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San Bernardino Peak

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San Gorgonio Wilderness, city views, steep demanding hike, Washington Monument
Near:Forest Falls, CA
Distance:16 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:5100 ft
Hike Time:9 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: This trail is a no-nonsense elevation gainer. however, it maintains a steady grade for a large portion of the trip. You begin in a mixed oak/pine forest and briskly head up the side of the ridge. Two miles into the trail you enter the San Gorgonio Wilderness, which is marked by a sign. The trail evens off a bit here, but not too much. You will be climbing and climbing some more. In two more miles you will reach a relatively flat area covered with Manzanita and chaparral. This flat area is your halfway reprieve, and it continues until you reach the trail junction for Columbine Springs and John's Meadow.

From here it is 3.6 miles up and up to the top, I can't say much for the view, because I went during very wintry weather, and I couldn't see a thing. I imagine that on a clear day though, you can see all of Southern California.

One neat thing is that you pass Colonel Washington's baseline monument which was the 1852 survey point for all land in SoCal.

Trailhead: Take the 10 Freeway to Redlands, exit Ford, head North and follow Ford (it will turn into Judson) to Lugonia. There are no signs in Redlands that this is the 38, but it is. Turn right, heading East towards the mountains. Two and a half miles down the road, you will see Mill Creek Ranger Station. You need to stop here and get your permit. If you go during the week, getting the free permit should not be a problem, weekends maybe (most people want to go to San Gorgonio, so you might be okay anyway.)

Continue on the 38, until you see the sign for Angelus Oaks. The trail is not marked from this direction, so as soon as you enter Angelus Oaks, turn right onto a road with some houses, follow it until you see the signs for the trail and trail parking. Park away from the roadway and begin your hike. (Lat:34.12222 Lon:-116.92255)

Trail Guides for San Bernardino Peak:
San Bernardino Mountain Trails - 100 Hikes in Southern California
by John W. Robinson  (Wilderness Press)

Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)

Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: San Bernardino National Forest (909) 794-1123 - Mill Creek Ranger Station
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted  123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 6   Submit your own review
Reviewed by on 9/29/2015
Did the hike up here and to San Bernardino Peak. It's a tough hike but the views are spectacular the entire way up. One of my favorites. You need a permit to do this. Check out my blog post on hiking San Bernardino peak, it has everything you need to know to do this hike safely.

Reviewed by Pablo on 8/15/2015
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Reviewed by Joe on 6/2/2014
Good day hike! Trail is snow and ice free 6/1/14. Some water and limber pine springs but not much.

Reviewed by John on 10/22/2012
We did this hike on Saturday morning, 10/20/12. Started about 8:30am. We thought we might have started late, but the light and the warmer temps made for a far more enjoyable hike. The trail is one of the best designed trails I've hiked. (I've hiked a bunch of them on the So Cal mountains.) Amazing views. Advice: the 9 hours isn't too far off. Much of the lower elevation of the trail are in the shadow of the mountain, so it gets dark quickly on the decent. I'd suggest not starting any time after 9:00 if you want to get back the your car by daylight.

Reviewed by Pablo on 8/29/2012
Perhpas it was just the nice weather, but this peak was my favorite of the '6 pack'. Didn't seem like 16 miles and the grade was not overly challenging. I like the fact that it was tree'd most of the way and the views were unmatched. You can see Big Bear Lake, Gorgornio, Jacinto, etc. I'm not so sure this trial is a well-kept secret as I saw quite a few on the trail (Sunday, 8-26) including a group of 30 Korean hikers. The only water source is about 3 miles in and only a trickle now.

Reviewed by AJS on 8/26/2012
Great hike - read about the "6 pack of peaks" in SoCal to train for Whitney. Since my boyfriend and I are only doing 3 training hikes before Whitney, we chose the 4th one on that list (this one). Coming from San Diego, I could definitely feel the altitude, but we chose a cool weekend (70F), needed 5L of water between the two of us, and only had gnats/flies in the first 2 miles. The rest of the hike was bug-free and pleasant. The trailhead was tricky to find, but these are the directions that got us there: Entering Angelus Oaks from the 38, the key is to look for the fire station (it’s on Manzanita). Turn towards the station, then an immediate left on the frontage road. You'll see signs then to the right indicating trailhead parking in 1/

Reviewed by jonr on 7/14/2012
the hike is great but the summit is a little underwhelming. very small, mostly treed in. note on directions: the right turn is the second one after the angelus oaks sign. hit a quick left, then turn right on a dirt road marked "trailhead". follow it to the end and park.

Reviewed by Forest on 6/15/2012
My buddy and I ran this trail June 12, and its a tough one. It took us right around 4hrs (2:30 up/1:30 down) to complete. We both enjoyed it a lot, but it was a serious test of our fitness! It would be a nice day hike. Not the best views, but a really cool trail. Bring water! We ran out about 2 miles from the parking lot.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, San Bernardino County Hiking, San Bernardino County Trails, San Bernardino County Hikes

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