanita are dense in some stretches, it’s passable in pants and isn’t mile after mile. That said - thanks to everyone currently trimming it – very much appreciated. The sun cupped snowfields topside gave me more grief. There is still a lot of snow on the ridgeline here-more than the Charlton-Jepson-SG ridge line. Boots only to top ridge and then crampons for direct ascents. Decided to traverse the north slopes back from Alto Diablo as it was easier than going through the softening sun cupped snow (2 ft cup depth). The weather was great and the bugs took advantage of it but didn’t need my mosquito net, just repellent. Lots of Grape Soda Lupine and Whitethorn in full bloom right now. Had a hard time finding a place to cross the Mill Creek torrent in the evening but found a bridge downstream (34.090320N, 116.920135W) made of a dozen 4 inch logs to which I added a few more. Shields and Anderson Flats now have some dry ground to camp on. Logged 20.5 miles/6147 vertical ft. with Gaia
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    10 months, 4 weeks ago
    So damn fun.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    1 year ago
    Hiked Friday 02/17/2023 – South Fork Trail to Dry Lake Trail, south-southwest gully from Dry Lake to Jepson Bowl. Snowshoes were perfect for the snow on the Dry Lake winter trail and trip to Jepson Bowl. Climbed the Big Draw Couloir to the Jepson ridge line and then up Jepson and Big Draw Peaks. Vistas from both peaks were far reaching in spite of a few clouds, definitely worth the climb. The top of the Couloir had a steep faced wind slab for the climb out but the snow on the ascent was mostly pencil hard and free of exposed ice, perfect for crampon front pointing and axe protection. The snow on the ridgeline to Jepson was stable, soft over packed powder with some exposed ice but turning to solid surface ice on the way to Big Draw Peak and San Gorgonio. Wanted to spend a half hour to go up the last bit of San Gorgonio Mountain but my turn around time and the increasing wind speed sent me down-climbing the chute. Glad to get this hike/climb in before next week’s storm. Wanted to climb Jepson NE chute but the ice was gleaming and plentiful when looking up from the base. This was the third week of great snow and good weather, making it yet another enjoyable day in the SG backcountry. Logged a little over 14 miles and 4335 vertical ft by Gaia.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year ago
    Solo backpacked Thurs 2/15/2024 – South Fork Trailhead parking lot is inaccessible even by 4x4 - it’s not plowed and the 3 foot Jenks Lake Road snow berm blocks the entire front. I parked in the snow at the forest road 1N78 gate which is 7/10 of a mile before the usual TH. The snow on the SF trail was firm enough to bare boot early morning with a heavy pack up to the wilderness boundary but snowshoes required beyond. There were a few water crossings on the Dry Lake Trail to contend with but carefully crossed with snowshoes. Camped in great weather at the always beautiful Dry Lake near Lodgepole Spring. Climbed the north chute after setting up camp and switching to B3 boots and a lighter gear pack. The snow in the center of the chute was well consolidated and free of surface ice, holding every point put to it. Avoiding the upper wind slab areas was easier than last year at this time, making for great fun but still an absolute leg burner. No slab headwall to climb at the top, just the usual late day winds to contend with. Watched the sunset from San Gorgonio summit before descending straight down the center of the chute with crampons/axe/pole and then snowshoeing from the bottom back to Dry Lake by head lamp. Tested the snow on the sides of the chute a few times and post holed 2-3 feet every time. Very calm, peaceful night despite the coyote network in full swing! The following day’s mid-morning return trip to Jenks Lake Road was in very sloppy snow, occasionally post holing 2-3 feet on 25 inch snowshoes. Despite this warmer slow-going exit, it was a very enjoyable trip and always nice to experience the lake and the summit ............................................................................................................................................................................................ Solo hiked Fri 08/04/2023 – Same peaks-new route. Early start on the South Fork-Dry Lake trails to Dry Lake and Mineshaft Saddle. Up Zahniser Peak, out Sky High trail to the C-47 Memorial crash site and up to San Gorgonio summit. Descent to the Big Draw rock pile and then returning via the San Bernardino Peak – South Fork Trails. A few side excursions - south face direct ascent of Jepson, west face direct ascent of Charlton, out and back to Red Rock Flat from Dollar Lake Saddle. Another day of great summer weather in SG with a cooling breeze. Wanted to get some mileage on a loop I’ve never done and this was a good one. Dry Lake is still very picturesque these days and worth the hike in itself. Still one last snow patch on the Sky High route that