Alto Diablo (Tall Devil) is a rocky peak located in the San Bernardino Mountains. It is at an elevation of 10,563 feet and is located between Shields Peak to the west and Dry Lake Saddle to the east. It is not recognized by the USGS, but is regularly included in the 9 peak hike of the San Bernardino Mountains and is a popular spot for Boy Scouts.
Even though there are many trails that can be taken to the summit of Alto Diablo, none of them are easy. As far as I can figure, the shortest route via Moymer Trailhead is just under 10 miles and 5000 ft of elevation gain to the summit (one-way). It looks like the Forsee Creek Trail would be similar mileage and gain. This peak lends itself well to a car shuttle between trailhead and a multi-peakbagging trip.
Getting ThereI will let Google Maps provide the directions, click on the link below for direction to the Trailheads.
Direction to Moymer trailhead
For Vivian creek just keep driving up the road a few miles as far as you can (until you reach the gate).
Direction to Angelus Oaks (San Bernardino Peak Trailhead)
TrailheadsThere are many trails leading up to Alto Diablo. Here is a Topo showing the all of the trails, the green trails are actual GPS track, the Red are estimated location of the trails.
Since there are so many trailheads, I provided the trail information from the www.sgwa.org website below. I could have spend hours writing these out in my own words, but there would not be as good as what is already available. If this if frowned upon, I can remove the text and provide solely the links.
Vivian Creek Trail
The trailhead is reached by turning east off Highway 38 to Forest Falls. Continue through Forest Falls to the top end (east end) of the picnic area at the end of the road (6,080').
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.
Momyer Creek Trail
The trailhead is reached by turning east off Highway 38 to Forest Falls. Continue up the road 3 miles to the large parking area (5,400') on your left 100 yards before the fire station. Alger Creek Camp (7,100') is 3.7 miles. The single site is located about .25 miles below the trail.
Two miles further is Dobbs Camp (water available-7,200'). Another 1.5 miles is Saxton Camp (8,400'). Water here is obtained from a small spring .2 mile below the camp along the trail. Two miles further is Dollar Lake Saddle (no water-9,960'). This one of the most underused trails. This area offers the visitor solitude and good views of Mill Creek Canyon and Yucaipa Ridge from the upper end of the trail.
San Bernardino Peak Trail
The trailhead (5,960') leaves from behind the Camp Angelus Fire Station at Angelus Oaks. Stay to the right up the dirt road 300 yards. Columbine Camp (water available-8,000') is 4.7 miles from the trailhead just beyond Manzanita Flats. The camp is to the right (south) of the trail and .7 mile and 300 vertical feet below it.
Two miles beyond Columbine Springs Junction is Limber Pine Bench Camp (9,200'). Water is obtained from a spring .3 mile beyond the camp.
Two and two-tenths miles further beyond Limber Pine Camp located on the San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail is San Bernardino (10,624') and San Bernardino East Peaks. Another two mile east along the Peak Divide Trail is Trail Fork Springs (water available near trail junction-10,400').
The San Bernardino Peak Trail and the Divide Trail both offer outstanding views in all directions. The flatlands of the Inland Empire lay nearly 10,000 vertical feet below Limber Pine Camp and the trail above.
Forsee Creek Trail
Turn right (southeast) on Jenks Lake Road West off of Highway 38. One-quarter mile from Highway 38 is a signed dirt road on your right. This is a rough, rocky road not intended for low-slung autos, but is usually passable.
Three-quarters to one mile up the trail is the cutoff for John's Meadow (heading to the west). John's Meadow (and camp) is located at 7,200' and 3.9 miles from the trailhead. Plenty of water is available here year-round.
Four miles from the trailhead (6,400') is Jackstraw Camp. Jackstraw Camp (9,200') is located .2 miles to the right (west) of the trail and is supplied by a small and intermittent water source. One and nine-tenths miles beyond Jackstraw is Trail Fork Springs Camp (10,400'). Water is located about 100 yards southwest of the camp at the Spring.
