nature trips




trail running



The San Gorgonio Wilderness is the climax region of the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California. Located on the San Bernardino National Forest approximately 75 miles east of Los Angeles (click here for vicinity map), the Wilderness receives approximately 200,000 visitors per year. Its 58,969 acres harbor two small lakes, meadows, streams, 100 miles of trail, densely forested northern slopes, and rugged terrain. Elevations range from 4,400 feet to 11,499 atop namesake Mt. San Gorgonio. Eleven of twelve peaks in the Wilderness recognized by U.S. Geological Survey maps are over 10,000 feet in height, with Mt. San Gorgonio being the highest. As the highest peak between the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Mexican border, Mt. San Gorgonio offers unparalleled views of metropolitan Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert. More great information here.

1 29.18 | group of 4, me and 3 other buddies, one who is not an avid hiker (he died 3/4s of the way, but we got him to push and he lived & absolutely loved the trek down!). we started around 6:45a. phenomenal! lots of snow, knee deep in parts. icy in parts as well. overall, not bad and temperatures were perfect, about 40 all day. we got back to the start about 12 hours later right before sunset. we stopped for 2 hours at dollar lake for lunch and to absorb the majesty. we have all been to dollar multiple times prior, but never with snow. completely different hike than when dry / no snow! poles are a must! have fun!

Took the dog out this morning for a quick hike. Turned around at the first water crossing (about 1.8 miles). Couple of mountain bikers encountered. Nice, close trail that can be done completely, or in smaller sections.

Only 4 stars now since the fire but still beautiful. Hopefully this area will come back quickly. Hiked to dollar saddle yesterday under intermittent snow flurries, made the hike just that more enjoyable.

Such a great hike, have done it 3 times. The views are amazing and the spring is awesome. All 3 of my kids have done this hike. Youngest was 5.

Did this hike in September, but continued to Dollar Saddle. Beautiful hike with a reasonable grade.

The trail is fairly well maintained. Views are just ok. We had shade about half the time. Lots of gnats. The lower gate was locked, so we had to walk about half a mile to get to the trail head. Looked like it would be a fun trail to mountain bike.

This is a beautiful trail to hike/backpack. My husband and I continue to come back to this trail even after 20 yrs. It’s a great trail that starts slightly steep at the beginning and leaving the meadows. The rest of the trail has a gradual gain the rest of the way with some narrow areas(so watch your step.)
A great all around trail to teach kids the ropes of hiking/backpacking and getting use to their gear, without it being too far back in the forest.. There are a few vista points to take in the view. The rangers recently did some work on the trail and the meadow does have a sign posted.
The only disappointment was that that were signs of people not following the Leave No Trace...toilet tissue in plain sight. Please Beginners...take your trash out and keep nature clean for others.
Overall, great trail.

mountain biking
4 months ago

Really scenic and fun to ride. Starts off of Highway 38, and ends at the Angelus Oaks Restaurant. Bits of the trail are pieces of road, because it used to be a fire road. Super fun!

There were unleashed dogs on the trail. My son is allergic to dogs and he could have gotten an allergic reaction on the trail.

This is a easy/moderate trail that follows the old route for Hwy 38. Some paved sections still remain, but is mostly dirt double and single-track. There is one rocky / light scramble section early on the route. keep left on this section going up to avoid going off trail (The trail can falsely appear to veer to the right here). While not overly spectacular, there are some nice views of the valley / canyons below. Fairly constant uphill but nothing too considerably steep. The trail ends at a road in Angelus Oaks. Amenities can be found a short walk from the end of the trail by following the road to where it meets back up with Hwy 38.

Mountain bikers frequent this trail, so be alert for riders coming down.

Hiked to Dollar Lake this morning with overcast skies! Beautiful day for a hike. Most of the trail is well maintained except for the short segment hiking down to Dollar Lake. A lot of fallen trees blocking the trail. I gave up and just looked down. Looked dry to me. Several stream were still flowing along the way. Beautiful scenery. Good day hike

It's a nice trail for backpackers because it the gain in elevation goes up gradually. Forsee Creek is lovely and the wilderness camp at John's Meadow has some nice, fairly flat clearings to pitch a tent.

August 19, 2017 Led a group of hikers to San Gorgonio Peak via the South Fork Trail. (See my previous post below for information about the hike and getting a permit)

Still plenty of water at the 4.1 mile mark where the trail splits. Taking a left will take you to Dry Lake, Mineshaft, the historic plane wreck and then loops around San Gorgonio and approaches the peak from the southwest. Continuing straight on the right, will get you to Dollar Lake Saddle and then on to the peak via the San Bernardino Divide Trail heading south and east. I carried 5 liters of water and a filter. I still had a liter left after the 20 mile hike. I did filter water with 4 miles to go for one of my hikers though. All in all, great hike and a great day. I strongly recommend advanced planning for this hike. It is not for beginners or anyone who is not in physically good condition (hiking condition). I saw a lot of people on the trail who were physically hurting or weren't sure where to go. Seems to me that kinda takes the fun out of the climb, but that's just me!

Rewarding all day challenge or fun backpacking trip. Great views from the ridgline and water on both ends.