others have mentioned, S-SW of summit (near the awesome view of Dragon’s Head). Depending on time of day, you can navigate it easily with bare boot step kicks or take the high and dry scramble around it. Self-arrest with a shortened trekking pole will not work here with a short and possibly deadly runout on to the rocks. Scrambling up Jepson linking use trail segments with the rocks was a blast, especially after climbing the ice and snow chutes from Jepson Bowl all winter. Tried to first ascend Charlton with from the east but the Chinquapin/Whitethorn thickets had no use trails through. Ended up going down the SB trail closer to Dollar Saddle and going up the west side which was a good rock scramble. Upper South Fork Trail is very scenic in the afternoon and a great way to come down. A few blowdowns left to hop but not too bad. Thanks again to the trail crews for all of the spring-summer tree removal/cutbacks. Having hopped 35 trees on a day hike in the dead of winter here, I have to say it’s nice. Logged 23.7 miles/5701 vertical ft. with Gaia ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Hiked Weds 05/10/2023 solo – Out on South Fork Trail to Dry Lake Trail to Dry Lake with bare boots. All fallen trees easy to get around even with a full pack but some of the water crossings at South Fork Meadows take a little work. The Dry Lake thaw is really picking up and the lake level is higher than I’ve seen in the past. Climbed the North Chute to San Gorgonio Summit (axes/ crampons) with firm snow and smaller ice zones. Since it was still on the early side with good snow and not very windy, I skipped the chute down climb and took the scenic ridge route back across Big Draw, Jepson, Little Charlton and Charlton peaks. Decided to make a straight descent down Dollar Couloir since the snow was good enough for the late day elevator ride down to Dollar Lake (empty). From there, I completed the loop back to South Fork Meadows. Knowing that the snow is rapidly disappearing and this was probably the last chance to climb it, I made a long day of it and it was definitely worth it. Lots of deer on the way out as the sun went down. Didn’t bring/need snowshoes and was in a T-shirt for most of the afternoon. The kind of day that makes you remember why you hike. Logged 15.7 miles/5000 vertical ft. with Gaia.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Hiked Hiked Friday 02/10/2023 – Left the South Fork Trail at the Dry Lake Trail junction and went through South Fork Meadows by snowshoe. After switching to crampons and a summit axe, I ventured part way up the base of Charlton Peak’s northern Couloir (col) to check the snow stability. In most places, it was a four finger soft top layer, alternating with a few firmer zones, all free of ice. It was easy to make a good snowball. Although the days have been warmer, it was too early for the sun to affect the snow. Taking a direct route up was long and steep but the snow was great for the most part. Near the top, the snow was very firm with only one small wind slab zone to bypass. The weather on Charlton Peak was very nice - clear with very little wind. The view of Dry Lake was spectacular as were those of the Jepson and San Gorgonio peaks. While following the ridgeline over to Little Charlton Peak, the wind steadily picked up but the view was still amazing. Moving down the ridge further towards Jepson Bowl, I could see the powder/spindrift carry across the summits and down the Jepson chutes which was really something to see. After a food break, I went back to the Charlton summit and decided on a way down. Since the snow on the col was still stable (northern aspect between trees) and there was no easier descent, I down climbed the top third of the col and then tried to glissade but the snow was not hard enough to give a fast ride. I turned on my helmet light at South Fork Meadows and didn’t bother with the snowshoes since the snow had really firmed up on the S.F. Trail (only post holed in a couple of places). I met a couple of nice people ski touring on the way out, the only people I saw during the entire day. This was the second week of great snow and clear weather for me so it was another awesome hiking day. Logged about 13 miles and 4386 vert ft.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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    1 year, 2 months ago
