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Love it. Plan for 7 hours to the Bridge and back to parking. >11 miles not 8.9 as stated on All Trails.

Short version: I've done it twice this year. Last February and this weekend (Nov 17). Beautiful but difficult. I'm in my mid fifties and in relatively good condition. So, for you young folks... read this review with that in mind. I've hiked Whitney once, San Jacinto a half dozen times, and have covered 15 - 20 mile days in succession on short sections of the PCT. Don't read anything more into all that other than I am an experienced novice that loves to hike.

This little trail is harder than all of my previous hiking.

Long version: Unless you are in hiking shape... not running or surfing or weightlifting shape... but hiking shape with the body used to having 30pds+ strapped to it and walking up hills for hours... regularly and who is? I recommend making a 3 day trip out of it.
Day 1) parking lot to High Creek camp which is 3000'+- of climbing in 6 miles with full pack
Day 2) High Creek Camp to the top and back, which is 2500'+- up then down over 6 miles with day pack
Day 3) 6 miles and 3000' downhill back to car.
This pace would seem to offer what I go to the mtns for which is both a challenge as well as time to put the feet up, get a book out and kick back in the trees. Both times that I've done this hike I've only camped one night. Both trips were awesome but somewhat painful and slightly rushed. Why not add one more night and slow the whole thing down a bit is the realization I came to this morning after downing another post weekend Ibuprofin with my coffee.
If your schedule is tight then the Redbull 10hr+- up and back in a day with only a day pack seems the most popular.
For me hiking is challenging, slowing down is more of a challenge. Probably more than you wanted to know but hope it helps.

Finally, I researched this mountain well prior to my Feb hike as I was considering going solo. I found out that even for experienced hikers with snow and ice gear hiking sometimes on beautiful weather days... this mountain has been very deadly; be careful!

Trained like mad at 20% incline on treadmill - did a couple of 11,000 vertical feet weeks and one 22,000 foot week. And then ran this with my 22 year old son. Took off at 7:11 AM, got to ranger station at 10:30 refilled water and filled out registration left the station at 10:50 and got to top at 12:20. Ouch. It was so funny, my son's hip flexers stopped working and he ran like Charlie Chaplin the last five miles. It was my I T bands that were killing. Weather was perfect. Cool and dry. Salt encrusted completely by the end. What I would do differently - take moister snacks. The cliff bars were gag dry and hard to eat while running, and test your hydration pack. Mine was leaking air by the mouth piece and so I was drinking mostly air. Had not used this in a few years and it had lost its seal. November - but far the best time to do this if it has not snowed yet.

I completed this hike yesterday. It was an awesomely beautiful day with high clouds and a slight breeze. I started around 6:20 AM, summited around 10:30, had an hour lunch up top with a couple celebratory beers, and then was back down to the parking lot by 2:45 PM. About 7.5 hours total hiking time. The trail was relatively uncrowded and I only saw a couple dozen people all day. Timed the summit perfectly as I had it all to myself for several minutes until others arrived. San Jacinto was poking out of the mist but the views were almost unlimited in all directions. Could see Big Bear Lake to the north, Gorgonio nearby, Saddleback in the distance, and the Inland Empire in between.

The trail is very well defined and smooth. Towards the top, the trail gets a little rockier but for the most part, it is pretty smooth. Just steady uphill with a leveling off around Manzanita Flats before it starts climbing again. Nowhere near as steep as Baldy, just a steady if not relentless climb. Highly rewarding to get to the top as you traverse a lot of ground. The snow was all gone with the exception of an icy patch around 9,500 feet beyond the end of a switchback.

All in all, a beautiful hike and one of my favorites to date.

great hike, every hiker in SoCal should do this at least once, however, it is very heavily travelled. if you enjoy some seclusion on your hikes this is not it

Did it on 11/17/18 very nice weather just a bit chilly at times .

...pretty much what everyone else said. Yes, the first mile can be a little much but really only because you’re just getting started. Yes, the last two miles (the traverse) to Long Valley are the most difficult. Yes, the blazes (white dots) that mark the trail can be missed real easily, so definitely get the Pro version if only for this hike. Once you pass 4300’, keep going. If you turn around you’ll walk into a furnace and chances are you’ll hurt yourself more than if you just keep going up.
Take the chance to enjoy the sunrise on the way up. The views are really what make this hike so epic — enjoy them while you’re up there. When you hit the summit, take a look at the cabin but don’t be a douche and trash it. If you have extra food consider leaving it here for other hikers in emergency situations. When you’re done, have a beer. Chances are you’ve never deserved it more.

The rest is all just my technical notes, so don’t read on if you’re not interested.
Do not read the following and think that you can do what I did. It was somewhat stupid, and I’m extremely lucky NOTHING happened on my hike. I am an experienced hiker, but definitely not at such high altitudes. Maybe train a little before this one, it’s a doozy.

Unfortunately, I have a problem stopping once I start. Fortunately, I don’t know how to quit once I start. I started this hike at midnight, but had no intention of going as quickly as I did. I went through 2L of water on the way up. I hit Long Valley Ranger Station at 7:45am. Once I got there I had 3 kid-sized oatmeal bars, and a handful of jerky. I refilled my reservoir to 3L, and stretched a little.
Started towards the peak around 8, but went much slower on the second half. I hit the summit exactly at noon. I took a break in the Peak Shelter where I changed out of some of my layers, and ate some more jerky. I left a few oatmeal bars in the emergency locker...
...started down to the tram around 12:30, and went slowly, again. I ran out of water one mile from the tram, but it was shaded and just knowing I was about to finish kept me going. Hit the tram at 3:30, and then I hit the bar for a beer.

I started the hike in two wool shirts, longjohns, heavy wool socks, zip-off pants, a hoodie, gloves, and a beanie. A headlamp (the brighter the better) is an absolute if you’re hiking at night. I had my rain gear as well as a tarp in case a storm blew in suddenly. Hiking poles are a lifesaver, and maybe invest in some athletic knee braces. A wide hat and sunscreen will be used the second half of the hike and you’ll be glad for them.
I took 12 kid-sizes oatmeal bars, two big bags of jerky, a small bag of jerky, two pro-bars, and a bag of pistachios. I had 3L of half water/half Gatorade and carried two extra bottles of each with me. I seriously only had four of the oatmeal bars and didn’t even finish the small bag of jerky, but I’m glad I had more than enough in case it was needed. I killed the drinks, and wish I had taken just one extra water bottle.

If you read this far, nice. Again, don’t do what I did. Take it slow-ish. Stop every once in a while to rest your legs, and eat a little. Take goo with you if you’re like me and have a hard time eating solids while hiking. Refill at the ranger station, and use your common sense. If you get to Long Valley and you’re tired, or hurting, take the tram. It’s an awesome hike, but it’s not awesome enough to hurt yourself or risk others safety saving you.

Not an avid hiker but in good shape. This hike is no joke. Started at 2am and it was such a blessing finally seeing the ranger station after the continuous vertical slope. Did this without poles and that’s the one thing I regret not using. Bring lots or water and gel packs. Started cramping on the last vertical stretch before the ranger station. I wouldn’t recommend doing this hike unless you have trained for it. I won’t be doing this hike again for a long time!

35 degrees at the summit. The Devil’s Backbone was the easier trail coming down.

Beautiful hike, many river crossings and scenic sights. Bring lots of water and keep track of your steps because it’s easy to get lost since there’s almost not a single sign

Goes without saying, this hike is beyond intense and belongs on any serious hiker's bucket list. We did C2C in November which is a little late but there was no snow yet so we actually had a 40 - 60 degree range the whole time. Just to state the obvious - headlamps, layers, gloves and at least 6L of water/Gatorade, calories (plus emergency supplies). Super awesome hike though, beautiful scenery throughout and a huge sense of accomplishment once you finally hit that tram. Be safe!

P.S. this fortunately did not end up being the case for us, but if you end up missing the last tram at night, the ranger recommended sleeping in the bathroom of the ranger station which is heated and protected from the elements. Just throwing that out there!

Beautiful hike, many river crossings and scenic sights. Bring lots of water and keep track of your steps because it’s easy to get lost since there’s almost not a single sign

Beautiful hike, many river crossings and scenic sights. Bring lots of water and keep track of your steps because it’s easy to get lost since there’s almost not a single sign

Wow! A tough hike for sure, especially if you’re hauling enough gear to camp over night. Weather was amazing, clear but somewhat cold. The temp over night was around 20 degrees. The trek to High Creek Campgrounds with 40 lbs. worth of gear was a challenge. From Forest Falls to High Creek is a 3k elevation gain in 8.5 miles. It’s a haul! Then the summit is another 2,400 ft to the top. Round trip is really 22 miles back to the car. Took my 14 year old son, we both got a workout! Watch your time, both the hike in and out we ended up hiking in the dark with headlamps for the last few hours. There’s water at High Creek so you can replenish there if you have a pump/filter.

I underestimated this hike a bit. It is definitely harder than I thought. But depending on the trail you take it could be easier. Landslides have removed part of the old trail so you have to travel on the dried up river bed which is fine. A lot of shade. Towards the end there was a clearing for sun but it is overall shady. Lots of river crossings. Bring some good boots or waterproof shoes. Some extra socks would be good too. Lots of fun! Very beautiful. Chances to see mountain goats which I saw none. Bungee jumping at the end. Expensive! $120. Wear some good pants. Wasn’t a lot of people there. There are some camp sites there as well. Next to a shooting range too.

