San Gorgonio Mountain Trail

#4 of 114 trails in San Bernardino National Forest
San Gorgonio Mountain Trail is a 17.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Forest Falls, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

17.9 miles 5403 feet Out & Back
dogs on leash kid friendly birding camping hiking nature trips snowshoeing trail running walking forest river views waterfall wild flowers wildlife bugs snow
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San Gorgonio Wilderness Trail is located near Forest Falls, California and offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is primarily used for camping & hiking and is accessible year-round. The Vivian Creek Trail is the shortest and the steepest route to the summit of Mt. San Gorgonio. One and two-tenths miles from the trailhead is Vivian Creek Camp (7,100'). Campsites are located upslope to the right of the trail after reaching the stream: one is halfway up the slope, and the other is at the top of the slope (no camping within 200 feet of the trail or creek). One and three-tenths miles from Vivian Creek Camp is Halfway Camp (8,100'). Water is obtained from the creek 200 yards before camp. Two and three-tenths miles further is High Creek Camp (water available - 9,200'). The summit of San Gorgonio (11,499') is 3 miles beyond High Creek. The upper end of this trail offers outstanding views of Yucaipa Ridge and Galena Peak, as well as sweeping panoramic views from the top of Mt. San Gorgonio. After the South Fork Trail, this is the second most used trail in the Wilderness.

Tony Mungo
3 months ago

18 Completed9 Reviews

If you are training for Whitney this is a great trail to test to see if you are ready. The trail is long and winds thru 3 different atmospheric zones. When you start to move above the tree line you can definitely feel the altitude. It feels like you are on the moon when at the top. Bagged it in 8 1/2 hrs hiking around a 20 minute mile pace but a lot of people stay at trail camp and make this a 2 day hike. The way back will feel longer than you expect and watch out for the sticker bushes if you hiking in the summer-wear convertible pants.

HikingGuy .com
7 months ago

33 Completed31 Reviews

This hike is a beast. Over 5k ft of climbing, 18 miles, it's a long day. Buy hey, it's the tallest peak in SoCal, so you have to do it. I have a full San Gorgonio hike trip report and turn by turn directions on my blog here >

Amanda Inglis
7 months ago

19 Completed5 Reviews

This is a hard but beautiful hike.

Robert C.
8 months ago

8 Completed8 Reviews

This was my last climb of the So Cal Six Pack. I did this climb on 6 September 2015 with a group of four other climbers, 3 of which I had climbed with before.

We got an early start on the trail, with boots on the ground at 5:50 am while it was still a bit dark. The initial part of the trail leads to a dry river crossing which makes it a bit difficult to find where the trail resumes on the other side. Once on the other side, the trail kicks up into some steep switchbacks for at least a mile, it backs off a little bit and mellows out after that until later in the climb where it has other steep sections to navigate.

Towards the top the altitude started playing a part in the climb, above 10,000' elevation I could certainly feel it and our pace slowed down considerably. The trail towards the end gets steep again as you near the summit, we had some question as to exactly which peak we were hiking up to since from the lower angle it was hard to determine which one was the highest. Turns out on the way up you really can't see where the top is exactly.

The top had a few people on it, a register that was pretty much full to sign in and the San Gorgonio plaque to hold up for a photo. We had slight stratus clouds and it was brisk up a the top in the wind, but with a little wind protection, very comfortable. Beautiful views from the summit!

Another great hike with some really nice and fun people, a perfect day outside in Southern California.

Kyle Kammer
11 months ago

4 Completed4 Reviews

Crystal G.
1 year ago

I was super excited to hike up this trail fresh snow had just fallen last Saturday may 16 which made it a difficult hike but wow SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!! Love the hike so scenic it was a winter wonderland but the snow made it a difficult slushy hike back!!!

Robert Schneider
1 year ago

26 Completed3 Reviews

did this hike in one day the first oart all switch backs and up up up when you get to vivian creek camp all forest till what I named the switch back rock garden than above treeline have a lot of sunscreen awesome views at top can even c big bear lake start early its a long hike and plan well all in all great hike. PS watch loose rocks on switchbacks took a header and tweeked knee was a ruff and paing ful 5 miles back to truck but still made it .

Brian Mcgarry
2 years ago

23 Completed6 Reviews

This was our first backpacking trip of the season and it was a great way to knock the cobwebs off. We started in the Vivian Creek parking lot with our dog and when we got our first look at the hill we were about to climb, we immediately started cutting weight from our packs, haha! We ended up with her having about 35lbs and my pack weighing in just about 60lbs. Way too much for an overnight trip. I think next time I can cut that down to under 45lbs with little discomfort. The first mile or so was pretty bad. Nothing but uphill after you cross the creek bed. We had to stop a few times before we hit the "zone". After the Vivian Creek Camp it flattens out some more and its just an amazing trek all the the way to the top. Best part is, now I know what I need to work out and train for the next trip, haha!

Alma Herrera
2 years ago

42 Completed33 Reviews

Completed the hike Via Vivian Creek, hardly any snow, great views. I definitely under estimated this hike, the beginning does seem challenging but the rest is a gradual incline towards the peak, but don't fool your self its volume is massive at times it feels like forever. Great hike tho beautiful peak view. I will definitely hike again, please hike safe and let the Rangers know your hiking San Gorgonio if this is your first hike there.

Frank Jackson
2 years ago

51 Completed29 Reviews

Loved the hike. Trail tends to get overgrown down below. Very windy up top a lot of times.

Mandie Brummitt
2 years ago

2 Completed1 Reviews

Doing the hike to the summit is do-able and well worth it for anyone who is in even moderate athletic shape. Some people hike over two days and camp along the way but doing in all in one day is achievable if you're able to focus your attention on mind over matter. It's an internal struggle as well as a strenuous hike but the views and sense of accomplishment on the summit are incredible!

Giselle Willick
2 years ago

125 Completed11 Reviews

Perfect training hike for Whitney! Strenuous. Beautiful varied terrain, gorgeous flowers.

Torrey Schaefer
3 years ago

22 Completed13 Reviews

Great hike, definitely challenging as far as length combined with elevation gain, but well worth it once you reach the top/above the tree line. There was various terrain so I was never "bored" with the hike except for a section of lengthy switchbacks. A few recommendations: make sure that you submit a permit at least a few days in advance, you need one to actually do the hike of your choice and I strongly recommend bringing walking poles, it helped me on the way back since there are so many loose rocks on the trail. And one more thing: bug spray might be helpful! There is a portion of the hike that you are paralleling a small river; it is a beautiful part of the hike, but will attract some bugs. Overall, great hike though.

Anton Notkin
3 years ago

6 Completed1 Reviews

We didn't finish it, but plan to go back to summit. Beautiful views. The beginning is steep and hot. It smooths out into some mountain valleys.

First of all, there's some confusion and lack of clear information - you need to get a "Mountain adventure Pass" (aka parking pass) about half a mile down the road from the park entrance. Then, you also need a "wilderness pass" which you have to get from a ranger station something like 5 miles back from whence you came...

Marc Nitz
3 years ago

61 Completed23 Reviews

I love this tough trail except my truck was broken into at the parking lot. They need to increase security there because mine wasn't the only vehicle broken into.

Philip Hopkins
3 years ago

19 Completed12 Reviews

very strenuous hike. you want a very early start. it is best to hike june through october due to snow. entire hike took nine hours. there was water at mile 1.2, 2.5, and 3.8. highly recommend this hike to anyone wanting a bit of a challenge. unbeatable views.