San Bernardino Peak Trail via Angelus Oaks

HARD 281 reviews
#2 of 14 trails in

San Bernardino Peak Trail via Angelus Oaks is a 15.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Angelus Oaks, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
15.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4642 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

forest

river

views

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

One of the best-kept secrets of Southern California is San Bernardino Mountain. Just five miles away from the highest peak in SoCal - San Gorgonio - San Bernardino tops out at a respectable 10,649 feet. Hiking from Angelus Oaks, this 15-mile out-and-back trail climbs over 4,700 vertical feet. It makes for a very long day hike or a great weekend backpacking trip. This trail has amazing views that begin very early in the hike. San Bernardino Peak is one of the lesser known (and lesser traveled) peaks in SoCal, providing a nice break from the more crowded trails like Mount San Antonio. There are three distinct sections to this trail. The first section climbs steadily up well-engineered switchbacks through oak and pine forest. You gain a lot of elevation quickly, but the trail is smooth and not too steep. The second section gently climbs through manzanita, with beautiful views to the north towards Big Bear. The trail beings to climb up the final slope as you near Limber Pines. There is a small seasonal creek that you'll cross about 1/2 mile before Limber Pines. Limber Pines is where the weekend backpackers often setup camp, and it makes a great place for a break before your final climb. The third and final section follows switchbacks up the steep slope to Washington's Monument, then parallels the ridge to the top of San Bernardino Peak.

hiking
1 hour ago

summited Friday 4/13 2018
snowy icy patches in the shaded parts of trail. best with some traction but OK without. last 500m was covered in snow so make your own trail up

12 days ago

April 6 2017 went with my girlfriend and summited this bad boy but it wasn't worth it. As of 2 days ago this trail starts being dangerous at around 8,500 elevation. With so many pictures on Instagram of people "summiting" you'd think it would be well marked with foot prints.. nope... (pictures from awhile back maybe?) The snow makes it super hard to follow the trail so you have to ascend up and most of the snow is very unstable so expect to sink your legs alot ( previous footprints don't help). Many arent visible anymore to the top besides at a notch where everone cuts for a scramble to the "top". Bring Crampons and an Ice Axe if you attempt it . Don't be like the 2 people last week who slid down and got hurt. Summit is snowed in and still has gorgeous views but weather can get bad up there fast. If you don't know the trail bring GPS. Other than that have a fun extreme hike up this mountain. Only saw 2 people up there who were hauling down as well with us when the wind picked up.

23 days ago

March 28, 2018: first late winter attempt and the trail is good with patchy snow starting around 8000 ft increasing above. About 5 miles up take a sharp right as the trails ends in a snow bank. Can do with poles carefully. However, above 9100 ft the slope and frozen snow requires spikes. I know the trail the last mile but decided to turn around as the snow was too glazed and slippery for my dog Keiko. It was also untracked so if you don’t know the trail you cannot see it, at least this week. Rated 4 stars today due to snow conditions but it was a gorgeous day and the views were spectacular. Love this trail!

hiking
1 month ago

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
1 month ago

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.

2 months ago

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!

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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!

hiking
2 months ago

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!

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

The trail is very easy to follow and well maintained.

backpacking
4 months ago

So me and my wife did this trail thanksgiving weekend. The weather was great! Surprisingly warm for the elevation. This was my wives first time backpacking. So it was pretty intense for her since she hasn’t done it before. I would definitely say if this is your first or one of the first times backpacking I would say to start as early as you can to give you plenty of time to take breaks along the way. However there aren’t too many steep parts of the trail it’s pretty steady most of the way. Great views the whole way up! WHEN WE WENT UP THERE WAS WATER AT LIMBER PINES CAMPSITE HOWEVER THERE WERE SOME PARTS LOWER THAN THE CROSSING THAT HAD STARTED TO FREEZE HOWEVER IT WAS FLOWING PRETTY WELL. I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS TRAIL AND DO IT AGAIN. HAVE FUN. AND MAKE SURE TO TRY TO GET TO THE PARKING LOT EARLY TO GET A SPOT.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike and weather couldn't have been better. the first 2 1/2 miles are hard but the rest is a steady uphill except for the manzanilla section. Levels off for a good breather around 3 1/2 mile mark but then it's up again. Good workout. Hard to say if it's easy, moderate, hard, etc because everyone is their own person and have different skill levels. I hike quite a bit and it's difficult at times. I average about 20-21 minutes a mile going up if that's a good yardstick. Saw a couple campers at Limber Pines area. Loved the hike and met some really good people from HikescapeLA at the summit. Hikers are good people! Don't forget to get your permit for San Bernardino Peak and all the other local hikes at the Mill Creek Ranger Station which is about 14 miles before the trailhead. They open at 8am but the forms are outside if you get there before that.

hiking
5 months ago

This is an excellent day hike. There is nothing technical and the trail is extremely easy to follow. The first 2 1/2 miles are the most physically challenging part, with a 15% + grade. But by the time my body really started to feel the elevation, the grade relaxed and I locked my pace in all the way to the summit. Of course there are a few steep areas here and there, but they are spaced far apart and don't beat up your quads too bad at all.

