Ashley and I recently, hiked to the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio Via the Vivian Creek Trail. Mt. San Gorgonio, via the Vivian Creek Trail, is one of Southern California's monster hikes. We would recommended than anyone doing this hike train first before attempting the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio via this route. Ashley and I were using this hike as one of our training hikes for our upcoming Mt. Whitney hike. Mt. San Gorgonio, at 11,502 feet, is the tallest peak in Southern California and is a must do hike for any Southern California Hiker. For more pictures make sure to check out our Facebook Page.
Mill Creek Ranger Station (Where you obtain the additional wilderness permit if you have not gotten it early), continue on up into the San Bernardino National Forest. Several miles pass the Mill Creek Ranger station, you will make a right at Forest Falls Road. At the very end of Forest Falls Road is where the trailhead begins at 6,080 feet. There are several parking lots at the trailhead (A Forest Adventure Pass is needed as well as a Wilderness Permit for the San Gorgornio Wilderness).
Follow this link for the permit. The link will direct you to the wilderness permit application. You can obtain the additional wilderness permit early from the Mill Creek Ranger Station which is the easiest way, or you will have to stop at the Mill Creek Ranger Station before you go hiking. Each trail has a set quota for the number of hikers allowed on each hiking trail in the San Gorgonio Wilderness and once the quota is reached the National Forest Service does not issue more wilderness permits for the hiking trail. That is why we recommend you get your wilderness permit early. You can obtain a permit 90 days before your hike in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.
Here to go to the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association's website.
San Gorgonio Wilderness Association Store has one for sale. This is a great hike which offers sweeping views of Southern California. The hike is very challenging, with one of the steepest portions of the hike in the first mile and a half. Click Here for a live webcam of San Gorgonio courtesy of BigBearWeather.com.
Mt. San Jacinto, Saddleback, Mt. Baldy, and even Cuyamaca Peak in San Diego County. We were also surprised that there were a couple of small patches of snow on the North facing slops of Mt. San Gorgonio in August. It just goes to show that if you do this hike in the winter make sure you have proper gear and are experiences with winter hiking in the back-county.
San Gorgonio Wilderness Association. There is snow on this trail much of the Winter and Spring due to the high elevation of Mt. San Gorgonio. If there is snow on the mountain make sure you have the proper equipment before attempting this hike.
Rating: Elevation Gain: 5,600 ft. (Strenuous), Distance: 16 Miles Roundtrip (Strenuous), Note: be on the watch for altitude sickness since the height of Mt. San Gorgonio is 11,502 ft.
Time to Complete Hike: 7.5 - 10 hours.
Good Training Hikes: Mt. Baden-Powell, Mt. San Jacinto, Saddleback Mountain, Cucamonga Peak, Mt. Baldy.
MORE TRAIL WRITE-UPS ON MT. SAN GORGONIO
Mt. San Gorgonio (Via the Vivian Creek Trail, August 2011)(This Post)