    I’ve done the standard Vivian to SG Mtn Trail frequently this year so the first part of this post is really for anyone looking for something a little different from the Vivian trailhead (Gaia really doesn’t cover the cross-country stuff). Solo day hiked Tues 11/21/2023 – First hike in SoCal after spending the last 3 months in the Sierra and this was a good choice for a shorter, hybrid hike before Thanksgiving which covered new ground for me. Cross country southward climb up to the Yucaipa Ridge from the Vivian Creek Trail and then up Wanat, Little San Gorgonio and Wilshire peaks plus Wilshire Mountain. First week of the year not going across snow in perfect, warmer weather with little wind at altitude. While the 360° views off the ridge line were all spectacular, those to the south including the sunlight reflecting off the Salton Sea were very striking – my first time on the Yucaipa Ridge. The class 3 line up Wanat Peak was the most fun while the ridge trek was very peaceful. Followed the old, lesser traveled use trail down which was nicely cairn marked on the mid to upper parts (much thanks to those responsible) which made for an easier descent back to the south drainage and Mill Creek. Have to say it’s nice to be back in warmer weather right now before gearing up for the winter. Recommend taking advantage of the last of the warm weather while it’s here! Logged 10.6 miles/4127 vertical ft. with Gaia _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Solo hiked Thurs 09/14/2023 – Now is a great time to hike the Vivian route before the seasonal transition. Mill Creek is a trickle and easy to cross while Vivian and High Creek are flowing well and easy to filter from. The trail has a few standing water spots, High Creek Camp being the most notable but all are easily navigated as are several blow downs blocking the trail. Extended my day out with a scramble up the south face of Jepson from the SB Trail and then a scramble further south to Little (east) Dobbs Peak. Went back over the Big Draw rock pile and rejoined the Vivian trail for the route back. Very nice weather with a cooling breeze down to High Creek Camp before running into the bug fest on lower Vivian (could’ve put my net on but swatting was good enough). Met a lot of nice people on the way down who picked up the trail trash before I got to it on my way out. Hard to believe somebody drinks Starbucks while hiking, first, and then tosses the cup into the Manzanita grove. Logged 22 miles/6317 vertical ft. with Gaia ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Solo hiked Fri 08/25/2023 – Momyer Creek TH-Vivian Creek Tr-SG Mtn-Big Draw/Jepson Pks- Little Dobbs/Dobbs Pks-SB Pk Tr-Falls Creek Tr-Momyer Creek Tr. Bugs and bats in the dark on Vivian to make an interesting start. Nice to see High Creek Falls still roaring this late in summer with nice cold water upstream. Gusty on the ridge line but not bad on the summits with very nice weather/views. Spectacular views of Big Bear Lake, Dry Lake, San Jacinto Peak, Yucaipa Ridge and Lake Perris from Jepson and Little Dobbs were just a mentionable few. Going down the Falls Creek Trail was quite an adventure with a few jungle/oasis zones. The 3 lush green oasis areas were like being on a Hawaiian hike with many plant types, flowing strongly with cold water to filter while the White-Buck Thorn/Manzanita jungle zones were easily traversed but make it a “long pants only” trail. As others have said, there are several new blow downs across most of the trails, along with several new washout areas. They were all easy to deal, just requiring a little more care and effort to traverse (like being in the wilderness in general). Crossed Mill Creek easily on the Vivian start but it was not so easy to cross at the Momyer finish. Didn’t see anyone all day on any of the 4 trails I used. Now is a great time to hike these trails with lower fire danger, better weather and still-viable water sources. Trail crews have done a great job this year clearing blow downs and bush trimming but it’s definitely a game of “catch up” after an extraordinary winter and now Hilary. Logged 25.8 miles/6872 vertical ft. with Gaia _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Solo hiked Thurs 07/20/2023 – A very nice day to hike Vivian Creek in the middle of a heat wave. Early morning views from the summit of San Gorgonio were definitely worth the effort in cooler air than I had planned on. Spent a little time afterwards going over to the northwest slope marker looking at the remnants of the 1945 Raytheon microwave test installation (cables, footings, metal test equipment parts). But the real fun was climbing Peak 9782 out of High Creek Camp. I had originally planned on using the old USGS use trail going up the south-southwest slope but saw that it was non-existent, at least from the Vivian Creek Trail. Luckily, I spotted a deer slowly traversing a Chinquapin/Manzanita grove up the south face above High Creek which allowed me to navigate the animal use trail to the rocky scramble at the top. Very pleasant noontime weather on the peak made it hard to want to leave it. Went around this peak all winter so it was nice to finally go up it. Mill Creek was a trickle of its former self but High and Vivian Creeks are still flowing strongly with plenty of cold water to filter. Bugs were out in force by midday. Still a lot of lemon lilies, monkey, Lupine and white elder flowers blooming along Vivian. Logged 19.5 miles/5905 vertical ft. with Gaia ............................................................................................................................................................................................. Hiked Thurs 06/15/2023 solo – Vivian Creek Trail to the north-south