To the east along the Peak Divide Trail lie two additional camps. The first, Anderson Flat (no water-10,500'), is .4 miles up the trail. The second is Shields Flat (no water-10,400') 1.8 miles east of Anderson Flat, 2.3 miles east of Trail Fork, and only 1.2 miles west of High Meadow Spring (10,300') which is the preferred water source.
This trail is mostly shaded up to Jackstraw Springs Camp, and offers outstanding sunset views west from Trail Fork Springs Camp.
South Fork Trail
The South Fork Trailhead is on Jenks Lake Road, 2.5 miles from Highway 38. The trail begins at the large paved parking lot (6,900') on Jenks Lake Road East and climbs 2.5 miles where it crosses the Wilderness boundary just beyond a short side trail (NE) to a photo overlook (Poop-Out Hill, 7,740') and Wilderness information display. The trail then crosses the Wilderness boundary and continues another 1.7 miles to South Fork Meadows (8,200'). Here the trail forks: to the left (east) is Dry Lake (1.5 miles, 9,000') and to the right (west) is Dollar Lake (2 miles, 9,300').
The Dry Lake camping area (remember that camping is at least 200 feet from meadows, streams, springs, trails, and other occupied sites) is spread through two drainages. The first has only one or two good camping sites, the second, in the largest draw, has almost all the sites as well as Lodgepole Spring (about .25 mile up the trail towards Fish Creek Saddle-9,900').
One and three-tenths miles beyond Dry Lake is Trail Flats Camp (no water, 9,700'). Three-tenths mile further on is Mineshaft Saddle (9,960'), from which the hiker may choose to climb to the summit of San Gorgonio Mountain (11,499').
The 4.5 mile Sky High Trail from Mineshaft Saddle to the peak is occasionally steep, often rocky, and usually snow-covered in the early Fall, Winter, and late Spring. The climb should always be done with care. Warm garments are a necessity since the wind can and may pick up sharply at the peak. Just east of the true peak is Summit Camp, best reached by either the Sky High or Vivian Creek trail. Rocky and windswept, it presents a panoramic view of Southern California. Here you will find a few rock walled shelters to take protection from the frequent buffeting wind.
Camping at Dollar Lake is at Dollar Lakes Forks Trail Camp (9,300'), located approximately .3 mile from the lake. Camping is prohibited within ¼ mile of Dollar lake, including camping on the ridges above the lake.
Dollar Lake Saddle (9,960' - no camping here, no water) is located .7 mile beyond Dollar Lake. From the Saddle, it is 5 miles to the summit of San Gorgonio Mountain (11,499'). One popular camp accessible from Dollar Lake Saddle is Red Rock Flat (10,100'), ¼ mile west of the saddle. High Meadow Springs (10,400') is ½ mile further with water available for both camps.
Though beautiful, the South Fork Trail is one of the most heavily used trails. If you have visited this region before, consider a trip to one of the following trails.
Red TapeFrom the Mount San Gorgonio Page:
For day use a permit is required on any of the trails in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. These are free and self-issued. If camping overnite anywhere within the San Gorgonio Wilderness a permit is required. The permit can be obtained at the Ranger Station in Mentone, 34701 Mill Creek Rd. You can also request via fax at (909) 794-1125. The Barton Flats Visitor Center on Hywy 38 and the Fawnskin Ranger Station in Big Bear also can issue these permits.
In addition to the wilderness permits an Adventure Pass is required for each vehicle; fees are $5.00 a day or $30.00 for an annual pass. These can be obtained from any of the ranger stations or from many of the local merchants.
Summit VideoHere is a short Video taken from the Summit:
External LinksSan Gorgonio Wilderness Association
GPS DataGPS Tracks of the 9 peak hike, elevation profiles and Google Maps are available here.
Additions and Corrections[ Post an Addition or Correction ]