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

I'm a ranger volunteer for the SGWA. I have hiked this many of time and have to say its a easy trail with lots of views and running streams to the meadow where you can overnight camp. Go approx another two tenths of a mile where you will find a waterfall running all year long.

26 days ago

I hiked it in September of 2018 and it was beautiful. Rough time going up for inexperienced hikers. Wasn't too cold to camp without a tent. Also not too many bugs

1 month ago

I hiked in on Friday afternoon and passed about 6 people. Beautiful. Camped.

Hiked out Sat morning and passed about 50 people. Groups of people just stopped and you couldn’t pass. Other times slower groups saw me and would not let me pass. I also never mind people having dogs off leash ... if you can control them ... this was not the case. People also blocked other cars in at the trailhead!! Ended up annoyed.

Who wants to fight through crowds and have to deal with out of controlled dogs? I could have stayed closer to home if I wanted to have these encounters.

I used to love this trail ...

went up today July 28th, trail was closed. also read to her to trail was a bit rough would not recomend if in a regular 2 wheel drive car.

This trail begins with a moderate and steady rise (~400 ft) over the first mile and is semi-flat the remaining 2.3 miles to John's Meadow campground. I say "semi-flat" because there are numerous elevation changes, but nothing sustained for more than a quarter mile or greater than 100 ft and most are short drops and rises of 10-20 ft as the trail navigates the contour of the side of a mountain, avoiding steep sections, large rocks, trees, etc. The defining quality of this hike is most of it is on the side of a mountain, which results in a narrow trail with smallish fixed rock and thus requires attention for about half the hike. It's the north face, so the vegetation is denser than other areas and there is even moss and ferns in some sections. Most of the views are of the peek-a-boo type, shrouded by trees, but in a few areas there are open vistas of the expansive green valley below and Big Bear mountains on the other side of the valley. Just before reaching John's Meadow the trail drops to Forsee Creek. Crossing the creek in August was not a problem, although it was clogged with wildflower and tall dense vegetation. Up the creek is a lovely rising valley framed by San Bernardino Peak in the background, which is part of a prominent mountain ridge that includes San Gorgonio. John's Meadow campground is no big deal. It's situated on a hillside with many tall trees standing and scattered logs and other debris from fallen trees on the ground -- it's not my picture of a meadow. I hiked out about a third the way with my wife and six-year-old daughter then continued on alone. I returned from the campground hiking pretty fast and even jogged some of the downhill sections for a return time of 51 minutes. If the distance is correct (3.25 miles each way), that's approx. 15-minute per mile. Round-trip time was 2:05. Beside my family, I did not see another person this Saturday afternoon. While it was great to be in the mountains and nature, I rated this hike 3/5 because when I hike on the side of a mountain for a considerable distance I hope for more than limited views much of the way and because on an out-and-back of this length I hope for something worthwhile at the far end (e.g., waterfall, lake, outstanding view, summit, etc.).

A very hard trail with lots of rocks for the trail. But beautiful views

Its much harder than I was expecting more hard than moderate. Did some trail clean up while up there at the lake which was dried

6-9-18 and 6-10-18. Did this as a 2 day hike adding 1 mile from Dollar Saddle to High Springs Meadow. There was water but it was a trickle. The flowers were in Bloom from the trail head to the South Fork. Very delightful. Dollar Lake Trail is less delightful, and more of a slog (with the back pack), gaining 1800 feet up to Dollar Saddle. Lots of areas with burnt out pines. Past the saddle, the trail to the Summit is gradual and I enjoyed the walking. Should go without saying that the views at the top are superb!

Made it to the summit on May 27th and trail is completely clear of all snow. There is no water at Dollar Lake so last water up this route would be at the Dry lake/Dollar lake fork. There is still some small patches of snow along the trail but it will be melting fast.

Started at Whitewater Preserve and hiked the PCT north. Took the Stone House (Mission Creek) Trail to the right at about 3.75 miles. Just over 2 more miles to the Stone House. Really nice hike.

Was looking for a new trail to hike, have been wanting to do this hike for awhile, but due to the fires in recent years it has been on hold, we also used this as a test hike for an up coming overnight camp and San G summit trip.
Lots of parking available, and restrooms at the start of the trail. We started at 7:15am with 3L of water. The trail has a moderate incline at first, then it is a gradual incline for the first mile until you reach the old horse ranch. Be aware you are hiking through a burn area for a majority of the hike, but there is a different beauty in the landscape. Some people don’t like it, we on the other hand enjoyed it. We did pass a small creek with water, saw a couple deer and lots of birds.
The second section, as you leave the ranch is also very moderate incline, more switch backs on this section, but the trail is easy, lots of nice views, still in the burn area. The last section, before you come to the Dollar Lake/ Dry Lake, is a straight gradual incline, not difficult at all.
It took us a couple hours to reach the split, when continued up towards the right to Dollar Lake. This early section was not hit by the fires to bad, more green trees, but the trail dose change in elevation gain. Definitely steeper grade and the trail is more rocker than before. Also be aware, their is more open area as you get higher, so have your sunblock on. You still pass areas of burned out trees and manzanita bushes. Did pass one small Marsh area with a little water coming out. Good views of San Gorgonio Mountain going up
Reached the split down to Dollar Lake around 11ish, no sign mark’s the trail down to Dollar Lake. It is .5 miles down. The trail is not maintained much, lots of downed trees over the trail, had to use previous rock markers to guide us down in spots. Have read that in June, a crew is going to start clearing out all the dead trees that have fallen down over the trail. Only spotted a couple camp site areas, and the lake is bone dry also. My recommendations, is not to go down their until the trail is cleared, plus it’s only 0.7 miles up to the saddle, if you don’t go down to Dollar Lake.
Around 12:30 we started the decent back to the car, took out the go pro and got some nice footage of the area. Stopped at the split again, lots of water flowing down, Santa Ann Creek?, great place to fill or refill your bottles. Saw only tow other hikes the entire day, they were going to Dry Lake to camp. Got back to the car about 3:15. Next time we will hike to Dry Lake, camp, then summit San G

5 months ago

Exceptional trail! A lot of hard work went into creating and maintaining this trail. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning. The overall distance from the parking lot to the old campground and back was 8 Miles (according to my wife’s Fitbit).

5 months ago

I was lucky to have my friend Ryan, an experienced ultra runner and trail junkie take my slow ass up this awesome mountain. It’s a pretty big climb so be prepared, yet totally doable for anyone that’s in good shape. I loved it and can’t wait to do it again.

Is this trail open ?

came back a week and half later to do the whole hike. Brought my buddies with me, awesome hike only saw a hand full of people. The trail is beautiful all the way greenery! 3/11/18 there was still snow so that was awesome too.

7 months ago

My two Boys, Nephew, and Myself took Momyer Creek ( camped at Saxton) continued to San Gorgonio Peak and came down Vivian Creek Trail...
it was an intense hike but very rewarding ... it was an overnight trip we went in July of 2016.

awesome hike in the snow! only went as far as the snow let us, about a mile in. regardless it was beautiful can't eait to come back and get to the meadow.

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!

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.

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.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Sunday, September 10, 2017

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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 !

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