ridge above High Creek, trace trail down to base of Dragon’s Head, direct ascent - NW face of Dragon’s Head (snow), down NE spine to “The Tarn”, direct ascent – north face of Bighorn Mountain (on the dry rocks). Mill and Vivian Creek water levels are noticeably lower than what I experienced 2 weeks ago. Vivian Creek Trail is in great summer shape with a few snow patches of soft snow above High Creek that can be safely crossed in trail runners (poles are your friends). The trace trail to the base of Dragon’s head is marked with cairns and leads directly to the creek at the base of Dragon’s Head. Used mid boots/crampons for the snow covered NW face of Dragon’s Head but the alternate NE route up the spine is free of snow. The Tarn is amazingly still a dry lake bed which was a surprise to me and neat to cross/stand in the middle. Bighorn Mountain was a direct scramble from the north but could be done in an easier/gradual hike from a NW direction. A very fun day – great views, perfect weather, bugs that respected repellent and the relaxing sound of Vivian Creek in the late afternoon. Payback for all the snowshoe miles this winter! Logged 18.4 miles/5447 vertical ft. with Gaia ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hiked Friday 06/02/2023 solo – Nice trek to summit with great weather and crossing Mill, Vivian and High Creeks was easier than a few weeks ago. Thanks to whoever redid the Mill Creek logs – they’re rock solid and easy to across with trekking poles. Bare boots to high creek and crampons to take the winter route to the N-S ridge line (one last time on this as the snow is melting fast). Snow fields at the summit are now sun cupped and forming penitentes like the higher Sierra peaks and walking across them early in the day was really cool. You don’t need crampons or even micro spikes to go to the summit on the current boot packed trail but sliding around on the descent isn’t the most fun. Bright sun and very little wind for almost the entire day. Even though the trail is dry to High Creek Camp, I would recommend higher SPF sunscreen and polarized sunglasses for the glaring snow after High Creek. Now is a great time to hike this beautiful trail along Vivian Creek and you can turn around at High Creek if you don’t want to deal with snow. Watch out for the poison oak where the trail parallels the creeks as it is in full bloom. First time seeing litter on the trail this year – picked up what I could carry out. Logged 15.5 miles/5449 vertical ft. with Gaia ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................Hiked Friday 05/18/2023 solo – Lightweight mid boots from Mill Creek to High Creek and then mountain boots to the summit. Used micro spikes on a few sections after halfway camp and crampons beyond High Creek. Opted to ascend direct to the north ridge line out of High Creek as the snow is still good enough to hold points and we’ll all be trail bound in another few weeks. There are well defined tracks to the summit, starting from the north ridgeline and crossing the slope just below the eastern ridgeline- will be useful on warmer days to avoid postholing. After a 30 minute hail storm on the summit, the weather was sunny and warm with little wind. Careful around High Creek Camp as there are numerous snow bridges right now in the bog areas. It’s like a mine field (I was able to avoid most but fell through a small one that took out a pair of socks). Thanks to the trail crews for removing the bigger fallen trees from the first couple of miles of the trail – no more detours. It is possible to cross Mill Creek using a tree that spans most of the way across that I crawled across with a full pack. Bring several pairs of socks as Vivian and High Creek are really moving right now and it’s possible to get your feet wet numerous times. Logged 15.8 miles/5537 vertical ft. with Gaia..........................................................................................................................................................................................Hiked Friday 01/27/23 – Used the Vivian Creek Trail to cross Vivian Creek and then start on a cross country ridge climb to Dobbs/Little Dobbs Peaks. An early start provided nice firm snow for 70 percent of the climb up with crampons and only one small ice zone to axe through. The last 30 percent of the trip up was more work in softer snow thanks to the clear blue skies and very sunny weather. Summit views of the neighboring peaks, the San Jacinto range and the southern valleys were spectacular. The wind carved snow ridges with underlying blue ice were unique. While traveling between summits, 8 F-35’s flew over in formation which was really cool on a blue sky day. Heading back, the softening snow was helpful at first on the steeper descent but then the postholing started. The steeper angle and melting snow kept me from using my snowshoes and so I just took it easy back to the Vivian Creek crossing, avoiding potential wet avalanche areas that can take you for a small ride. A very enjoyable route worth the