Vivian Creek Trail to San Gorgonio Peak is a 17.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Forest Falls, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
San Gorgonio is the tallest mountain in Southern California, and a right of passage for serious hikers in the area. At 11,503', "Old Grayback" provides an excellent high altitude training for those preparing to summit Mt. Whitney, and only 90 minutes away from Orange County. There are several trails leading up to San Gorgonio, but none as steep as the Vivian Creek trail, which in less than eight miles to the summit climbs over a vertical mile. One and two-tenths miles from the trailhead is Vivian Creek Camp (7,100'). Campsites are located upslope to the right of the trail after reaching the stream: one is halfway up the slope, and the other is at the top of the slope (no camping within 200 feet of the trail or creek). One and three-tenths miles from Vivian Creek Camp is Halfway Camp (8,100'). Water is obtained from the creek 200 yards before camp. Two and three-tenths miles further is High Creek Camp (water available - 9,200'). The summit of San Gorgonio (11,499') is 3 miles beyond High Creek. The upper end of this trail offers outstanding views of Yucaipa Ridge and Galena Peak, as well as sweeping panoramic views from the top of Mt. San Gorgonio. After the South Fork Trail, this is the second most used trail in the Wilderness.
Beginning makes you doubt your choice with tough switchbacks, but the middle is magical. We found fresh flowing water nearby both campgrounds, and welcome shade among the trees. The top is barren, high, cold, and windy but it was a nice trip up.
Spectacular views during the entire hike!
Steep in sections! Hard on the knees coming down!
Hiked this beautiful trail on Veteran's Day and was alone at summit around 2pm. To find a flag there was awesome for photo ops and to compliment the day. The last 2 miles climb to summit was very steep. I did not beat the 5pm sunset during descent by several hours, but went prepared with a head lamp. Happy safe hiking!
This is a beautiful and strenuous hike. We hike up to High Creek and set up camp for the night and head up to the summit in the morning. It was a a bit chilly at night and early morning. Make sure you come prepared with winter camping gears this time of year. Once on the summit, the view was beautiful.
The first 1.5 miles up to Vivian camp is a steep climb but very scenic. It took me a little over an hour, but I'm an out of shape beer drinker. I'm working my endurance up to try to summit next summer.
Up and up! Use your trekking poles and lean forward. One step at a time will get you there. We enjoyed a warm windless summit. Shatteringly blue skies! Great company met at the top, we were all finishing our six pack of peaks. Champagne toasts were had. Lace up the boots tight and be ready to rock surf your way back down. My group all *nearly* fell so many times it was comical. Blistered, bruised and sore our total hike time was around 10 hours. Only went thru two liters of water. Stashed and extra liter at high creek camp for the final ascent, retrieved it on the way back but still didn't drink it. I didn't drink enough. Went thru a full pack of electrolyte chews. Lost a Zion ballcap, let me know if you find it
My Gaia GPS app had this hike at 18.5 miles to and from parking lot. First mile consists of switchbacks with good elevation gain. Next couple miles is thru beautiful forest and easy hiking. Past Half Way campground, the trail starts a slightly tougher ascent, but nothing like first mile. Set up camp at High Creek, then continued to summit. Again, the trail is pleasant with amazing views until about a mile from summit, where the ascent is more difficult, but not killer. Was very cold at summit with about five minutes of light snow. Headed back to High Creek and camped for the night. Beautiful trail with some of the best views in area. Enjoy this gift, get to the summit and quit worrying about "how tough it is," because it's not.
Did this hike with my brother-in-law as preparation for Whitney in October...I'm a newbie to backpacking but have invested heavily in the lightest gear available...Our overnight trip started at 1100 and we hiked under full pack to the summit stopping at High Creek for water replenishment. I'm in decent shape but this hike was very difficult. Do the math...it averages 700 ft per mile for 8 miles! Like other reviewers mention, the middle of the trail is not too bad...but, the first mile and last two miles are butt kickers. We reached the summit at 1800 and camped for the night in one of the stone-walled campsites. Temp was in the high 30s overnight with steady wind. We were treated to great sunset and sunrise the next morning. Hiked down in in the morning in about 4 hrs...hips, knees, and feet were all barking like dogs when we reached the truck. This hike is not for the faint of heart but is extremely rewarding, nonetheless.