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San Bernardino Peak Trail via Angelus Oaks

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San Gorgonio Wilderness

San Bernardino Peak Trail via Angelus Oaks is a 16.9 mile heavily 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, 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.

Length 16.9 mi Elevation gain 4,721 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Rocky

Snow

Description
Waypoints (5)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

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.

Permit information: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino

The trailhead parking requires an Adventure Pass. There is a message board and the ranger regularly posts updates ("rattlesnake seen on the trail" or "be sure to carry your permit"). Check the board for any special notices before heading up the only trailhead which begins just to the left. Permits are required to hike this trail, even as a day hike, and group size is limited to a maximum of 12. Permits are free, and can be obtained from the San Bernardino National Forest Mill Creek Ranger Station in Mentone, 34701 Mill Creek Road or you can fax the permit request form to (909) 794-1125.

The trailhead is south of highway 38 in Angelus Oaks near the firestation. There is a sign posted for the trailhead in Angelus Oaks. The parking for the trailhead is roughly a half mile down a dirt road from the highway.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1363)
Photos (1497)
Recordings (1331)
Completed (1849)
Justin May
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HikingNo shade
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Grant Hoag
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Hiking

Used 3.5 liters and hiked the entire route in a tee shirt. Fair number of people all practicing good social distancing. Parking full by 6:30am.

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jerry stephenson
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HikingOver grown

Very nice route, much of which through beautiful forest. steep and rugged in places. A significant portion of the route is single-track through bushes that are grown in to 8" wide. if you're wearing shorts expect to get scratched. during summer the last 4 miles coming down are hot. water high on the mountain is a huge plus.

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Christine Hollister
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Backpacking

Did overnight at Columbine Springs (creek very adequate) and got late afternoon start to the peak. Beautiful sunset views on way back to camp from the peak. Would recommend long pants b/c of narrow trail flanked by rough bushes at points.

Taylor Samora-Dietz
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Great hike. Gradual uphill the entire time with some flats in between so not bad at all going up. the creek before Limber Pine is still flowing, so I stopped to filter water on the way down. Started at 0700 and finished at 1230! 5/6 peaks done - only Sam Gorgonio remains!

Kevin McDonnell
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BackpackingGreat!No shade

Completed this trail with one night of camping. Hiked with a pack weighing around 20 lbs. It was very hot (mid-July) so recommend completing as much of this trail in the morning as possible. Want to thank Michael, a park volunteer, for maintaining the trail and clearing the way for a nice hike. Had the pleasure of hiking with him for ~ 4 miles and he was able to give my friends and I a detailed overview of the trail, history, and the animal/plant species we saw along the way. The campsite was among the coolest sites I have camped at yet.

Rachel Solomon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
BackpackingBugsNo shade

Challenging hike, but the scenery is quite varied and makes the entire hike interesting! The views throughout the hike are amazing, but the peak is definitely blocked by more trees. IMO the views from Limber Pines Campsite are better & would highly recommend setting up camp there if you have a night to do so! We saw quite a few people here midweek. Lastly - the whole hike is quite exposed, so be prepared with lots of water, sun protection, etc. Highly recommend!

RikRask(Eric Richard Lasko)
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 06 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Hiked this beauty today(7/6/2020). Started off at 6:34am and made it bottomside by half beyond 1pm. San Bernadino makes 3 of the 6 SoCal peeks I’ve now finished(yay)....That leaves Mt Wilson, San Gorgonio and Cactus to Clouds(can’t wait!)- The SB is a smooth hike - lots of steady elevation gain but it’s spread out amongst beautiful surroundings and change ups with the sweet looks and smells and switch backs - even some straight aways to let you hike more chill and take it all in - few bugs and lots of responsible and kind hikers( I counted 21 people total throughout the journey) Strong mask play out there and a few cute pups.... Not a big fuss at the top - just a sweet wooden sign(free holding) and a metal box with supplies and notebooks of memories and inspirational quotes etc - but very little fanfare and it’s a small space at the subdued peak which was surprising but a nice change of pace I suppose....definitely the dark horse of summits..... Ditched the headphones all together on the way up for au naturel nature sounds - did listen to Imaginary Friend on the way down...... The mountain is fair unlike the evil Iron Mountain.... Mt Wilson your are next this Wednesday! Till next RikRask

Christy “CC” Cheung
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HikingBugs

No sleep but checked off a peak. Water still flowing in last creek before Limber Pine and is ice cold and refreshing. Only seen 10-12 hikers that day, think most were sleeping in after the 4th of July festivities.

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Cheryl L.
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Hiking

This is my favorite trail. Beautiful greenery. It is long, but gentle climb. There is a water stream on mile 6 as of this review, if you need to filter.