effort, even if it is a leg burner all the way up! There are a few fallen trees across the Vivian Creek Trail that have to be bypassed but it’s evident that trail crews are working hard to remove them. Most of the rime ice in the trees has fallen so no helmet hits today. More enjoyable and a great alternative to hiking down ice at Baldy right now. ********************************************************************************************************* Hiked 12/15/22 - Quick trek to High Creek Camp and back. No tracks on trail after halfway camp but I picked up the trail to high camp with very little GPS help. 8-10 inch post holing on the slope traverses with the snow firm but soft enough to cake my spikes so I switched to snow shoes 1/2 mile from high creek camp and then for the first 3-1/2 miles down. Snow turning to slush in the afternoon on the last 1/2 mile down. Weather was nice with little wind and clear skies for most of the day before the clouds descended.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 2 months ago
    Solo hiked Fri 08/25/2023 – Momyer Creek TH-Vivian Creek Tr-SG Mtn-Big Draw/Jepson Pks- Little Dobbs/Dobbs Pks-SB Pk Tr-Falls Creek Tr-Momyer Creek Tr. Bugs and bats in the dark on Vivian to make an interesting start. Nice to see High Creek Falls still roaring this late in summer with nice cold water upstream. Gusty on the ridge line but not bad on the summits with very nice weather/views. Spectacular views of Big Bear Lake, Dry Lake, San Jacinto Peak, Yucaipa Ridge and Lake Perris from Jepson and Little Dobbs were just a mentionable few. Going down the Falls Creek Trail was quite an adventure with a few jungle/oasis zones. The 3 lush green oasis areas were like being on a Hawaiian hike with many plant types, flowing strongly with cold water to filter while the White-Buck Thorn/Manzanita jungle zones were easily traversed but make it a “long pants only” trail. As others have said, there are several new blow downs across most of the trails, along with several new washout areas. They were all easy to deal, just requiring a little more care and effort to traverse (like being in the wilderness in general). Crossed Mill Creek easily on the Vivian start but it was not so easy to cross at the Momyer finish. Didn’t see anyone all day on any of the 4 trails I used. Now is a great time to hike these trails with lower fire danger, better weather and still-viable water sources. Trail crews have done a great job this year clearing blow downs and bush trimming but it’s definitely a game of “catch up” after an extraordinary winter and now Hilary. Logged 25.8 miles/6872 vertical ft. with Gaia ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hiked 12/15/22 - Vivian gives you a solid cardio workout for the first mile with the snow stepping it up a bit. No tracks on trail after halfway camp but I was able to pick up the trail to high camp with very little GPS help. 8-10 inch post holing on the slope traverses with the snow firm but soft enough to cake my spikes so I switched to snow shoes for the last 1/2 mile up and then the first 3-1/2 miles down. Snow turning to slush in the afternoon on the last 1/2 mile down. Weather was nice with little wind and clear skies for most of the day before the clouds descended. Logged 12.2 miles/3262 feet.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

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    1 year, 4 months ago
    Amazing. Super hard at first, then beautiful
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 4 months ago
    Solo hiked Fri 08/04/2023 – Same peaks-new route. Early start on the South Fork-Dry Lake trails to Dry Lake and Mineshaft Saddle. Up Zahniser Peak, out Sky High trail to the C-47 Memorial crash site and up to San Gorgonio summit. Descent to the Big Draw rock pile and then returning via the San Bernardino Peak – South Fork Trails. A few side excursions - south face direct ascent of Jepson, west face direct ascent of Charlton, out and back to Red Rock Flat from Dollar Lake Saddle. Another day of great summer weather in SG with a cooling breeze. Wanted to get some mileage on a loop I’ve never done and this was a good one. Dry Lake is still very picturesque these days and worth the hike in itself. Still one last snow patch on the Sky High route that others have mentioned, S-SW of summit (near the awesome view of Dragon’s Head). Depending on time of day, you can navigate it easily with bare boot step kicks or take the high and dry scramble around it. Self-arrest with a shortened trekking pole will not work here with a short and possibly deadly runout on to the rocks. Scrambling up Jepson linking use trail segments with the rocks was a blast, especially after climbing the ice and snow chutes from Jepson Bowl all winter. Tried to first ascend Charlton with from the east but the Chinquapin/Whitethorn thickets had no use trails through. Ended up going down the SB trail closer to Dollar Saddle and going up the west side which was a good rock scramble. Upper South Fork Trail is very scenic in the