OverviewCleghorn Mountain is the highest point on Cleghorn Ridge which rises above Cajon Pass which divides the San Gabriel from the San Bernardino Mountains. During the warmer months of the year you can drive within 1/4 mile of the summit. During the winter months when the Cleghorn Ridge Road may be closed due to snow, you can hike up the road making for a longer outing. My favorite time to visit this area is in the spring, though, when there are outstanding displays of lupine, paintbrush, bush poppy, California fremontia, and other wildflowers all along the ridge.
Cleghorn Mountain sports terrific views of the pass and the surrounding mountains including Mt. Baldy, Cajon Mountain, and Ralston Peak. The mountain was named for Matthew Cleghorn and his son John who leased this area in the late 1800's and cut timber from its slopes.
The 2003 Old Fire burned through this area but the chaparral is recovering nicely. The vegetation consists of chamise, scrub oak, ceanothus, yerba santa, and yuccas. Wildlife you may see include ground squirrels, jack rabbits, rattlesnakes, lizards, quail, and red-tailed hawks. There are a lot of cool rock piles along the ridge reminiscent of the Arrowhead Pinnacles country to the east.
This peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List. There is a summit register in a red can in a rock pile on the summit that dates back to 1984. No USGS markers that I could find.
From I-15 north of Devore and south of Hesperia, take the Cleghorn Road exit and head east. You'll need a high-clearance 4wd vehicle to negotiate this rough dirt road. It is popular with OHV's on weekends, so I recommend going during the week to have it to yourself. April, May, and June are the best months to see wildflowers. The road may not be open in the winter months due to snow or heavy rains.
The Cleghorn Ridge Road (2N47) will take you within 1/4 mile of the summit of Cleghorn Mountain, the highest bump on the ridge. Park in a turnout and you can hike the last steep 1/4 mile up to the summit.
It'll take you about 2-3 hours to drive the length of this road. The end is near Silverwood Lake. There is a connection to the Summit Staging area off of Hwy 138 as well so there are variations to suit your time and ability.
Street-legal vehicles with license plates and OHV's with red/green stickers are allowed on the road. Of course you can hike or mountain bike on the road as well. No permits are needed. Please practice Leave no Trace ethics.
You can pretty much camp anywhere you can find a turnout - but campfires are not allowed. No water is available along the route. Pack out what you pack in!
External LinksSan Bernardino National Forest
NWS Weather Forecast for nearby Phelan, CA
Link to my Flickr Album for Cleghorn Ridge