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spikes are a must have

5 days ago

Went on this hike just today, and it's partly covered with snow at points with lots of mud and wet spots. About a third to halfway through the hike, footing gets to be a problem with the snow and collapsed trail. But after the first half, it's smooth sailing.

On March 10, hiked up Ski Hut / Baldy Bowl and down Devil’s Backbone to the Notch, about 7.5 miles total. Took the chairlift down the rest of the way. The hike itself took 4 hours and 3min, but I set a very aggressive pace for myself due to time constraints. The first three miles up to just beyond the ski hut took 1h20min, the next 1.5 miles up to the summit took 1h20min (this segment abolutely kicked my butt) and the summit down to the Notch took 1h25min. I set out from Manker Flats at 5:22am (with a headlamp as it was not yet twilight) and got to the Notch at 9:26am. The trail was mostly clear of snow and ice for the first three miles. Microspikes were necessary for most of the upper section to the summit due to ice and snow particularly in the steep section beginning about 1/2 mile after the hut. I had downloaded a route into my Garmin watch, which was very helpful (read: necessary) because there are sections between the hut and the summit where it would be very easy to lose the trail. Hiking down Devil’s Backbone was a little scary in parts due to ice and snow along the precipitous drop-offs, however there was enough ground exposed so that I could easily identify and avoid the snow cornices. It is a little hairy right at the western entrance to the Backbone section as there is a lot of snow wedged in the corner next to a fairly steep dropoff. Overall it is a very fun and pretty challenging hike, with amazing views and spectacular scenery along the whole route. Well worth it, but this time of year use caution and tread carefully along precipitous sections of the Devil’s Backbone trail; and be prepared - I would recommend microspikes and trekking poles for the hairy parts, and also bring some layers because there can be very significant changes in temperature at the different elevations and much wind chill at the summit.

Great time. Snow on the ground made it that much more enjoyable. Did the whole loop and Needed crampons for sure to help with the sliding around.

I went yesterday March 06, 2018. I was the only person in the whole trail all day which is fully covered in snow. (A few dry patches here and there) First 2/3’s of the hike, the trail is easy to figure out, just follow all the footprints from previous hikers. There was snow recently, so the last third was difficult. No trail to be found, sometimes I followed footprints that randomly stopped somewhere. Had to take shortcuts, deep snow in some areas, I fell quite a lot. Wearing crampons for 16 miles takes its toll, eventually I made it right before sunset due to a late start, at 9:30 am thanks to horrible traffic since I drove from San Diego. Cold at the top, took pics, went down immediately, my fingers were getting numb and darkness was coming in fast. Back to my car right after midnight. The first and last thirds have switchbacks, sometimes steep. It was a tough day.

Hiking was Amazing. Lots of water at fall and Beautiful weather.if you drive up, there is snow on mountain toward crystal lake.

This is a fun hike to go on. I would suggest going early in the morning.Be prepared for some climbing (over log a and rocks). The waterfall at the end is soooo worth it.
Note: apparently the Grey car that used to be parked by the entrance is now gone (donated). The location is marker 34. Happy hiking!!!!

Such a great hike with versatile terrain. There is ice and snow on the hike after Saddle Ranch but I did it in wool socks and hiking sandles and my feet never got cold. Do not stop for lunch at Saddle Ranch! It's freezing (not my feet). Walk a bit further. Great views and not nearly as cold. High winds after Saddle Ranch but a storm was a brewing. There is a cove under the main rock for cuddling ;)

Good workout. A lot of steep areas. Pretty view .

Amazing Hike. Ice house lives up to its name, so cold. The ice and snow is a bit tricky but totally worth it. I did the entire hike in shorts and hiking sandals. Mexican sherpa Lol!

Hiked San Gorgonio in the snow the morning of feb 25th via the Vivian Creek trail, nobody else heading up so had to make fresh tracks in the snow and had the peak to myself for a little while, beautiful day but hard work. Met a few guys heading up from other trailheads and camps later on. There is Snow and Ice on most of the trail from the trailhead and up. After High Creek the trail is fully covered and not visible, so I just headed straight up instead of trying to find the switchbacks up to the ridge. I used microspikes, which was fine. Others might prefer crampons. Some post holing from High Creek. Once you get to the San Gorgonio mountain conditions are similar to last weekend with wind blown packed snow that you dont sink into. I could see snow covered mountains in Sierra Nevada and Death Valley on this very clear day. Open water at High Creek and Vivian Creek, I drank some from High Creek without filtering on my way down, tasted wonderful. I would say the snow makes the hike about 25% harder. Wonderful!

best hike I've been on so far beautiful scenery

Did this on Presidents’ Day 2018. There was snow at the trail head and it snowed on us when we first started. We didn’t need the crampons until about 8000. We didn’t make it to the top because of the storm that rolled in. The hike was beautiful, especially in the snow.