Eliot Yeh
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Hiking

Great hike!

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Joseph Duarte
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Grueling

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Jesse Gandt
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HikingOver grownRocky

What a great hike! Peak 4/6 of my 6 pack of peaks. Went on a Sunday, it had some backpackers and hikers. Not super crowded, but also not super empty as well. Better hope you have a high clearance vehicle as well, the parking lot is a rough drive for a city car. Anyway, the view from the top is obscured by a few trees, but the view from a bench about .7 miles down is to die for. Views of San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, and of Baldy and it’s neighboring peaks. This was definitely one of the most beautiful views I’ve seen out of all the peaks I’ve done. Befriended a few fellow college students and hiked down with them. Certainly didn’t feel like 16.8 miles, the people made it worth it! I love this one.

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Mike Pearson
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HikingBugsRocky

This trail is dope, but man it is never ending. Make sure you understand how long the hike is before you tackle it. Very challenging with beautiful views.

Jason Wijesuriya
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

Epic trail as always with beautiful views. 6/28/20 This is a warning for the road leading up to the TH. There are some huge ruts on the bend before you get to the TH parking. Not a issue for trucks and SUV’s. But very hazardous for cars. Couple of people had their front bumper damaged badly today. Don’t risk it. You can park at the lower lot and walk the road up the TH. Hopefully this road will be fixed soon. At least to drivable condition.

Jesus Huidobro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

In my opinion more difficult than San Gorgonio via winter creek, but just as, if not more beautiful. The peak is not as cool as San G, but still great.

Susan Lange
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HikingBugs

6/26/20. This is scenic and slowly gain on elevation. Not much switchback but unlimited views pretty much. Some shady area with bugs, beautiful rock formation and a creek. The only tough park is the 0.3 miles road getting to the parking, rough road. I almost get stuck on rugged holes, I drive so slowly and so happy not to have a flat tire. Definitely my favorite trail.

Carlos Ortiz
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Hiking

Great weather today! Views were incredible! Trail is very easy to follow although the manzanita and deer brush are closing in on the middle section. Decided to also climb East San Bernardino peak and the views were even better from there. Lots of People on the trail but that’s expected for a Saturday!

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Sommer Flores
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 26 2020
HikingBugsOver grownRocky

Really love this trail but next time it would be nicer to back pack it to stay and take in all the views Bugs weren’t too bad but you will deal with them more so in some parts of the day, so just come prepared; bug net and spray will do the trick . From Angeles oaks the trail is nice until you start the second portion of steep elevation climb as you go through the switch back to the summit. But what is mountain without rocks, right?! just watch your footing and you’ll be fine. Some parts of the bushes along the trail are tall (I’m short) over grown, so I was glad I wore long sleeves and durable pants . Happy hiking!!

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Matthew Salkovitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 26 2020
HikingBugs

Hiked this 6/29 as park of the 6 pack challenge. Got to the trailhead around 545am and there were already about 10 cars. Please note that the last quarter mile from the fire house to the parking lot is on a very sketchy road. I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee and still had a little trouble getting through. Started around 615am and the weather was perfect. Got to the summit around 11am. Around the 6 mile mark, there is a little stream to refill if needed. I drank around 4L of water plus a 24oz Gatorade for reference. At around the 7.5 mile mark, right before the last hairpin turn to the peak, if you go right a few 100 feet off trail, you come to an awesome stone bench with views that personally rival the peak. The peak itself isn’t that exciting due to the surrounding trees obscuring the view. You do have a nice view of San Gorgonio and San Jacinto in the distance. Ran into some awesome hikers at the peak who were also doing the six pack and training for Mr Whitney! Finally headed back down around 1pm and got back to the parking lot around 4pm. At limber pine campground, there is a rock formation about a quarter mile out with amazing views of big bear lake and Mt Keller. Overall an amazing hike that was long but not to strenuous. Oh and I had service for 80 percent of the 17 miles round trip so hallelujah to that!

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Michelle B.
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Hiking

Dirt road to parking lot was a little rough for my Chrysler Pacifica minivan but definitely passable. Trail is in great condition. Views from the start that only get better as you climb. Weather was hot throughout the hike, even at the peak. No need for any layers over my shirt. A few small bug swarms but only in a few spots. You pass one water source (a small stream) on the trail if you need to filter water. If you like finding spots off the main trail, I recommend you venture into the Limber Pine Bench Camp at mile 5.7 to find a great rock formation with amazing views (in my opinion, the best on the entire trail) AND look for the “rock bench” just to the right of the trail at about mile 7.2 for more views (not long after you pass under a fallen tree). Surprisingly, I had AT&T cell phone service throughout the hike.

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Brian Olson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 25 2020
HikingBugs
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