The San Gorgonio Wilderness is the climax region of the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California. Located on the San Bernardino National Forest approximately 75 miles east of Los Angeles (click here for vicinity map), the Wilderness receives approximately 200,000 visitors per year. Its 58,969 acres harbor two small lakes, meadows, streams, 100 miles of trail, densely forested northern slopes, and rugged terrain. Elevations range from 4,400 feet to 11,499 atop namesake Mt. San Gorgonio. Eleven of twelve peaks in the Wilderness recognized by U.S. Geological Survey maps are over 10,000 feet in height, with Mt. San Gorgonio being the highest. As the highest peak between the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Mexican border, Mt. San Gorgonio offers unparalleled views of metropolitan Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert. More great information here.
Spectacular vistas of mountains, desert, and dramatic river canyon. The semi-arduous climb to the top of the trail does bring up some risk/reward questions. Can't imagine doing it anywhere around summer. Does feature crossings of a pretty much year round stream - a rarity in this area. And the area around the ranger station is beautiful in fall.
I hiked to the top, passing Dollar lake and its attached ice flow in the 1950s and 1960s, usually spending the night either at Dollar Lake or Slushy Meadows on the return. From what I am now reading the lake is no longer? Dried up? So I assume the the glacier-like adjacent ice is also gone? In that era there was a boulder adjacent to the lake with an overhang which provided some shelter from moisture. AT Slushy Meadows there was a hollowed out tree which provided "emergency" shelter from an unexpected down;pour. Be sure the rangers know of your plans...and check out with them.
Easy to access and park. Dramatic canyon and creek scenery. A perfect early morning summer hike! There were points alongside the creek in which one could almost swim but definitely splash around. Clear, chilly water. The hike up the hills past the creek area also affords some awesome views. Lots of great spots for picnics; just bring lots of bug repellent.
This really nice trail (for the area) is now part of the new Snow and Sand National Monument, run by the impressive Wetlands Conservancy (check out their website, they have many nice parks, and do a great job). Trails are in excellent shape, any water to be crossed will have a wooden bridge.
FYI - 3 years ago you might see 1-3 other cars there (depends on the time of year) - now you may see 40 cars there. You can easily park outside the lot if needed. It's become a very popular trail. Dogs on leash OK. It's 600 feet up and down by my GPS. It's nicely graded. There is a shaded picnic area near the parking lot.