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Great scenic trail. All I could ask for in a day hike around this area. A bit crowded on the weekend but ok.

Did this trip in August. Absolutely loved it! Beautiful scenery! First backpacking experience. Camped midway which was fun and hiked to peak next day. The altitude was a new challenge, but not too hard. A wonderful getaway!

Did it on 11/19/18. We were planning to clockwise. Started from Manker around 10 to 10:30, then through paved wide drive road reach the split of badly bowl and fall road?. we took badly bowl. steep at beginning, slower in the middle, reach ski hub, then easier ascent. before summit, there are two strenuous ascending. On first one, the trail became really steep (>45%), with multiple possible ways, with dirt or loose graves ground. Then we were thinking it was almost summit, but one hiker told us it would take another 30-40 minutes before summit and suggested devil's backbone is a more dangerous down way. Right before summit, it was about 30 minutes 30% ascending. We arrived summit at 2pm. Since we knew sundown time was 5pm, devil's backbone is a much longer trail, our phone was out of battery, and it was our first time, we took the advise deciding coming down from badly bowl. My knees got killed. Slipping a few times per person. Yesterday was cloudy. when sun downed at 4:30, we reached the split. At 5pm, we backed to Manker flat parking lot.

Don't know how dangerous down from devil's backbone. But, down from badly bowl is asking for hammering on your knees.

Parking lot & turnouts full. Paid $20 for valet parking near store. Started hike off Sturtevant trail at 8:15 a.m. Took us 4 hours to reach summit (Observatory) and 3 hours to return/ loop around through Wilson trail (Upper Winter Creek). Return trailhead is off the cafe parking lot, however it is not marked.Tracker recorded 15.5 miles.Don't be deceived, it's a strenuous hike. Beautiful mountainous views.

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!

arrival time 7 am Sunday morning. parking lot was already full. had to park up the street on my Baldy St. When you start this hike, immediately the scenery is beautiful. Along a beautiful water stream flowing pretty good, and some old cabin ruins along the path. You by the 2nd mile, it's starts getting a bit more difficult because everything after that is shifting up hill all the way to the summit where it splits into many different trails. We took the Cucamonga peak trail for another 2.5 miles more. A few more switch backs but not as bad. once you get to the top! it's breath taking and beautiful.
tips- go early , bring your hiking issentials, lots of water, food, fruit or candy. Don't rush, you will burn out, go at your paste even if people pass you. it's ok to take as many stops as you want but keep a solid paste.
see you at the next adventure.
i.g- skyhighhiking

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.

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

Always a great hike. Got there at 6:30am and got the last parking space. Go during the week if you have that option. It was a great day on top, no wind and sunny. Lots and lots of dogs today but they were all well behaved.

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

One of the most beautiful hikes I have been on. It gets challenging at times but it is well worth it.

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

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.

THE PEAK WITH THE BEST VIEW.

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

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.

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!!!

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 is a 22 mile hike from the parking lot. I’m not sure why it says 17.
Beautiful and hard

I was fortunate to cross this one off my list. We hiked it on Saturday (10/20/18).

Getting there: for most people it is going to be quite a drive unless you live in this area (obviously) which I do not. It took me about an hour and a half to get there from the Long Beach area since there was no traffic on a Saturday morning at 5 am and about 2 hrs to get home; the dirt road to the trailhead is near the Angelus Oaks Fire Station...the road is narrow and quite bumpy but I saw small cars handle it fine going slowly; the parking lot area was not crowded that early but it was quite crowded when we finished at 2 pm...Adventure Pass is needed

Trail- it is a pretty easy trail to follow and not get lost especially if you are using the ALL TRAILS app which is incredibly useful; the first 3 miles are steep but not too extreme (about 600-700 ft per mile) and then the trail flattens out a bit for the 4th mile and miles 5-8 are moderately steep with elevation gain of about 500-600 ft per mile; the scenery is beautiful and surprisingly green for what you may think San Bernardino to be like...lots of tall green trees and around the halfway part an open area with manzanita; beautiful views along the way in all directions of other nearby mountains, views of the Inland Empire, and a view of Big Bear Lake

Peak- I've read complaints of people complaining of obstructed views at the peak due to tree coverage but I didn't really find the views lacking from up there; there were only a few people at the top while we were there and we had a good time talking to our fellow hikers, enjoyed a Stella Artois celebratory drink, and took our pictures with the wooden sign and added our hiking group sticker to the box at the top; there were some patches of snow and ice along the trail on the final mile to the peak but no special equipment but hiking poles were helpful

My experience: I think we lucked out and had great conditions for our hike with temperatures in the 40's and 50's on a weekend when most cities at lower elevations were experiencing temps in the 80s and 90s; I've been hiking quite a bit in the last few years including longer and longer hikes and more hikes at higher altitudes so I think I was well-prepared to handle this hike without any major difficulties and I found this hike to be hard more for the pure length (my longest hike to date in terms of distance and San Jacinto has been my longest hike in terms of duration); I didn't experience any altitude issues and it wasn't windy or too frigid which I hear it can get this time of year

Details:
Distance- 16.2 miles (I think people who have recorded longer distances usually are tracking it on watches and I have noticed people who use that come up with inaccurate distances)
Difficulty- Strenuous because of distance more than steep incline
Duration- 7.5 hrs (4.5 up, 2.5 down, with a half hour at the top)
Elevation Gain- 4,700 ft
Peak Elevation- 10,649
*a hiking permit is no longer needed for this if you are doing a day hike

Completed this hike as my 6 peaks in 6 weeks combination. A long day of ascending and descending for over 17 miles. Beautiful day with sun and temperate climate the whole hike. Chilly and windy at the top, but to be expected. I have always ascended from Dry Lake camp and this was my first from Vivian Creek.

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