afternoon and a great way to come down. A few blowdowns left to hop but not too bad. Thanks again to the trail crews for all of the spring-summer tree removal/cutbacks. Having hopped 35 trees on a day hike in the dead of winter here, I have to say it’s nice. Logged 23.7 miles/5701 vertical ft. with Gaia ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... Hiked Weds 05/10/2023 solo – Out on South Fork Trail to Dry Lake Trail to Dry Lake with bare boots. All fallen trees easy to get around even with a full pack but some of the water crossings at South Fork Meadows take a little work. The Dry Lake thaw is really picking up and the lake level is higher than I’ve seen in the past. Climbed the North Chute to San Gorgonio Summit (axes/ crampons) with firm snow and smaller ice zones. Since it was still on the early side with good snow and not very windy, I skipped the chute down climb and took the scenic ridge route back across Big Draw, Jepson, Little Charlton and Charlton peaks. Decided to make a straight descent down Dollar Couloir since the snow was good enough for the late day elevator ride down to Dollar Lake (empty). From there, I completed the loop back to South Fork Meadows. Knowing that the snow is rapidly disappearing and this was probably the last chance to climb it, I made a long day of it and it was definitely worth it. Lots of deer on the way out as the sun went down. Didn’t bring/need snowshoes and was in a T-shirt for most of the afternoon. The kind of day that makes you remember why you hike. Logged 15.7 miles/5000 vertical ft. with Gaia.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Hiked Hiked Friday 03/17/2023 –South Fork Trail to Dry Lake Trail, Lodgepole Trail to Fish Creek Saddle, N-NW ascent of Lake Peak. Started early to get the best snow of the day but the rain formed a 1-2 inch crust over a softened base. Used snow shoes from Dry Lake up to Fish Creek Saddle/Lake Peak. Didn’t bother with crampons as there was no ice and snow too soft to set points in. Not the same spoiling 1 finger/pencil hard snow from before the closure as I post holed 4 inches on long tail snow shoes for 90 percent of the trek. There was loose powder above 10K ft. It was a great work out and a beautiful day with the view of Jepson Bowl from Lake Peak worth the climb. Nice to get the closure over with while there’s still snow to travel in. Didn’t encounter any sizeable wind slabs on my way up, but there were a few slopes with pin wheeling and several inches of crust with short crack forming. Never had any falling rime ice hit my helmet but heard some sizeable pieces hit the ground. Made stops at Dry Lake and South Fork Meadow on the way down to take in the views with the wind almost non-existent all day. A fun but strenuous day with the weather not as cold as expected. Logged 13.2 miles/3337 vertical ft. on Gaia................................................................................................................................................................................................... Hiked Friday 02/17/2023 – South Fork Trail to Dry Lake Trail, south-southwest gully from Dry Lake to Jepson Bowl. Snowshoes were perfect for the snow on the Dry Lake winter trail and trip to Jepson Bowl. Climbed the Big Draw Couloir to the Jepson ridge line and then up Jepson and Big Draw Peaks. Vistas from both peaks were far reaching in spite of a few clouds, definitely worth the climb. The top of the Couloir had a steep faced wind slab for the climb out but the snow on the ascent was mostly pencil hard and free of exposed ice, perfect for crampon front pointing and axe protection. The snow on the ridgeline to Jepson was stable, soft over packed powder with some exposed ice but turning to solid surface ice on the way to Big Draw Peak and San Gorgonio. Wanted to spend a half hour to go up the last bit of San Gorgonio Mountain but my turn around time and the increasing wind speed sent me down-climbing the chute. Glad to get this hike/climb in before next week’s storm. Wanted to climb Jepson NE chute but the ice was gleaming and plentiful when looking up from the base. This was the third week of great snow and good weather, making it yet another enjoyable day in the SG backcountry. Logged a little over 14 miles and 4335 vertical ft by Gaia................................................................................................................................................................... 10/11/22 Hike - Trail is in good shape except for standing water on lower part near Horse Meadows after brief rain and a few easily navigated fallen trees previously mentioned. Didn't see anyone from trailhead to S.G. summit all day. Awesome vista points especially above 10,000 ft. Dry on the way up with snow pellets,rain, and infrequent lightning on way down. If you do hike this route in the rain, the lower trail forces you through standing/flowing water so waterproof boots are the way to go. My GPS trackers averaged the out and back distance as 19.6 miles Was a fun, scenic and adventurous hike.