Once you break out of the forested section, the view is nearly continuous all the way to the summit. The view at the summit is lackluster in comparison to the rest of the hike, so really enjoy that view during the climb and at "the bench".

I would compare this hike to Cucamonga via Icehouse Canyon. It is not as physically challenging imho, but the elevation challenge is of course much more significant. I absolutely loved this hike and I would probably do this very frequently if I lived close by.

A permit is NOT required for a day hike. Visit http://sgwa.org/wilderness-permits/ for more info.

Also, if you have a low ground clearance/performance oriented car, you may want to consider taking a different car or finding a different place to park besides the trail head. The drive from the fire station to the trail head is "offroad", with shallow ruts/loose and sharp rocks.

5 months ago

Great hike. Awesome views with lots of differing landscapes. I would highly recommend this hike to anyone showing an interest.

hiking
6 months ago

I had an off day on this hike, and it totally kicked my butt. The views are beautiful, and the trail is very easy to follow, probably among the easiest I’ve been on.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful scenery, fantastic views. Strenuous hike, but nothing technically challenging. No water at the crossing of Limber Pine Creek. There is a trickle higher up. I am sure there would be plenty of flow in the spring time. Wilderness permit required. It is available at the Mill Creek Ranger Station. Adventure pass required for parking.

How can somebody leave a 1 star rating and not give a comment?

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful views

Challenging with a variety of terrain.

hiking
7 months ago

Enjoyed the changes in mountain terrains as you make your way up. Summit has a lot of trees so don't expect wide open views. Still a very nice summit.

7 months ago

Beautiful trail!!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hard hike! Up, up, up! Make sure you stop at the bench because the views are spectacular. Clear trail and well maintained all the way and this hike rewards every tough step with tremendous beauty!

7 months ago

Best hike in So Cal
Did this on a Thursday and only 3 hikers on the trail all day.

backpacking
7 months ago

Back yesterday from an overnight at Limber Pines.. Amazing camp, maybe the best in SOCAL.... Nice hike to peak in morning left camp set up packed up on way down. Then a full descent , creek flowing nicely about .2 miles beyond camp, it's uphill and rocky for water so be prepared if making a run at sunset... great overnight and could go on to Vivian Creek trail and summit San Gorgornio for a longer trip...

hiking
7 months ago

love this trail. from the bottom of trail until the peak have signal and data. But extremely difficult. never ending up and up and up

hiking
7 months ago

This is the most strenuous hike I've ever done. It took me about 6 hrs to reach the peak and about 3 to go down again. The trail is well marked and easy to follow but it is about 90% uphill. I began to doubt if I would reach the top but when I finally did my legs were so tired! But I felt so accomplished to reach the peak. The views were amazing!

backpacking
7 months ago

Cool.

hiking
8 months ago

GORGEOUS hike-switchbacks in the beginning for an hour? But not bad at all. Once you come out switchbacks the terrain opens up to a majestic Manzanita blanket with giant boulders scattered throughout the valley. I was speechless, it was a view out of Narnia books/movie...A MUST SEE!!! the climb to the top is less green but the view continues to amaze. There is a flowing creek halfway up, we filled up no filter and I'm still alive didn't get sick. When you pass monument, you're going to come up to a Y , head rt, theres little rocks accross it making it appear as if wrong oath, not so. The PEAK is beautiful with spectacular views. If you keep your eyes open and stop to look around you may see wildlife, i saw a deer bedded down under a tree shade.

8 months ago

Divide into 3 parts: forest traverses ~ 3 mile steady climb, gorse traverses ~3 mile flatter portion, then high traverses ~ 2 miles including a few false summits. Was cool in early am but heated up quickly on way back down. I didn't see water described one week ago but may have just missed it. Brought 2L and electrolyte flask that was sufficient. Great trail with varied terrain, highly recommend. My Garmin listed 16.0 miles to lot and back with 4521 elevation gain.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail is a special treat less than a week after going up San Gorgonio, it was relatively easier to do. Starting in the early dark, I got to the summit around noon, taking pics and video along the way. There was a spring with very refreshing water in the last third of the hike. There were also spectacular views of the surrounding area of SoCal as well as a great view of Forest Falls and the Vivian Creek route up San Gorgonio, giving me flashbacks of the week before. Mid way in the hike the trail flattens out some for a rest in the pace, and it looks like the campground is really nice. Recommended.

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