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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!

This was the second time I've done this trail and it's great. I wouldnt say it's extremely difficult like some others. If you're even remotely in decent shape, it's moderate to hard. I will admit there's the last bit before the peak that goes straight uphill and kicks your ass....You know when you're a teenager and that one kid goes "I'm gonna take the shortcut" and runs straight up hill. That's what that part feels like. Not long but right when you scream out "when will this end?!" you're at the peak. The view is amazing and if you get a clear enough day you can see straight to Malibu. Of course the fires are currently happening so visibility wasn't the best but Long Beach was still visible.

The rest of the hike is definitely moderate, just a little long. My recording has gotten 9.6 miles both times I've done this hike. Bring lots of water, a lunch for the top and sign the trail log. The candy store at the bottom is a great spot to pick up an adventure pass or last minute things, $10 minimum if you're using a card.

Last thing is to make sure you know which way at each junction. There's several four or five way junctions and the last little trail off to the peak could be easy to miss. I took screenshots of another hikers play by play directions.

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.

Fantastic hike!!!! One of the best that I have accomplished this year. It is 11.4 miles, not 13, but if you don't like going down hill, the last 2.5 miles will feel like 5 miles. As others have said it is that first (and last) 2.5 miles that are the steepest. The middle is relatively easy (if you are used to big hikes) while the switchbacks make the last mile quite doable. Very pretty, no steep drop offs, lots to look at, the rock and tree formations are fantastic. The Forest Service office in Idyllwild opens at 8 but you can also get a permit in the outdoor kiosk.

15 days ago

The trail is fire road the entire way which makes Beeks Place easy to find and there is plenty of room for both hikers and cyclists. Park near the gate at the Black Star canyon road entrance and just keep heading up. There is some shade at the beginning and there is shade at Beeks Place but the majority of the climb has no shade. Late fall through spring is the best time to go. Take lots of water. We started at 50 degrees outside temp and ended at 88 degrees- I went through 3.5 liters of water. Some in my group used poles and found it helpful for the steady climb up. The trail is moderate - but this hike should only be done by those who can handle the climb up (about 2300 ft) and no shade. Trail runner shoes were fine.

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!

A hard trail. I went in from the Tenaja trailhead,through Fisherman's camp, up Bluewater Pass to Oak Flats and then onto the truck trail to the peak. This route is tough, lots of brush bashing and Bluewater Pass is steep. Oak flats is gorgeous and this route is rarely traveled. I would not recommend this route to anyone but a seasoned hiker that does not mind brush bashing, hard to follow trails, and poison oak. It's a long day in and out. If you can get past those things it's a great hike, planning to do this one again in November 2018.

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

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.

Two hours east of Downtown LA lies San Gorgonio - the highest summit in all of Southern California at 11,503 feet. This is a beast of a mountain that you must be absolutely prepared for especially since it is known to have thunder & lightning storms that can come out of the blue which is exactly the dangerous situation my friend and I would find ourselves in but I'll save that story for later.

About the actual journey, I must say this was probably one of the most beautiful and scenic hikes I have ever done in all of Southern California. It starts in a dried up rocky riverbed, travels through a diverse forest w/ sequoia like trees, and goes all the way up through endless switchbacks while in high altitude. This is an endurance hike as the total mileage you will gain from the parking lot is 21 MILES. Please bring trekking poles and bring at least 5L of water.

And now here's my story. For a majority of the ascent up to the summit, the weather was mostly perfect with a slight overcast and very cool weather. It made the trek very pleasant despite some of the steeper sections. About 1 mile from reaching the summit at 10,500 feet elevation, a light drizzle started and to be honest it actually felt amazingly refreshing. After about 15 minutes and not paying too much attention to the drizzle (We made the mistake of not really observing the clouds in the distance), a thunder and lightning storm towered over the mountain! The thunder sounded so deafening being that high up and it felt like we angered the Greek God Zeus or something. The rain was relentless and the temperature dropped dramatically. My friend and I made the horrible mistake of not having a water proof jacket, extra clothes, and hand warmers. We were completely drenched from head to toe and we started to feel the effects of slight hypothermia. We were so close to the top and we knew we had to turn around and escape the mountain as we saw lightning zap the hill across from us (scary moment). After about 45 minutes of hiding under some trees, we high tailed it down the mountain after the rain let down a bit. Mind you, we had to hike back 10 MILES to get back to our car. It was quite the miserable adventure and I low key thought we were going to die a slow death on that mountain. During the long descent down, the sun magically peeped up for a bit so that we could dry off. We somehow managed to get back to our car and were just happy to be alive. There were only 6 other hikers on the trail that day too and they too had to abortion mission. My lesson here is always be prepared with waterproof jackets, extra clothes, hand warmers, and gloves when you are doing a long hike in the mountains at high altitude.

That day I learned that the mountain will always be there. We were upset we didn't summit that day but were simply just happy to escape. Nature will be quick to humble you if you are not prepared.

- @justroc @just.trek

This hike was amazing. It's along day, so give yourself about 10 hours. Also, I highly recommend sun protection for above the treeline.

Great two day with a overnight at dry lake. Plan on fetching water from the spring.

A monster of a hike but well rewarding. Give yourself plenty of time and start early.

Moderate to easy until the climb to the peak. That is Hard but the view at the top is great.