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    1 year, 4 months ago
    Perfect weather, great trail conditions. Wore pants and gators expecting brush and my usual snake friends but both were absent. Still one of the most scenic trails in San Gorgonio, Now is the time to do this hike before the weather changes. Only saw one person all day on the way down (started at 5:30 am). All water crossings easy for anyone. Watch Cris Hazzard's Hiking Guy video on YouTube to prep and you will avoid a few wrong turns at junctions. This trail is like being on the John Muir Trail including the waterfalls near Dobbs Cabin
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    1 year, 7 months ago
    July 23rd - cloudy most of the way up kept us cool - still warm and a wonderful summit to old gray back - what an adventure....
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    1 year, 7 months ago
    If you enjoy a Sufferfest hike, with amazing views this is it. It’s approximately 18 miles with 5k ft elevation gain. This is a great training hike for Whitney or other long treks.
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    1 year, 8 months ago
    This was a great hike, specially going up.
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    1 year, 9 months ago
    Arrived on a Sunday at 6:15am and there were still a few parking spots left. Vault toilets at the parking lot. Bugs weren’t too bad, but were more plentiful in the afternoon. Took me 10 hours to complete with all my stops and at moderate pace.
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    1 year, 9 months ago
    To start, you definitely need a high clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead. I mean, if you’re mad at your car you could try it, but don’t be surprised if after the beating it takes getting in it decides to quit or get stuck somewhere! This is a long hike, with almost constant sun exposure and high elevation, you start at about 8100ft and end at 11500, but all things considered, it’s not that hard. Lots of burn scars from recent year’s fires, but still a beautiful hike with lots of wildflowers and wildlife. A couple very small stream crossings in the beginning, but not anything you should depend on for water as it’s too early in the hike. Farthest stream was less than 3 miles from the trailhead. You will not encounter many people on this trail, but will encounter groups at the summit coming up from the other trails. So if you enjoy the solitude, this is a great hike! I did this on a Saturday morning and saw 6 people the whole way up. There were dozens at the top and more streaming in constantly from the other side. On my way back down I did not see another person until the end of m hike. If that’s still too many people for you, try this hike mid week and you’ll likely have it all to yourself!
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    1 year, 9 months ago

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    1 year, 11 months ago
    Beware of possible mountain lions and trail conditions! We diverted down this route yesterday after trail (lack of) and snow conditions along the ridge stopped us from descending down to foresee creek via Anderson peak from San Bernardino mountain. Unfortunately we got to the summit late which meant we were forced to go down this section in the dark. For the most part the trail is in better condition than the other side of the mountain, however it is extremely overgrown and some times challenging to find the trail.. However what we were not prepared for was the multiple possible mountain lion sightings. In our headlamps we came head to head with a very large animal with big eyes and moved like a cat, which we’re pretty sure was a mountain lion. Not long after we saw another smaller one cross the trail which was possibly a cub or bob cat. And finally further down the trail we saw another two large ones, which looked like mountain lions. They watched us then ran away after we made ourselves very loud and big. Please be careful!

