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Grinnell Mountain
Mountain/Rock

Grinnell Mountain

 
Grinnell Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 34.12609°N / 116.80883°W

Object Title: Grinnell Mountain

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 10284 ft / 3135 m

 

Page By: bscott

Created/Edited: Feb 19, 2013 / Feb 24, 2013

Object ID: 839219

Hits: 2891 

Page Score: 77.5%  - 11 Votes 

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Overview

Grinnell Mountain is located in the northeast corner of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area in Southern California, and is one of seventeen peaks in the SGWA with an elevation of over 10,000'. It is a mere two miles NNE from San Gorgonio itself, and is frequently climbed as part of a loop with Lake Peak and Ten Thousand Foot Ridge. Hikes to Grinnell Mountain involve between 2,500' - 4,000' gain, and are between 10-15 miles, depending on which trail is taken.

Grinnell offers sweeping views of several neighbouring peaks, including a tremendous view of Ten Thousand Foot Ridge.

Getting There

Take Interstate 10 to the city of Redlands, and then exit Orange Street, heading north. After traveling approximately one-half mile north on Orange St., turn right (east) on Lugonia Avenue, aka CA-38. There are several different trail heads available just off of CA-38, as listed below.

Route

Access to Grinnell Mountain from both the Aspen Grove Trail and Fish Creek Trail is via 1N05. The Aspen Grove Trail starts 2.8 miles from CA-38, and the Fish Creek Trail starts 7.7 miles from CA-38.

  1. Grinnell Mountain via the Aspen Grove Trail (TH 7,410') -

    • From Redlands, head east on CA-38, approximately 33 miles to 1N02, the road to Heart Bar Campground, on the right. There is a sign. Turn right (south). Note your odometer and go as follows:
    • At 1.2 miles, there is a fork. Bear right, now traveling on 1N05.
    • At 2.8 miles, on the right (west) side of the road is the trail head for the Aspen Grove Trail (2E05). To continue on to the Fish Creek Trailhead, see below.
    • Hike south on the Aspen Grove Trial (2E05) for approximately 2 miles, where it joins the Fish Creek Trail.
    • Bear right (west) and take the Fish Creek Trail.
    • Continue up 1W07 approximately 4 miles to Fish Creek Saddle.
    • From Fish Creek Saddle, a faint use trail heads north-northeast to the summit.
  2. Grinnell Mountain via the Fish Creek Trail (TH 8,080') - continue on 1N02, as follows (do not reset your odometer):

    • At 6.9 miles, there is a fork. Bear right.
    • At 7.2 miles, there is a fork. Bear right.
    • At 7.6 miles, there is a fork. Bear right.
    • At 7.7 miles, Fish Creek Trail (1W07).
    • Hike 1W07 southwest about 1/2 mile to a junction with the Aspen Grove Trail.
    • Continue left on 1W07 and continue 4 miles to Fish Creek Saddle.
    • From Fish Creek Saddle, a faint use trail heads north-northeast to the summit.


  3. Grinnell Mountain via the South Fork Trail (TH 6,880') -

    • From Redlands, head east on CA-38, approximately 26 miles to Jenks Lake Road, on the right. Turn right (south).
    • Continue approximately 2.5 miles to the signed South Fork Trailhead parking lot on the left.
    • Head south on the South Fork Trail (1E04) to South Fork Meadows where the Dry Lake Trail forks left.
    • Bear left (southeast) and take the Dry Lake Trail 1 1/2 miles to Dry Lake where there is another trail fork.
    • Bear left, going around Dry Lake, and go 1/2 mile to Lodgepole Spring, which is located just southeast of Dry Lake.
    • Follow a use trail 3/4 mile east cross-country up to Fish Creek Saddle at 9805'.
    • From Fish Creek Saddle, a faint use trail heads north-northeast to the summit.
  4. Grinnell Mountain via the Lost Creek Trail (TH 6,320') -

    • From Redlands, head east on CA-38, approximately 30 miles to the South Fork Campground (on the right). The Lost Creek Trailhead is across the highway, on the north side of CA-38.
    • Follow the Santa Ana River Trail (2E03) for approximately 1/2 mile, to where the Lost Creek Trial splits from 2E03, and heads approximately 6 miles to South Fork Meadows, where it joins the South Fork Trail.
    • Head south on the South Fork Trail (1E04) to South Fork Meadows where the Dry Lake Trail forks left.
    • Bear left (southeast) and take the Dry Lake Trail 1 1/2 miles to Dry Lake where there is another trail fork.
    • Bear left, going around Dry Lake, and go 1/2 mile to Lodgepole Spring, which is located just southeast of Dry Lake.
    • Follow a use trail 3/4 mile east cross-country up to Fish Creek Saddle at 9805'.
    • From Fish Creek Saddle, a faint use trail heads north-northeast to the summit.

There are numerous other trails and trail heads that can access the heart of the SGWA. From any of those trails you can access the Peak Divide Trail, the Sky High Trail, and eventually Fish Creek Saddle.

Red Tape

Grinnell Mountain is located in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, and a Wilderness Permit is needed to enter the wilderness area, either to day hike or backpack/camp. Wilderness Permits are free, but are limited by quota. One may apply for a permit up to 90 days in advance (link below).

Certain trail heads approaching the SGWA require a National Forest Adventure Pass. As of Feb 21st, 2013, per the Supervisor for the Mill Creek Ranger Station, three of four trail heads specifically mentioned in this page no longer require a NFAP: Fish Creek, Aspen Grove, and Lost Creek. The South Fork trail does still require an Adventure Pass. The rule is "Restroom plus 6 other amenities" to require the pass:

Forsee, San Bernardino Peak Divide, Lost Creek, Aspen Grove, and Fish Creek no longer require a pass, and

Vivian Creek, Momyer, and South Fork do require a pass.

A more comprehensive list of Adventure Pass requirement for Southern California area trails, camps, and facilities is available here.

NFAP are available at most major outdoor and sporting goods stores at the cost of either $5 for one day, or $30 annually.

When to Climb

Grinnell Mountain can be climbed in any season. Most trails are well maintained, but north side trails may hold snow late into spring. Snow shoes after heavy snows, micro spikes, or possibly even crampons may be needed, but most trails have limited exposure and are easily climbed.

In the winter, the road leading to the Aspen Grove / Fish Creek trail heads closes after the first snow, and remains closed until the spring melt off. If planning to apply for a permit for these trail heads, contact the Mill Creek Work Center for current access conditions.

Camping

Camping is offered both outside and inside the wilderness area. For more developed camping, there are pay sites such as Barton Flats. Inside the wilderness area are numerous trail camps. There are certain areas inside the wilderness area which are off limit for camping, so please check the SGWA link below for the most up-to-date restrictions.

External Links

San Gorgonio Wilderness Area:

http://www.sgwa.org/

Mill Creek Work Center:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/

Developed campground information:

http://www.sgwa.org/camps.htm

Additional trail head, mileage, trail camps, and elevation data can be viewed here:

http://www.sgwa.org/trails2.htm

Information on wilderness permit applications can be located here:

http://www.sgwa.org/permit.htm

Information on Adventure Pass requirements for various trail heads and trail camps in the So Cal area can be accessed here:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/r5/home/?cid=stelprdb5404142&width=full#asbnf

Images

Lodgepole Pine at the summit of Grinnell Mountain10,000 Foot Ridge from Grinnell MountainGrinnell MountainGrinnell Mountain