We knew the hike was long, but had no clue how hard it was. We started at 6:30 a.m. and the mosquitos were plentyful. One gal in our party was very slow and we had to wait at every stop for her to catch up. It took us over 7 hours to reach the top and 5 hours to descend. It was really tough but well worth it. The whole hike had beautiful vista and on a clear day you can see for miles. For this hike you have to be in good shape and know your limits.
One of the most beautiful mountains I've been on. This was my second solo on the mountain, first time I followed someones snow tracks in the wrong direction and got lost until very late at night (New Moon of course). Second time reached the summit in one of my fastest hikes, 7.5 hours. I started at dawn - 6AM, summited at 10:30AM, got to the beach in time to go body surfing and watch the sunset and hour later!
We left the mosquito-infested trailhead parking area around 8:00AM moving at a pretty good clip.
Saw a cooper hawk pick off some unsuspecting bird and scattered its feathers all about. The feather I picked up was dark grey, black and light grey on the top. Not sure what kind of bird the hawk got but a blue jay in the area was alerting the rest of the crew to the danger.
We took a nice break at high creek headed up the switchbacks. We decided to explore those amazing rock outcroppings above high creek looking down into something shiny on the hillside below. Through the binocs it looked like a microwave or radio wave tower on a mountaintop in between the East and South Fork drainages. Anybody know what is up there? On my map it looks like a diversion dam is in the vicinity. Ed, we could also see the jumpoff you were talking about from here. I'll have to make a trip down there sometime...probably when it is not blistering hot like it was today in the canyon. The breeze was blessing since it swept away those high surface temperatures.
We hit the peak at around noon. The weather was excellent on top with a nice breeze sometimes gusting to 15 MPH or so....and yes Rick did fly his kite a bit, but the wind was so erratic and that he couldn't get it to stay up too long. Saw a pair of gliders circling around for a while, and a bunch more cooper hawks and a few redtails looking for an easy meal. The chipmunks we also very active up there so guard your food!
Talked to a couple of guys who had just completed the 9 peaks and said they ran into a very persistent bear up near San Bernadino Peak above the Momyer trail. He was following them for quite a while and refused to back off by making loud noises. Finally they tried to scare him by throwing some rocks in his direction. He eventually backed off and they continued their hike.
We spend a full relaxing hour and a half on top gazing at the surrounding mountain ranges which were all clearly visible...unlike my last trip Then decided to take off about 1:30PM. Trotting down we made it back to the car by 4:00PM and again encountered those blood-thirsty mosquitoes. All in all a great day! As our potential future governor would say, "I'll be back."
I did San Gorgonio as part of a day-hike across the so-called "Nine Peaks." Great day. I left my bike at Angelus Oaks. I parked my van at the Vivian Creek trailhead. I was on the trail at 6:30am and on SanG at 9:40. Perfect day, except a little windy (30-50mph) on SanG and Jepson. I'm not complaining because I had crystal clear skies, absolutely smogless. I could see all the mtn ranges, the deserts, and even the blue horizon of the ocean. Amazingly clear day, especially for August!
Anyway. I then hiked 10 miles across Jepson (11,205), Little Charlton (10,676), Charlton (10,806), Alto Diablo (or at least I think I bagged it -- I never did find the log book), Sheilds Peak (10,701), Anderson Peak (10,864), SanB East Peak (10,691), and finally San Bernardino (10,649). Then I hiked the 8 miles down to the Angelus Oaks trailhead to my bike. Then I had to bike the 12 miles back to my van. I don't recommend doing the bikes. My legs and back were wanting to cramp up.
The 26-mile hike took 9 hrs, 40 min. Good prep for my attempt of the Pikes Peak Marathon a week from Sunday.
Five quarts of liquids were enough for me (3 water in my camelbak and 2 gatorades). Lot of weight, but it's worth it since it's dry across the range.
