Anderson Peak is located in the heart of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California. At 10,840', it is the fifth highest peak in Southern California south of the Sierra Nevada, and one of seventeen peaks in the SGWA with an elevation of over 10,000'. It is the third peak, in a series of peaks, that lie west to east on the San Bernardino crest/ridge, starting with San Bernardino Peak at the western end and ending with Alto Diablo at the eastern end, before the ridge takes a dogleg southeast to continue on with Charlton Peak, Little Charlton, Jepson Peak, and Mount San Gorgonio, the highest point in Southern California.
Many hikers will bag this peak as part of the "Nine Peak Traverse," an alpine hike or backpack that can be, depending on which trailheads are used, over 30 miles in length with over 10,000' of gain. The Nine Peak Traverse is normally done as a 2-3 day backpack, but can also be done as a very strenuous day hike.
Unlike most of the other peaks on the crest, the views from the summit are less than ideal due to the heavy forestation on the summit. Walking around the summit does offer good views of various parts of the SGWA (as well as the Yucaipa Ridge and Big Bear Lake), but the trees prohibit an all-encompassing vista. Shields Peak, a scant mile and a half away, for example, offers a much better view despite it being shorter.
To get a better view of the Yucaipa Ridge as well as San Jacinto and the rest of Southern California, it is possible to walk down from the summit to the south. This allows for a more unobstructed view to the south, but most folks never make it this far.
Anderson Peak via the Forsee Creek Trail (TH 6,720') -
Anderson Peak via the San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail (TH 5,960')
Anderson Peak via the Momyer Trail (TH 5,520')
Anderson Peak 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, two of the four trail heads / routes specifically mentioned in this page no longer require a NFAP: Forsee Creek 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 Trails no longer require a pass, and
Vivian Creek, Momyer, and South Fork Trails 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.
Please remember that, as noted above, while the National Forest Adventure Pass is not needed for certain trails, the Wilderness Permit is still needed to access the wilderness area from any of the trailheads.
Year-round. Summertime is the most popular but this can be a great hike in the winter as well. Snowshoes or crampons may be needed depending on the snowpack.
Camping is allowed. There are several campgrounds in and around the area. Camping on the mountain or anywhere within the San Gorgonio Wilderness requires a permit that can be obtained from the Mill Creek Ranger Station at 34701 Mill Creek Road in Mentone. You can also request a permit via fax (909) 794-1125.
San Gorgonio Wilderness Area:
Mill Creek Work Center:
Developed campground information:
Additional trailhead, mileage, trail camps, and elevation data can be viewed here:
Information on wilderness permit applications can be located here:
Information on Adventure Pass requirements for various trailheads and trail camps in the So Cal area can be accessed here: