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We hiked this trail on Saturday 11/10 and tracked about 12.3 miles RT. The trail is well marked relatively busy. For me, the altitude and gradient were very doable, but I got pretty tired at about 10 miles. The other hikers were very friendly and were willing to step aside on narrow parts of the trail. The view was a little smoky due to wildfires but the visibility was still decent. The weather is perfect this time of year!! Cool in the morning and at the top, so bring a light jacket. We got a late start at about 9am and had to walk about 8 minutes from our car to the trailhead. It took us 4 hours to summit and a little under 3 to get down. Overall tiring and fun hike! (And of course, stopped at the Buckhorn for nachos and beer on the way back ;-) )

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 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!

Hiked this on Sunday 11/11/18. It was beautiful and not as hard as I expected. What made this beautiful hike difficult was the freezing cold winds.

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

So the first thing we encountered was a large road closed sign. People were turning around BUT DRIVE AROUND it. The road leading to the trail head is sandy but if you have a 4 wheel drive SUV you can make it. A two wheel drive car - you will make it most of the way then have to walk about 15-30 min depending how far you get.

Once you make the trail, stay to the right for the ladders and left for the ropes (it’s not marked).

Depending how you get down, you might have to descend a rope which is challenging. My wife who is in pretty good shape had a freak out. But overall it’s not too bad.

I have done this hike multiple times and highly recommend.

Well worth stopping! Very enjoyable and different than the big peaks everyone comes for.

This is one of my favorite trails in LA! Beware there's little shade in the first part but this trail is incredible early in the morning. Ample parking and just difficult enough to get me into shape

Easy hike with plenty of people on a November Sunday late afternoon. Dry creekbed.

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.

Great trail we went with our 2.5 yo that was able to do the bulk of the trail and we we're able to carry her the rest of the way.

hiking
5 days ago

@BRUPac ;) I understand the road in is washed out from both ends, but which end did you start from with your 4x4? I have a tacoma 4x4 and wanted to attempt to reach the trailhead this weekend.

THE PEAK WITH THE BEST VIEW.

11/6/18 Drove to the trail head in a Ford Focus st. Take your time and a small vehicle does just fine with no scraping what so ever. Beautiful views at the hot spring but be advised there will be nudists at certain points. The hike out is all up hill making it more challenging on the way back. Pretty decent work out. I will return to hike again.

Great for a short hike not to hard, but little water coming down the falls.

went there yesterday 11/3/18. Left a review on the ladder canyon road review section. highly recommend 4x4, but will be honest, a Volvo awd SUV made it all of the way and a 2018 Toyota Camry made it over half way, before the real soft sand. I'm adding a few pictures of the road to judge for your self. go in groups or have recovery gear to get yourself out.

off road driving
8 days ago

Just went this weekend, definitely should take a 4x4. The whole road has been completely washed out and there are areas of supper soft sand. I have a pretty build truck, and did it all in 2 wheel drive, but there were a few times where we were running about 40 mph then it would just start digging in and I really thought about putting it in 4x4. The bonus was there were only 2 other couples that made it there, so was nice having the whole place to our selves. The ladders have been repaired and were pretty solid. I'm going to add a few pictures of the road. 11/3/18

Easy and beautiful

Phenomenal hike. Great views and very fresh air. Loved it.

Dogs only allowed on 100-yard trail. The signage for the other trails are marked no dogs.

What a poor decision by the organization managing this resource.

The people who follow the rules will leave. The people who don't follow the rules will take their dogs anyway, and leave their dog crap everywhere.

This area seems like a "checkbox" item that someone used to fulfill a political requirement. It's not designed for the real world.

About 90% of this hike is shaded which is very nice for comfort but limits the view points. I guess it was nice to change it up from the dessertous terrain of SoCal. It was also nice because I got a late start but didn’t get caught in the worst of the sun. Btw parking is rough if you get there late, I parked 0.8 miles from the trailhead.

Started out this hike with what felt like a million other people, I was not excited and kept weaving around them. Around mile 4 where it splits off to summit Wilson, just past sturtevant camp, everyone disappeared. Yay. But I was immediate joined by eight million mosquitos. Luckily I had some bug spray, if I do this hike again, I’ll bring a head net. As others have said, the summit left much to be desired. No log book, signage, etc plus people can drive there so it doesn’t give you the same sense of accomplishment.

Worth mentioning, when you get to the burned area just before the peak, there is load of poison oak? I’m terrible at IDing plants but someone told me it was poisonous and what it looked like, it was scary especially with my dog but I think we made it out unscathed.

Made it up in 4 hours and down in 2.5. Overall not a bad day but def not my fav hike in SoCal.

Really nice workout

http://rctlma.org/trans/Road-Maintenance/Road-Closures

I’m going to head down there tonight. Website says it’s still closed. Hopefully not.

Update.
Road is definitely closed. No problem getting to the trail tho. Lifted 4x4 recommended only. 2 spots that would be tough to get around. Plus the ground is pretty loose.
Jeep Wrangler for reference. Saw some Tacoma’s also back in there amongst other wranglers

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 an awesome hike that I have done and loved so much. However today it is closed due to a fire!!!

Can anyone say if the trail is back open..Thank you

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

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