Explore Backpacking - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Backpacking Map

Good section, plenty of shade, very enjoyable trail. will do again as section D this spring.

Just got back . Did a gear shake down that didn't go well. To cold for iPhone after a couple miles. I wasn't the only one up there although it wasn't crowded at all. You could summit and many I talked to did. Cramp-ons needed so I came up 1,000 ft' or so short of the top. My water bladder froze during the night but all my other gear worked well. This was a spur of the moment thing for me but I am going back to get some pictures and get to the dang top. Watch the elevation change. Made me a little dizzy on the way up so be prepared for that if you think it may take a toll on you. I did a face plant into a large bolder but my teeth are still intact :

2 months ago

My hiking friends and I broke this up in 5 sections, going east to west. Section 1: Will Rogers to Deadhorse Trail,
Section 2: Deadhorse Trail to Malibu Canyon, Section 3:Malibu Canyon to Newton Canyon, Section 4: Newton Canyon to Mishe Mokwa Trailhead, Section 5: Mishe Mokwa to Ray Miller Trailhead. This is a beautiful hike with views of the Pacific on each section. We took a few side trips that shouldn't be missed, Hondo Canyon being one of them. The rock formations at Casto Crest was another favorite spot filled with caves and lots of exploring opportunities. We had multiple people in our group so we were able to shuttle back and forth with all the cars we had. I've heard that you can also arrange an Uber or Lyft car to get you back to your car. But I'd make sure you have cell phone service before you depend on this. This was one of the best times I've had on the trail. The last 16 miles (which turned into 17 due to a missed trail sign) was by far the most difficult. That could always be turned into 2 sections though. However you do this trail, just make sure you do it in Winter. There's many exposed trails, and with the warm Jan/Feb weather we had, it gave us a glimpse of what truly hot weather would be like. This is definitely a cool to mild weather hike. I also suggest an east to west direction so you are always looking at the Pacific, and if you time it right, you're last hike on The Ray Miller Trail will give you gorgeous sunset opportunities.

We hiked and backpack Mt San Gorgonio at 11,503ft over 22 miles, November 2017. The nights were so cold, below 40F, that our toes were frozen that we couldn’t even feel them and endlessness sleeping nights. Hiked in the dark for 6 miles without headlamps using the night sky to navigated our descent back to base camp from the peak and the trails.

Last person to summit in 2017! Lucky to have scored this hike at end of Dec. Made the summit in 3hr 45min

Beautiful way to summit. No water right now past the dry lake and dollar lake junction. Pack accordingly.

off road driving
5 months ago

Took Big Pine Flat Trail on a Friday evening and there wasn't much traffic, only saw a handful of people out there. It's a very easy trail that my stock-height Subaru Crosstrek handled just fine, there were maybe 3 spots where I had to take it slow. There are parts where the trail switches from dirt, to paved, then back again, but most is unpaved. I wouldn't take a sedan on this trail, but a 2wd truck or SUV with decent clearance should be just fine. This trail is fun, easy and there are some seriously stellar views, so go in the late afternoon/evening to catch the sunset!

Hiked this trail on Sunday, Oct 1st. This was my third summit this year of San Gorgonio. My first was from the Momyer Creek Trail. It was the longest of the three (about 24 miles), but well worth hiking the distance. I got caught in thunder showers once I hit Dollar Lake Saddle on that day.

My second summit was from the South Fork Trail via Dollar Lake. This was the shortest, but definitely the hardest (about 20 miles). Once you hit the split which either takes you to Dry Lake (to the southeast) or Dollar Lake Saddle (to the southwest), take the southwest route. It becomes very steep. You'll climb 1770' in 2.4 miles.

My third summit was also from the South Fork Trail. Instead of heading up the Dollar Lake trail, we head up the Dry Lake trail to do the loop. This one was about 22 miles and definitely the easiest of the three. In fact, although it is 4 miles longer than Vivian Creek, I would say it is easier than Vivian Creek too. Just long. If you have a filter I recommend topping off water at the Dry Lake/Dollar Lake split on the way up and down. All in all this was an awesome hike. I enjoyed seeing the C47 Monument.

Great and long hike. But well worth it. Crossed couple of streams. You have to start early as 6am to get back on time back to your car.

Just did the loop today - first time back since the fire. Such awesome/beautiful/terrifying landscape! I'm kind of fast so it was 7:15 total time....but bring water! The creek at the 5km+/- mark is the only water heading up and the only water coming down.

Awesome hike, but definitely an ass kicker!! Go well prepared and take lots of water. Took us 12 hours to complete hike.

Got it, class of 2017. It's nice to make it to Hiker Heaven. Another dry section. Watch your water.

Got it class of 2017. That McDonalds to Guffy campground part is for real if you do it all in one day. Bring a LOT of water.

Serene landscape. I hiked cross country and then to the trail so I did not see the closed sign at the entrance: the trail was unfortunately closed due to a recent fire. A ranger stopped me half way and send me back. The landscape is fascinating offering now a partially burnt forest with rich new vegetation and flowers starting to build a new forest. The ranger informed me that is was closed for 2 years due to a fire but will maybe reopen later this year (status June 2017).
Ranger's office closed at 4 or 4:30 pm- so better to arrive early to get a permit.

Its not so flat :D

11 months ago

The Backbone Trail is an awesome escape to have so close to the city.

The video below shows our overnight journey from Will Rogers to Musch Camp in Topanga Canyon.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I was wondering if this was a thing in Southern California but turns out we don't have our own JMT...

Santa Barbara's highest point is also one of the hardest to reach. This is one way of reaching this peak. Besides hiking, others have done it with mountain biking,

off road driving
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Very scenic route. Lots of spurs for additional exploration. My Jeep Rubicon Hardrock didn't even work up a sweat, but there were a few washed out areas that might prove challenging to lower clearance vehicles. I'd rate the difficulty as a 2 with small sections of 3.

scenic driving
Monday, March 27, 2017

Really nice

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

We started off of HWY 2 and hiked east, didn't see much for about 2 miles and then hiked back west across under the freeway for about 10 miles. The views were awesome but would recommend the west portion for someone in good shape as it was a lot of climbing. super fun though.

awesome trail.even got lost in it. done it a few times.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Awesome winter trail with tons of snow. Any 4x4 can do this imo but must have at least 8.5 inches of ground clearance.

Some light graffiti.. but it's not distasteful enough to discourage the beauty in nature.. the fall colors were amazing and the trail is nice.. tougher when you go off trail and down by the creek.. great place to go with another person or group..

Monday, October 31, 2016

Awesome Trail. A little tough going up, but the run down isn't bad.

What a great hike hiked from the highway173 to freeway 15 loved it

It's so over grown and full of thousands of bees. You can't get to the trail from the dam.

off road driving
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nice trail. Great for beginners.

Yhe trail through here has been groomed. very nice.

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