20 days ago

Did the loop but ended up adding the the Rim Trail so total distance was 17.6 miles of hiking. Definitely would do it again since I felt it’s good training for the distance aspect,since elevation wasn’t much of a factor. Definitely recommend it since it’s a good training hike.

22 days ago

nice day hike, easy going with great views. Add Vincent's cabin to finish the day.

Good section of trail with great views, bring proper gear in the late season, ice is present and can really ruin a good day.

24 days ago

Pleasant hike. Went on a Tuesday so very little traffic.

Waterfall is nice, trail in good condition.

Downside is that you are ascending up a mountain and get very few views. You are enveloped by trees entire time. Not horrible just not what I would hope for

Hiked on Sunday 2/18. Pretty Consistent snow from high creek up. Brought micro-spikes, but did not use them. If you’re uncomfortable on snow they would probably be nice to have. Other than that; beautiful views to be had! Prepare for a long day, we started at 7.15 and finished around 6.

24 days ago

Did this trail Jan 26 by myself. Started around 6:30, finished around 1:30 with an hour break at the Observatory. Trail is nice and dense with woods with some streams to cross over. Suggest going up the eastern route to the peak and down the western route. Bring layered clothing as it can get quite cold in the wooded areas. No bugs to deal with in the winter

Solid hike! Good elevation over a relatively short distance. If you love switchbacks, this hike is for you! Gorgeous views at the top, and loved all the gnarly pines along the way. It is a good ways out on the Angeles Crest - maybe 40 mins past buckhorn- so give yourself plenty of time to get to the trailhead. As of early February, spikes were absolutely necessary. There have been three separate rescues off the same icy patch on this trail just this month- don’t risk your life with snow and ice!

25 days ago

Freezing on the summit. Actually, the whole way up and down too. But really nice hike- in the trees the whole time. 1st half of ascent was easy, 2nd half was pretty tough. Bizarre summit with the telescopes. Easy but long descent. Overall, outstanding trail.

Great day too have done this hike today. After Ice House crampons are definitely recommend since there is snow and the trails are more narrow. Unfortunately the Cucamonga Peak elevation sign was missing...but nonetheless still was a great hike and the weather as well.

Hi guys, wanted to get a water report. Were there still streams running up halfway point?

This is another of the premiere hikes to be done in these mountains. Starting out around 7 am, there was a biting cold wind that was avoided after getting past the falls. We kept a good pace along the service road to the lodge. I was glad to get some hot coffee there before moving on. The climb got a little tough initially, from getting used to the elevation, and then I found most of Devil's Backbone to be a steady climb. I diverted over to the summit of Mt. Harwood and then came back down to the main trail. My favorite part of this stretch was seeing into the Mojave to Victorville and other areas to the east, The wind was cold a fierce along the Harwood part of the trail, and finally it was blocked on the last stretch to the summit. A break there was nice, and so was the geocache. We came down the Ski Hut trail and it was fairly easy going most of the way. We hit the service road at sunset, and it was a short time back to the parking lot.

Decided to hike this trail in the winter this time around and couldn't be happier with my decision. I have done this trail once over in July and had a difficult time enjoying it cause bugs :( However, if you choose to do it in the winter, be prepared!! bring microspikes or the like because the trail does get narrow with exposed cliffs at certain points and the last thing you want is to slip on any potential ice. Use the Alltrails app to help guide you to the peak, it does get tricky to navigate the last .3 miles to the top especially in fresh snow. All in all, great hike with great scenery. The trail gradient doesn't get too steep so its nice on the knees. Save your knees people haha, check out my photos from the hike!

Solid hike. Weird parking lot at the top. Start early (before 6:30am) on weekends because the crowds descend fast. Was never overwhelmed or taken to my edge but instead consistently fed a beautiful trail with great views.

I summited San G on Friday, February 9th, 2018. I started my hike at VC Trailhead at 6:4t am solo. Made it to the summit and back in 10 hours exactly. A personal record. The top half of the trail was covered in snow. Enough snow to make it challenging, but not too much to make it dangerous. I felt confident hiking fast with micro spikes and hiking poles. I have been keeping a close eye on San G’s weather the past weeks and months. I would NEVER attempt this trail alone in february, had we not had a dry year like this year.

Plenty of footsteps all the way through the snow made by pervious hikers. No need for a gps device when I was up there. That could very well change after a storm.

Check the weather. Have the proper gear. Do your training. Let someone know about your destination and time and have a beautiful hike.

Beautiful waterfall. Magical hike with some branches and obstacles that make it more fun.

trail is challenging but quite scenic and rewarding.

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