I should have added that I was the first one down. No one passed me. Two of the groups that were at the summit while I was there arrived at the trailhead about 20 minutes after I did. I think it's justified to call this a 9-10 hour hike for the majority of us.
And to clarify a potential issue: the difference between my mileage (17.3) and AllTrails (15.1) is 2.2 miles. That's more than an hour at my pace. So if I had relied on AllTrails numbers and started later, I could have been coming down in the dark.
I understand that it's difficult to accurately measure distance, even with a GPS in hand. But a chronic shortfall in reporting trail distances points to some issue.
Hikes in Patagonia are marked not by distance, but by the amount of time the able bodied elders in the community take to make the hike. That's a very useful metric. Not sure how to make that work here, other than honest reports.

Hiked this on Veterans Day. A heartfelt thanks to all who served.
Beautiful weather. A bit of wind but not as bad as predicted. The top was almost calm.
Definitely a workout. The manzanita plateau might have been my favorite part. Then the flats near John's Meadow marked with an ancient wheelbarrow.
Not too crowded, I only saw about 2 dozen people the whole day. Pretty good for a weekend.
My Garmin marked 17.3 miles roundtrip and TripSummit has it at 16.8 miles. The Garmin was spot on for vertical gain at 4600 ft.
Glad to see the previous reviewer post how long it took. Six hours is realistic in my opinion. It took me 5.5 hours to reach the summit, and 9.5 roundtrip. I passed three groups on the way up and kept pace with another. I assume they were the first to reach the summit that morning as I didn't see anyone on their down. I summited about 11:30 about 10 minutes after the first group. This was after a 6:15 start.
Great hike and I recommend doing it, but unless you are an extremely fit individual who is well acclimated to altitude, plan on a 10 hour trip to make sure you don't have to hike it in the dark if making the summit is important to you. Regardless, even a hike part way up is well worth it.
AllTrails, I (and from the reviews, several others) clock every hike you describe at a greater distance than stated. I feel this could cause someone a significant issue sometime. I paid for this service to help me plan. Inaccurate information doesn't fit well with that purpose.
Time to get up from your computers and get feet on the ground!

Awsome hike. After the second time I did it.

Spectacular views. Can be hard for folks who take time in adjusting to altitude low pressure at 10k ft

Completed this hike 11/10/18, weather was perfect and the views were amazing! Thanks to all who posted helpful tips on this hike. I found the information to be very helpful. Here’s a few additional tips that may help your hiking adventure to SB peak:
I found this incredibly helpful locating the parking lot to the trail head: 34.14612, -116.97826 (thanks to who shared this on this app!!). You’ll need an Adventure Pass for this trail; however, permits are no longer required for day hikes (but recommended) www.sgwa.org. I did call to confirm information was correct. Always check with Ranger Station for changes and current trail updates before you go out.
Dress in layers. We started at 6am and in the shade it was pretty chilly. You may find a hat and gloves helpful. Bring lots of water! I went through my 3L and 16oz Hydroflask before I finished. No snow on this trail and the spring water was frozen. The trail itself is very well maintained and easy to follow.
The time it took my friend and I to summit was six hours. The first two miles’ish in the beginning I found most challenging on this entire hike. You’ll then go through the Manzanita’s which is fairly flat for quite awhile and you’ll end up at Limber Pines. Once you pass Limber Pines you’ll notice a steady gradual incline to the peak. At the peak, the views are beautiful. Very nice panoramic views of the mountain ranges and surrounding cities. Descending took us a little more than three hours.
Of all the Six Pack of Peaks, this a top favorite! Happy hiking!

One of the best hikes I've done since I've lived here. Gorgeous vistas all along the way and pretty isolate. Camped 2 miles from the top, lots of camping spots, just have to go online and get a permit. They gave me mine the same day I applied so its quick, but it was also shoulder season. I would try to nab it at least 2-3 weeks beforehand during peak season to make sure you get a spot.

hiking
13 days ago

Amazing hike experienced with my five experienced hikers. Started 2:30am at the bottom in palm spring and reach to the summit by 1pm then heading down to the tram exactly 6pm to catch up our ride down. We finished 23.3 miles total. Most challenging hike so far. Stick pole is a must and good headlights. When you reach to the rangers station dont forget to refuel yourself and rest. heading to the summit is strenuous due to some thin air because of the high elevation. hydrate enough and eat energy bars will help. Recommended for advance and serious hikers.

Bring treking poles, it is all up hill.

This hike should be rated easy. It’s pretty much a strain hike with a little here and there incline. An excellent hike to take a dog. Lots of water through out the whole hike. It’s just long but not hard. However the drive to get there is a different story. It’s about 5 miles through winding rounds that you have to share with a lot of bicyclists. It’s only a two lane road. Which feels like forever when your trying to leave.