Really beautiful and fun trail. My GPS app clocked it at 10.32, so pretty much exactly the length stated. I would call it moderate until the last climb to the top. Definitely would recommend poles for that part. The views are beautiful the entire way up. We started at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday and only ran into a few other groups. Keep in mind that the trailhead is on the same side of the road as the candy store, across the street from the parking lot.

We hike the Vivian Creek Trail, yesterday October 13, 2018, it was rainy, foggy, and cold: time 7:00AM to 3:00PM. The storm came in. Once we got to High Creek Camp Site, there was snow - you will need your snow chains and dress warm. If you need water, there are creeks and streams near Halfway Campsite at 8,285ft; High Creek Campsite at 9,400ft, but bring a water filter - use the flowing streams/areas to filter water. Bring waterproof clothes. Good experience, but be careful. It is still one of my favorite hike. :)

fun hike with plenty of wildlife

4 hours to get to the top lots of rocks but well worth it hard run down

Difficult but manageable, expect a lot of incline it’s all incline right when you start at the trail head, the incline gets harder and harder the more in you go but you get a break every once in a while, the trail get more narrow about 2 miles in and make sure you pay attention and I would highly suggest this app be on use the map because you can easily get put on the wrong path, just a heads up the trail is “closed” due to the fires so hike at your own risk, when you almost to the peak probably make a mile left to go your ping to be right in the middle of the burnt after math of the fires

Beautiful views, though physically challenging. Hiked the trail last Saturday. Went through five liters of water.

The best of the 6 SoCal peak challenge.... also my friend’s and I last one too!

Anyways, the views are worth the barriers of wind or incline (switchbacks and vertical at the end). BUT we had flash floods towards the river bank due to HAIL/RAIN/THUNDER as we descended down around 2pm, also the forecast said sunny and 20% chance of rain.... but not DOWNPOUR.

Bring waterproof clothing just in case or else you’ll be walking drenched through the camping sights where most of the water starts rushing down on the trail itself.

Make sure to get out of the hike before it gets dark especially at the end of summer season

Still my favorite :)

Great hike, very worth it. The climb to Little Round Valley is the hardest part. After the valley, the final assent isn’t much farther or as hard.

If you approach the highest point from directly below, there’s an easy boulder problem ;)

Great escape from OC. Cool breezes, sometimes really windy, and fresh air. I came unfortunately unprepared as it was a spontaneous trip- I brought 1 liter of water and forgot my main bottle at home. Definitely need 2+ liters if you want to make it to the top. With photo searching, carrying my camera bag and tripod, and using trekking poles, at just a leisure pace it’ll take 6+ hours to get to the top. Love seeing so much trees, and all of the hikers I crossed were very friendly. Gets really windy at the top and at times freezing. I’m excited for my next trip and hopefully go around closer to November or December. I had also seen people who just go jogging up and down with just a hydration pack.

It was a good hike. Definitely not hard until the last part leading up to the summit. The views at the top were really cool.

**If you start this hike before dawn, please read**

Immediately after the first "Trail" sign, do not follow the wash of the creek. The trailhead is ACROSS the wash. In darkness this sign is almost impossible to see. There are footprints along the wash that make it look like a trail, but again, do not follow the wash. Cross it. I made this mistake and ended up hiking 6 miles before we came to the conclusion that we were off track. One of the park rangers told me she had met many other people who made the same mistake. You can still coordinate your GPS location on the trail map even when you don't have service.

The next weekend (Sep 22) we went again and took the right trail. This was a gorgeous, scenic hike! The hardest of the Six Pack of Peaks but also very rewarding. It took us 5hr 4m to summit and 3hr 30m to descend. I used about 3L of water along with refilling some at the campsite on the way down.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely an accomplishment! Great to be at the top above everything else. Make sure to take the little spur to the right at the saddle around 7.3 miles. Great views and rest before the toughest part of the climb.
We started at 630 on friday and saw only a few folks going up, summit about 1215, return took a little under 4 hours. Saw more filks on the way down, but i would not suggest a day hike starting after 7.

Peaked on 22nd Sept. It was a perfect day with barely any winds. Another group who summited last weekend faced 60m/hr winds at the top.
Parking: Start early and you won't have a problem. we started at 3am.
Water: Took 2 litees. Filled twice at High Creek. used clorine tablets to purify.
Trail: Tricky point at the beginning when we cross the riverbed. We had someone who had done it before with us to help us navigate this part in dark. Before descending to the riverbed, shine your headlamp pointing straight ahead until u see the reflection from the trail sign on the other end. Then walk towards that reflection to get to the right trail.

I found the beginning 1.5 mile climb not as difficult as the last 4 miles after High Creek.

Saw 2 guys with serious hunting equipment on the trail between Vivian and High Creek, hunting deers! I talked to the ranger and found out, the hunting season is on but they were not in the destinated hunting area. If u see something say something. Don't hesitate to question and report folks who seem out of place. Their arrow can hit any hiker if they hunt in non designated areas.

Again: This one is not for me. Won't do it again. Too long and Peak not as interesting. Glad to get it checked off my bucket list!

I gave this trail a 4 Star because we miss the turn to the trail entrance . Right before wt the fork It should of been mark better after the trial head, we walk straight on the rocky sand along the waterfall for 1.5 miles until ran into a girl who went for 2-3 miles out and realize she was lost . So after all that we end up with 20.3 miles
Moderate, not too hard. You can bring 3-4 frozen water bottle is enough. Depend how you hydrate, plus a jacket , it can be really cold around September.
It’s a beautiful trial !!

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