I was glad that I went the direction that I did (up SanG first and then across to SanB and down). I don't think I would want to face Jepson and SanG after hiking for 17 or 18 miles coming from Angelus Oaks. It was nice to get the big dogs behind me at the first. Also, if going the opposite direction than I went, it would be more tempting to skip some peaks. Both Charltons are quite a ways off the main trail and pretty steep. Anderson and Shields are also a little ways off the trail. I wasn't as tired when I came to those as I would have been coming from the other direction. Of course, my whole goal of the hike was to bag all nine peaks which I did -- or at least I think I did. I signed 8 log books and I never found a log book for Alto Diablo (of course, only the Boy Scouts, not the Forest Service, recognize that peak).
The "Nine Peaks" is a great hike as long as you're willing to carry the extra water and have the stamina to go for 26 miles.
a long day - summited San Gorgonio, Jepson Peak, Little Charlton Peak and Charlton Peak - 14 hour round trip.
9 hours round trip (including summiting nearby Jepson Peak).
Started out at 7:30am, passed a few groups on the way up. Left behind my partner at about 10,000ft and summited just under 4 hours. Second person up for the day. The flies are coming out on some of the middle sections of the trail, but otherwise, it was a beautifully warm day, got a nice tan. Good warm up for the Sierras.
2x San G for me. Skeeters were terrible at the trailhead and for the first 2 miles of the climb until I got out of the lush lower portion of Vivian Creek. Afternoon cloud buildup directly above the summit created some concern about lightning, but none materialzed. Same clouds cut out the sun, making temps a little more bearable. Small snow pellets dropped on the summit for a very brief time and didn't stick to anything. A few small patches of snow on the trail above 11,000' but easily passable with nothing but ones feet. About 15 people on the summit.
Incredible climb with a bit more snow than we expected. The gullies were all packed with snow on the Sky High Trail. Please see my full trip report at:
Great hike. Cold on top with constant 30 mph winds, but what can you expect for a November hike at 11,500 ft? No snow on trail, but the next weekend SanG got a big dump. Since daylight hours are short in November, we left 30 minutes before sunrise and got back at sunset.
The wind stole a beanie from a person's head in our group. Extremely windy on the summit that I could barely hear anything but the wind. Snow present. Crampons and ice ax not used. Trekking poles were sufficient (for me).
It was an extremely dry year, there was no water any where on the mountain. But it was a great trip none the less. I had been to the summit as an eleven year old in boy scouts over 30 years earlier. It was great to be back. My younger brother, who's first real hike was less than a year before, was definitely setting our somewhat fast pace. We carried tent, stove and sleeping bags, spent one night at Shields Flat. Next visit will be up & down Vivian Creek as a day hike... maybe in the snow!
Luke Tipton, Bob Cable, Joel Koury and I hiked up the Vivian Creek trail with our alpine ski gear on our backs. We summited @ 2 p.m. and skied down the "big bowl" on the north slope until the snow was gone. We hiked out on the lower portion of the "poopout hill" trail where we had left a car early that morning. An excellent hill to ski.
Carried crampons but were not really needed on this day. Didn't take an ice axe, just poles. Poles were very handy on the icy sections of the trail. Although the local forecast was calling for rain/snow, we lucked out and the storm system didn't make it to the San Gorgonio wilderness area yesterday.
Got to the summit around 2:45pm and waited for mdostby who got there minutes later. We had an interesting time taking summit pictures in the 40mph winds to 60mph gusts there. Summit was very windy and chilly. My Gore-Tex jacket actually worked as a wind-resistant garment.
My son and I made a 2 day camping trip of this climb, spending the night at "Half Way" camp. The Vivian Creek Trail has to be one of the most scenic hikes in Southen California. I would recomend taking time to soak it all in. We met a British climber and his American partner on the summit. He spoke of Kilimanjaro and Fuji. It was great!
My dad and I did this trail in a two day period. We summited on day 2 and thoroughly enjoyed this mountain. Next time I think I will try to day hike it.
Michael Gordon, Johnie Brown and I hiked this trail to the summit and back in 8 hours RT. Very hard hiking for me, it's about 18 miles RT.
Shauna Hermes, Michael Gordon, Johny (Downtown) Brown and I hiked to the summit via the Fish Creek in about 8 hours total. This route is 22 miles RT, could be the longest hike on Gorgonio.