Explore the most popular backpacking trails in San Bernardino National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1 day ago

Keller Peak, The Children's Forest, and The Exploration Trail, all seem to be the same trail. It's always lovely, peaceful, and scenic. Like everywhere in SoCal, it gets crowded at about 11am or noon. Mountain Bikers show up about that time, and that's when I usually leave. get there early.

Proper preperation prevents poor performance.

March 20th was my third time on the mountain this winter and I had the pleasure of bringing the girlfriend recently.
Started at 3 am so we could be high enough for some good morning shots. Together we reached a point about 2.5 miles from the peak but the girlfriend was dead! She just got back the morning before from a week long trip to Bali so I don't blame her. Ran/Jogged the last 2 miles up. There's two little peaks at the top but I went to the one 20 feet lower in elevation so I could save the real peak for the girlfriend and I. All in all a good experience with the right gear..and weather lol

consistent climb and well groomed. beautiful photo ops along the way. not recommended when it rains as it gets muddy fast.

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.

beautiful hike with snow:) we didnt go all the way to the pacific crest trail sign but still did most of it. you do need an adventure pass for this when there is snow.

This was a nice stroll to the crest that overlooks the lake, going in late February was perfect weather. Plenty of dogs on this trail.

Great hike.

23 days ago

There are some fantastic views along this trail. This hike is peaceful and the setting is serenely beautiful.

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!

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.

I do this hike once every two years and enjoy it for the uncrowded approach to the summit. This is a very difficult trail due to the amount of elevation gained and lost between the three peaks, Pine, Dawson, and Baldy. There is also a section near the beginning of the North backbone portion of the trail where the ground is loose with plenty of exposure, so caution must be used in this area. You can start this hike at the Guffy campground using the PCT to get to the trail, and also by parking at the North Backbone trailhead in the rare occasion the road is open past the campground, but I find it easier to use the Acorn trail in Wrightwood, saving the long drive around on the Blue ridge Road.

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.

trail running
1 month ago

Took the butler peak trail. Trail running. Closed to cars. Amazing. Soft. Lil snowy. Epic views. And the tower. Just an incredible end to 5 miles up. Loved it.

Just got back . Did a gear shake down that didn't go well. To cold for iPhone after a couple miles. I wasn't the only one up there although it wasn't crowded at all. You could summit and many I talked to did. Cramp-ons needed so I came up 1,000 ft' or so short of the top. My water bladder froze during the night but all my other gear worked well. This was a spur of the moment thing for me but I am going back to get some pictures and get to the dang top. Watch the elevation change. Made me a little dizzy on the way up so be prepared for that if you think it may take a toll on you. I did a face plant into a large bolder but my teeth are still intact :

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.

Decided to do this hike to start off 2018 the right way. Made it to the trailhead by 6 and it was still dark as could be. Took me 7 hours to summit due to elevation sickness and another 4 hours to come back down. Easily one of the most memorable hikes I've done and was able to have the summit to myself for 30 minutes. Wasn't the hardest hike i've done but definitely the longest. Beautiful scenery and just an amazing hike in general. If i had to do it again, i would definitely camp and acclimate to the elevation.

had to do this by myself cuz I was late to meet up with my group but it didn't stop me I made it and I didn't die!

Conditions as of Feb 4, 2018: Snow above 8,200 with microspikes necessary above 8,500. Perfect for glissading between switchbacks!

Was up here a couple days ago. Took the day off and started out early in the morning. Been hiking up here for awhile. Never disappointed with seeing wildlife. Very pretty up here. Not recommended for beginners though. You should have the right gear and experience to attempt this trail. Good luck

1 month ago

I did this one today. Had a start at 6:45 and was at the peak at noon. Super tough hike. Make sure you bring micro spikes.

Did this trail on 2/2/2018 and it was a gorgeous day to be up in the mountains. I only saw one other hiker the whole day and had the summit to myself. A couple of things to note as in one of the previous reviews there is still snow on the trail above 8,000 ft. After passing Limber Pines I used my micro spikes the rest of the way up. The views are definitely worth it from the top!

This is a gorgeous trail that has steady, not very steep incline for 7.7 miles (there are few patches of steep ones). The hike would have been easier and more enjoyable if there was no snow on the trail. Mid section was covered in ice and the higher elevation was covered in powder snow, which made the hike extra tiring ... Do not attempt this hike during winter without microspikes /crampons and hiking polls ! Follow the footsteps of previous hikers if you don’t want to submerge in snow. The powder, which by the time we were heading back became slush, was not fun at all and was pretty dangerous!
The view at the top ? Sooo worth it - you can see Mt Gorgonio in front of you, Big Bear etc... Sense of accomplishment was pretty big :)! We couldn’t stay at the top for too long though because we wanted to make it back before it got dark! Total hike was 15.5 miles with 9 hrs moving time (10 total)... all and all this was a great hike!

Great hike

We hiked and backpack Mt San Gorgonio at 11,503ft over 22 miles, November 2017. The nights were so cold, below 40F, that our toes were frozen that we couldn’t even feel them and endlessness sleeping nights. Hiked in the dark for 6 miles without headlamps using the night sky to navigated our descent back to base camp from the peak and the trails.

Climbed to the top on January 7. Got super lucky with the weather. On summit was in the 40s, no wind and sunny. Actually was able to wear tshirt. The search and rescue squad was looking for a lost hiker from the day before. Some Marines that had camped out the night before said they had “seen her.” We left parking lot at 7 am dawn and got back at 5pm dusk. Saw sunrise and sunset. Next day if snowed.

We started from the north side (miller canyon). Maybe the south end of this loop is nicer but we turned around after about a mile - too many “red flags”. First it starts near a dirt bike riding area, which I’m not against but we could hear them the whole time. It also had some sort of prison near the start. And finally the trail was just following a steep 4x4 road next to some power lines.

Did this hike 1-15. Wish I had a current report prior. Snow is covering trail from 8000 feet all the way to the top. I made it to the top with micro spikes only. Probably not the best idea but the snow higher up was soft. Followed foot steps that were off trail but went right direction. Beautiful views.

Started 1/12 at 7:30 am, lots of snow from the beginning. After half way camp we took a different trail (looked like the right one) that took us an extra 2 miles out of the way through 2-3 feet of snow. Finally made it to high creek just before dark. it was about a 9 hour day due to the "detour".. High Creek was below 20° at night.
We decided not to go for the summit on 1/13 becuase of two factors: exhausted from the previous day's detour and we were told it was waist deep snow and undoable even with snow shoes (which was the only gear we were short of).

All said and done it was an unforgettable experience and the wilderness is absolutely gorgeous. Can't wait to come back and conquer Old Gray Back!

My third time hiking to the peak of San Gorgonio. My second time not making it to the top. Which is another story.

The views from the trails are and have always been amazing to me. This trail like many others has a wide variety of switchbacks. Of which are not excessively steep. The second half or so of the trail, this time of year (January 13, 2108) was blanketed in snow. About 3 feet of which towards the end which was one of the factors in why it went incomplete this time around.

All around great hike the trial head is not to far off from the parking lot, maybe a half mile. The USFS will ask for a permit for parking as well as if your planning to spend the night. For parking they do have a non-permit day lot.

Overall great hike of the now 5 hikes I’ve done in San Bernardino. I will come back and complete this one.

2 months ago

Beautiful day Jan 6 2018, nice steady hike, highly recommend go to Bertha peak off of cougar crest!

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