This was the second time I've gone up to Gorgonio is as many months. The last trip up was 9/16/18 and I'll be going again on 11/24/18. The first time was great! I met up with a group called "Girls that Hike' an they allowed me into their graces and so I ended up hiking with them all day. What a great group!

On my second trip up, I met up with the Outdoor Athlete Enthusiasts, a group I met through Facebook! We met at 5:00 am, the trial head and proceeded from there. What made my second trip so amazing is there there was snow starting at around 9,500 ft! What we reached the summit it was covered in snow! I've read quite a few reviews and the majority seems to agree, this is a difficult hike and although I can agree, It's certainly not the most difficult hike that I've done!

Although, very short, I found that Mt. Baldy via Register Ridge a more challenging hike as far as elevation gain! On Register Ridge, you're gaining around 4000 ft of elevation in just 3.5 miles (or so) and a portion of that (half mile or so) is on the the Devils Backbone trail with is relatively flat on that portion of the trail! If you want to make it interesting, don't join the Backbone trail when it intersects Register Ridge! Take the short walk to Harwood summit and enjoy some nice views of the high desert! Think about it, two summits on one hike? That's kinda cool, don't you think?

OK, Back to Gorgonio...

When you head out from the parking lot, it seems pretty mellow. Once you get across the creek to the switchbacks, that first mile with test you to the extreme! Once you get past that stretch, it's a pretty good hike! You will encounter some difficulty but over it's not to bad! Beware of the "False Summit"! Before I went up, I'd read about it and watched videos describing it but I got snookered in by it! LOL!

Once at the summit, the views are breathtaking! The first time I went up, it was very clear and you could see for hundreds of miles in all directions! On my second it was clear to the north and east but behind us, the clouds moved in and it was amazing to watch it go from clear to cloudy! I'm talking dark ominous clouds! I though we were going to get rain but it never happened! The hike back was great! It was like being in a dark spooky forest! My daughters said that it reminded them of a cemetery in a scary movie! LOL!
I love this hike, I've made it my goal to learn this mountain! This next time I may camp out up there! Not sure yet! So, If you're up for a challenge, I strongly recommend this hike! It's one you'll not soon forget!

This was the second time I've gone up to Gorgonio is as many months. The last trip up was 9/16/18 and I'll be going again on 11/24/18. The first time was great! I met up with a group called "Girls that Hike' an they allowed me into their graces and so I ended up hiking with them all day. What a great group!

On my second trip up, I met up with the Outdoor Athlete Enthusiasts, a group I met through Facebook! We met at 5:00 am, the trial head and proceeded from there. What made my second trip so amazing is there there was snow starting at around 9,500 ft! What we reached the summit it was covered in snow! I've read quite a few reviews and the majority seems to agree, this is a difficult hike and although I can agree, It's certainly not the most difficult hike that I've done!

Although, very short, I found that Mt. Baldy via Register Ridge a more challenging hike as far as elevation gain! On Register Ridge, you're gaining around 4000 ft of elevation in just 3.5 miles (or so) and a portion of that (half mile or so) is on the the Devils Backbone trail with is relatively flat on that portion of the trail! If you want to make it interesting, don't join the Backbone trail when it intersects Register Ridge! Take the short walk to Harwood summit and enjoy some nice views of the high desert! Think about it, two summits on one hike? That's kinda cool, don't you think?

OK, Back to Gorgonio...

When you head out from the parking lot, it seems pretty mellow. Once you get across the creek to the switchbacks, that first mile with test you to the extreme! Once you get past that stretch, it's a pretty good hike! You will encounter some difficulty but over it's not to bad! Beware of the "False Summit"! Before I went up, I'd read about it and watched videos describing it but I got snookered in by it! LOL!

Once at the summit, the views are breathtaking! The first time I went up, it was very clear and you could see for hundreds of miles in all directions! On my second it was clear to the north and east but behind us, the clouds moved in and it was amazing to watch it go from clear to cloudy! I'm talking dark ominous clouds! I though we were going to get rain but it never happened! The hike back was great! It was like being in a dark spooky forest! My daughters said that it reminded them of a cemetery in a scary movie! LOL!
I love this hike, I've made it my goal to learn this mountain! This next time I may camp out up there! Not sure yet! So, If you're up for a challenge, I strongly recommend this hike! It's one you'll not soon forget!

This is great training hike for those wanting to do bigger peaks. SoCal has several extreme hikes that reach the tallest summits that are way more demanding. So this is a great hike to dial your gear and strategy for success.

Thinking of doing this tomorrow!Any snow or ice up there? Thanks!

This hike was intense. I will for sure do it again. The view is amazing .

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