We completed our final peak #sangorgonio in our #2107 #sixpackofpeaks challenge. This beast took us 11 hours and was 22 miles roundtrip. We went up to 11,500 elevations via #southforktrail in #angelusoaks #california. The elevation gain was 4858. This is the highest peak in all of #southerncalifornia. We opted for this trail over Vivian Creek due to the elevation. We decided we could go longer miles easier than the steep incline since we were both coming off bronchitis and being sick for a few weeks. We started at 7:10 am and ended at 6:35 pm. We did stop for lunch and spent about 30 minutes chilling on the peak enjoying the unparalleled views atop and another snack before the long hike back. It seemed like the trail would never end. It just kept going and going and going. Absolutely epic day and grateful to explore these epic journeys with the one I love #shawnbrown and great friends #reneedelbarba. #Alltrails said it was 18.8 miles but we both GPS it at 22 miles Round Trip. #daniwalker #danilynwalker #socalhiker #killinit #californiahikers, #optoutside #viewfromthetop #blessed #neverstopexploring #sticktogetherinloveforever

This is the long route to San Gorgonio Summit, Vivian Creek being the popular and short one. Momyer though is hard, because of the distance, good training for more demanding hikes. There are a few campsites along the way and water sources. You'll need a permit to hike and camp. Altitude changes from 5500 ft at the parking lot to 11500 ft at the summit. Camp sites are Alger Creek, Dobbs, Saxton Camp at 8400 ft (last water source) and Dollar Lake Saddle at 10000 ft. Since this route is not as famous you'll have the trail for yourself. 13.5 miles each way. Good workout !

Hiked the South Fork Trail to Dollar Lake on Saturday, August 5th. It was about a 12 mile out and back with about 2,700 feet in elevation gain. This area was devastated by the Lake Fires a few years ago. The views on this hike are still pretty awesome, even though in most areas you are looking at a sea of dead trees. Life is coming back though and some trees did survive. Poopout Hill, at 2.2 miles in, offers an excellent view of San Gorgonio. I would recommend hitting Poopout on your way down the mountain. It is only a few hundred feet off the South Fork Trail. There are stone benches up there and the ever present San Gorgonio Wilderness sign marks the hill and the beginning of the wilderness area. Makes for a great photo op with San Gorgonio in the background.

Permitting for this trail is done through http://sgwa.org/wilderness-permits/ the same method you would use for Vivian Creek or Angelus Oaks. So, plan in advance! The trailhead is pretty easy to find. Once you get onto CA-38 E/Mill Creek Road you will drive about 20 miles to Jenks Lake Rd W. You’ll go right on Jenks Lake Road and drive in about 2.5 miles. On the right hand side of the road you will see a “South Fork Parking” sign, with an arrow pointing to your left. This sign is right at the left turn into the parking lot, so pay attention or you may pass it. This is a pretty large parking lot and adventure passes are required to be displayed.

The trailhead is at the south end of the lot near the bathrooms. Once you get on the trail you will immediately cross Jenks Lake Road. The first 1.2 miles takes you to Horse Meadows and has an elevation gain of about 620 feet. Most of that in the first half mile. The trail has been cleaned up pretty well over the last few years. My hats off to all those volunteers that spend countless hours cleaning up and removing fallen trees from blocking the trail. There is some life coming back, but most of that is low lying brush and grass. Horse meadows is considered a historic site. It was preserved very well during the fires by the first responders and other volunteers.

Right as you leave Horse Meadows you will cross an east/west dirt road. If you go left (or east) you will end up on a 2 mile loop that goes to Poopout Hill and then back down to the South Fork Trail. Or, if you continue on the South Fork Trail for 1 mile, you will end up at the same spot as the loop and only a few hundred feet from the top of Poopout Hill. Either way the elevation gain is about 350 feet. As I mentioned earlier, great place to stop on your way down.

The next part of the trail is a 1.3 mile stretch that takes you to the Lost Creek Trail which turns up north. This stretch of the trail is still pretty flat, with only about 220 feet in elevation gain. If you turn left on the Lost Creek Trail, you will quickly cross the South Fork Santa Ana River. A good source for water filtering. If you continue about a mile in on the Lost Creek Trail you will hit Grinnell Ridge Camp.

Instead of turning on the Lost Creek Trail, continue south on the South Fork Trail for another .3 miles and you will come to a fork. This is about 3.8 miles into the hike. On your left heading southeast is the Dry Lake Trail. A favorite destination for overnighters and the longer route to San Gorgonio Peak. On your right heading southwest is the Dollar Lake Trail which takes you 2.4 miles up to Dollar Lake Saddle and the San Bernardino Divide Trail. This is the steepest part of the hike with an elevation gain of 1,770 feet. This also takes you to San Gorgonio Peak via the San Bernardino Divide Trail and it is about 5 miles shorter than the Dry Lake Route. We are taking the San Bernardino Divide Trail on the August 19th.

For this hike, I didn’t hike to the Saddle. Instead at about 1.7 miles up I took the trail on the left to Dollar Lake Camp and had lunch, then headed back. I decided not to take the half mile decent to Dollar Lake. This portion of the trail had not been worked on, so there were lots of trees and debris blocking the trail. Everywhere you looked there was a sea of dead trees.

This hike was a recon hike for me. We will be coming back to the South Fork Trail on the 19th of Aug and hike up to the Dollar Lake Trail (3.8 miles), then to Dollar Lake Saddle (2.4 miles). Once at the Saddle, we will continue southeast on the San Bernardino Divide Trail for (3.5 miles) to San Gorgonio Peak. We should only need to filter water at the fork for the Dollar Lake Trail and Dry Lake Trail. Topping off on the way up and on the way down.

loved the hike except Johns Meadows is not marked well. Great challenging hike

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