San Bernardino Peak Trail via Angelus Oaks

HARD 355 reviews
#2 of 16 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 is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking 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
4,642 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

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.

4 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. My favorite of the 6 pack of peaks. Went on 7/4 and wasn't too crowded, however the dirt road leading up to it was difficult for my husband's crown Victoria.

hiking
6 days ago

Clocked 16.25 miles from the trail head not 15 like stated in the review. Started at 5:55am trying to avoid to heat wave that was supposed to hit, fortunately the weather was perfect! Loved the trail, very well maintained & easy to follow. Manzanita flats & the views from the top were my favorite! We came across a few groups of other hikers but not to many which was great. I would definitely hike this trail again.

5 stars because The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. The grade is good for running and hiking. Passed Only a few dozen people all day. Parking was filling up by 630, was 7/4 holiday so maybe irregular.

hiking
19 days ago

5/24/18

I really enjoyed this trail! I went during the week and saw about 5 other people all day.

The trail is a steady climb for the first couple miles then levels off, meandering through manzanita trees and pines then picks up elevation gain steadily toward the peak.

Limber pines looks like a great place to overnight camp.

I had my first mountain lion sighting on my way back down the trail. I heard rustling and saw dust, then a mountain lion in full sprint in the opposite direction from me. It didn't want anything to do with me for sure. Scary but exhilarating. Just blew my whistle and made a lot of noise the rest of the way down.

backpacking
19 days ago

Went for a weekend backpacking trip. Started the hike up at 8:15 Saturday morning and reached Limber Pines around noon. The trail is steep at the beginning and was definitely a good workout with packs. Packed 2L each and we drank all of it on the way up, you need it when it’s 85 degrees!

After setting up camp at Limber Pines, we refilled our water at the small stream about half a mile above the campground. If you’re staying overnight, water treatment (tablets or pump) is a must. Limber Pines was pretty crowded on Saturday night.

Made our way to the peak with a day pack. The views at the stone bench just before Washington’s monument were spectacular!

Made the hike back down in less than 3 hours the next morning! Excellent views and a challenging but fun hike up. Definitely glad we camped instead of doing it all in one day.

hiking
21 days ago

We started early in the morning while it was still cool. The sun came up and we had to shed a layer and we got swarmed by a bunch of mosquitoes, we sprayed on some repellent, once we were on the move again we no longer had bug issues after that. Water was still running down the side of the mountain and all the wildflowers were in bloom. They were so colorful, red, white, purple, yellow, and orange. We stopped a lot to enjoy the beautiful backdrops of color to take pictures. So, the hike took a little longer then planned. Hardly anyone on the trail. The trail gets narrow with over grown bushes in some spots, I'm glad I wore pants to protect my legs. The views from the top were amazing. This was a wonderful hike with wonderful company. So glad we all had the day together.

hiking
25 days ago

Started 7:00 a.m. 56 degrees and sunny. Arrived at the peak at 12:00 p.m. Windy and coolish at the top. Started with shorts, a long sleeve t-shirt and a very light weight jacket which I put on and off throughout the day. Beautiful views and the Manzanita was spectacular. Trail is not steep but just long and steady. There was water just above the Limber Pines camping area. I brought along 3L of water and used 2L.

hiking
27 days ago

I absolutely loved this hike! I’ve done Baldy, Wilson, and Cucamonga and this and Baldy are my top favorites.

Quick tip: if you have an SUV or truck, drive it instead of a car! I drove my Ford Focus and it scraped a number of big rocks on the dirt road leading up to the parking lot. It sucked. The dirt road is in very bad condition. Also, no bathrooms at the trailhead.

Personal highlights: The temps on 6/16 were absolutely perfect. 60s/low 70s. I packed a fleece for the summit but didn’t need to use it. Wildflowers were abundant and smelled wonderful. No bugs!
This hike will probably quick your booty, or at least test it, but it’s a gradual ascent, and there are quite a few flat places during the first 5 miles that provide relief. I suggest wearing sunscreen even though the temps are cool and there are many shaded spots. The sun is stronger at higher elevations! Happy hiking. :)

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. Get there early as the lot fills up fast (before 6:30am). Great views of Big Bear lake, San Jacinto, Mt. Baldy. No bathrooms at the base and lots of human waste right by the parking lot wasn't too nice.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this hike in about 9 and a half hours last weekend. We took a lot of breaks. The views were stunning, the air was cool. It was very windy and cold on the summit. The trail was easy to follow and it was a steady climb up. Absolutely loved it and wish we would've made an over night trip of it!

hiking
1 month ago

Best substantial hike in SOCAL no mountain bikes
Just pick your times and dates carefully

1 month ago

Very comfortable to hike, no dangerous part. Feels like the best view is not at summit where you would be surrounded by trees, but a corner right before Washington monument.

1 month ago

Great hike. Not real steep at any location but a steady climb all the way. The views at the top are incredible, big bear lake, San Jacinto, and Old Greyback. Had a blast, but the last mile coming off the mountain was tough after I rolled an ankle, just glad it wasn’t higher up.

hiking
1 month ago

Stunning! Will be back (overnight instead of Day hike)

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous hike! Although there are no very steep portions, there are also very few flat areas during the 8 mile ascent. My Apple health phone application indicated the round trip was 16.4 miles with over 44,500 steps and 184 floors high.

The listed description is fairly accurate. The first 3 miles is mostly shaded through a conifer and oak forest. The next 2 miles were fairly exposed in a manzanita and shrub meadow. Limber Pine Camp is located about 5 miles into the hike. The final 3 miles have a lot of switchbacks. Once you see the Washington plaque, you have about 20 more minutes to the summit.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike last Sunday (04/29/18). Fairly challenging due to distance and altitude. Patchy snow above 9k feet but no need for microspikes or crampons. Great views. Took about 7.5 hours with a few breaks.

Dirt road to parking area is not easily passable with a sports car. Had to park at restaurant across the street.

2 months ago

Hiked 4 21 2018. Trail clear all the way to Limber Pine with patches of snow after that. Might want spikes early morning, but the snow does soften up late morning. This is one of the nicer hikes if the six peaks. Great views throughout, especially on the way down.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is passable without the need for traction all the way to the summit. This is a great hike that provides a wide variety of amazing views. The track is kind across the (reported 15.7 miles...I think it is closer to 16) as it has a nice middle portion of flat to rolling trail to allow you to make up for steep beginning and summit sections.

2 months ago

Peaked this back in 2014 with a buddy of mine, Bentz. Had an awesome time, camped out and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Highly recommend.

hiking
2 months 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

3 months 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.

3 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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.

5 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
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 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
5 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
5 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
7 months ago

The trail is very easy to follow and well maintained.

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