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    2 years, 4 months ago
    Pretty short hike less than a mile but very much worth it. Especially in the summer heat, the water will feel great.
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    2 years, 8 months ago
    This was an excellent trail to the top of the highest peak in Southern California! The trail was easy to follow, with ample signage at all forks in the trail. The beginning of the hike certainly caught our attention as it is a steep, unforgiving mile before entering the San Gorgonio Wilderness. A steady climb from there passes three campgrounds along the way as we ascended towards the summit. Water was readily available at High Creek Camp, where we chose to fill up during our descent. Be sure to always filter your water. We begun the hike around 5:30am and summited just after 10am. It is certainly important to note that the summit is only half way! We completed our descent at 3pm and passed three uniformed rangers along the way down.
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    3 years ago
    Easy hike, well marked trail, river access
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    3 years, 6 months ago
    Major Bucket List hike accomplished. I chickened out and climbed the tallest mountain in SoCal from the easier of the two ascents. The Vivian Creek Trail is longer steeper and harder. That is not to say this was easy by any means.
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    3 years, 7 months ago
    The highest summit in Southern California a brutal hike, but great training for higher peaks. Just a relentless uphill slog, one that is seemingly endless on the way down. I’ve done San Gorgonio twice from the Vivian Creek trailhead and I’d say the total hike from the parking lot is about 18 miles round trip. The trailhead is actually 1/2 mile up a dirt road from the parking lot. There are several water sources on the mountain, depending on time of year, so bring a filter if you want to refill. Otherwise bring at least 3 liters of water per person. Give yourself an early start, no later than 6:30 am, and remember to bring an Adventure Pass for the parking lot.
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    3 years, 8 months ago
    For a 19 mile hike that ascends 5,500 feet, it feels unaccountably pleasant. Ok. Ok. Ok. The first mile is punishing. And there are some sections there at the end that remind one this isn’t a gimme. But, get there at 6:30, throw back some pre-workout, sip on some protein powder during, and you’re good. I did the hike on a Wednesday and finding a parking spot wasn’t an issue. Even though it was 93 degrees in LA, I was cold at the start of the hike. Light pants and a long sleeve cool max shirt over a T for the ascent. T and shorts for the descent. Choose a day where the weather report has the wind under 10mph. You’ll be happy for that. Oh, and you need an Adventure Pass to park.
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    3 years, 8 months ago
    The weather was perfect for this hike. A bit chilly at first, but by the time we got up to the peak it was cold and windy at 1 p.m. The first mile could be considered a gate keeper, as it can lead you to think that the hike will be brutal for the remainder of the trail. Also the last mile could be daunting, but one foot in front of the other gets the job done.
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    3 years, 9 months ago
    vivian parking lot closed (covid?) so add another mile to the round trip. we got to lot at 0600 and there were four legal spots left. halfway camp is really third way to summit. took is almost 6 hours to summit including a few breaks. couple guys passed us and brisk hike made it in just under 4hours. if camping plan on halfway camp since high camp (which is more like halfway up) only has 3 to four spots and was full (Saturday). trail was clean but we picked up two water bottles along the way and there was a cigarette butt in the rocks at the peak. my knees are killing me as the super steep part of Vivian from the river to halfways really a challenge on the way down for this 55uear old. took us almost 12 hours for the round trip. felt good to soak knees in the cold water at the bottom
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    3 years, 11 months ago
    My favorite desert hike, with water crossings at the beginning and a place to sit and have lunch or a snack by the water next to the Red Dome. We’ve done this multiple times, and with facility closures (including the parking lot here), we had to park on the road at the last river crossing and hike from there, but there were no crowds and we loved it.
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    4 years, 4 months ago
    Great hike- did this in mid October, ample water in all three creeks and the cedar seep. The fall colors were amazing, watch your step on the trail as the millions of acorns were like walking on rollers. Thank you to the hiker who left a note about the wasp nest- we both still got stung, not badly. Both Dobbs and awger has great sites for overnighting.
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    4 years, 5 months ago
    Nice like ride up Canyon House Road. A lot of views of the low Desert and Mission Creek
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    5 years, 4 months ago
    Great hike all the way to the top. Lovely trees and views, well-maintained trail.
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