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San Bernardino Peak Trail via Angelus Oaks

HARD 1013 reviews
#2 of 29 trails in

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 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: 16.9 miles Elevation Gain: 4,721 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

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. You’ll need an Adventure Pass for this trail; however, permits are no longer required for day hikes (but recommended) www.sgwa.org.

hiking
12 days ago

Did this hike about a month ago! Lots of switchbacks.... we started early in the morning to get through most of it in the dark and to enjoy sunrise!

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
13 days ago

Truly beautiful hike! IMO the first 4 miles are the hardest. They are followed by a short downhill section that is amazing on the legs - enjoy it! The climb to the top after that is not too difficult at all except the last 100 yards. :-) The creek above the camp still has water.

hiking
19 days ago

Most beautiful trail I’ve been on

20 days ago

very pleasant day hike and a great option for overnight backpacking..

Hiked on this beautiful trail yesterday (November 7), my AllTrails recorded 16.8 miles. This trail offers stunning views all the way up to the peak, very well kept trail. I took 6 hours to the peak and descended 3 hr 45 mins. Highly recommended. Happy trail!

horseback riding
29 days ago

Took 6 hours to get to the top and 4 hours back down. Total distance according to AllTrails was 16.2 miles. Started at 6:10 and got down a little before sunset - days are definitely shorter now. It was a beautiful hike with some trees showing fall colors. Definitely would do this one again.

hiking
1 month ago

First let me start by saying the drive way to get in is a good indicator of how crazy this hike is. Good thing I brought my truck and not a standard sedan. Lol The first 3 miles or so are pretty intense if you’re going at a good pace. Constant incline, then you hit a good patch of Manzanita bushes that are nice for a reprieve and as my friend put it she thought some fairies would come out. About halfway up there is a good old wheelbarrow to sit on and rest your stems that will be screaming and have a good ol snack. The next 4 miles or so are defiantly doable but pace ourselves as we felt like zombies on the last 2 miles. ( we were pushing a heavy pace) the views are amazing, so many good photos ops and if you have the new iPhone 11 the wide angle shots are breathtaking ( should note I don’t have one but I could imagine so ) The last quarter mile to the peak is excruciating and like a slap in the face because it’s straight up but the rocks on the top are nice and some are able for you to take a good snooze and stretch because you won’t care how uncomfortable they are after that last ascent. Let’s talk about the DESCENT. After your endorphins wear off from the excitement of accomplishment you realize the reality hits and you have 5 or so miles before your legs feel like lead and jello and you want to call it quits but realize the helicopter can’t land anywhere near you. So if you’re lucky enough to be looking at your maps and the little blue light of hope to help you see how much further you have to go of torture then you’re in for a treat. Those last 5 miles feel like an eternity and you’re willing to deal with the devil to get you out of there. (Again pushing a fast pace) ahhh but alas we made it back to the parking lot without crying or self destructing. I’m currently in a spa and don’t plan to get out until the next morning. But it was worth it tho! Good luck hikers!! We finished in 5 hours and will try and do this again sometime soon!

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this trail! It was physically challenging and the views were beautiful. The trial is very well maintained all the way up to the summit, and you start ascending from the moment you begin. There are few spots where the climb flattens out a bit. The slope isn’t too steep, but prepare yourself for a good workout. I was able to reach the summit in 4 hours and it took me about 3 hours to descend. This is the 4th peak in the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks. I recommend doing the other three peaks first before trying this one.

hiking
1 month ago

If you want some miles with beautiful views, this is a great trail. I would wearing pants due to overgrowth of shrub.

Beautiful. Water source after the campground. Total 16.2 miles. Very few people on the trail

I summited yesterday and no one was there. I got the whole mountain to myself. My first solo so I was hoping I see someone. I was very careful not to slip and fall or get hurt since I was alone. The trail is well mark. Most part of the trail was shaded. Fall colors are there first a mile or two at lower elevation. Someone trimmed the bushes in some are but some area was overgrown and very narrow with thorny plants. I’ll recommend wearing long pants. The weather was nice in 50’s. I wear long pants and two layer on top and gloves. At the last 1 1/2 miles or so very windy and cold. But still able to manage not wearing extra layer but I put on beanie. I couldn’t still at the summit longer bc it was windy and cold. I needed better gloves. My fingers wee very freezing with my regular hiking gloves. The views was amazing. It was so clear day and I could see big bear lakes and layers of mountains with the sun behind it. It was very rewarding. For some reason my all trail app counted that I hiked only 17.4 miles but I was following exact trail path. Why??? Do it before it’s get too cold or snowing. Enjoy.

hiking
1 month ago

Well-marked trail from bottom to top with a nice, steady climb all the way up and a few nice lookout spots along the way to snap some photos looking down on Big Bear lake and the city of San Bernardino in the distance. We started at 5:30am, hiked about 4.5 hours up, keeping a healthy pace along the way (our group is training for Cactus to Clouds, so our lungs were somewhat prepared for the altitude), half hour of rest, food and photos at the peak, then 3 hours back down to the car. We each had 3-4 liters of water and we used all of it, but there is a natural stream about 3/4 of the way up where you can fill up if you have a filter. Great weather, cool in the morning, then t-shirt weather most of the day. Absolutely zero wind, despite the red flag warnings. Great day of hiking!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, haven't been on this trail in a very, very, very long time. I will try to make this short. I recently picked up a new pair of trail running shoes (saucony peregrine iso. I now love this shoe) and after a couple of shorter runs I decided to take them up this trail for a run/hike and am certainly glad I did, it is a great hike with rewarding views and low traffic I recommend it. Fall colors at the time where great the first couple miles

Pretty great trail as always. Altitude got to us and unfortunately didn’t make it to the top but will be back!

hiking
1 month ago

water is still flowing at the river around 9000 feet

I want to start out by saying.. the creek is still running... slow.. but water is still there.. Trail in great shape... this is a great hike because it never really seems to get steep... it is a very consistent climb!!

hiking
1 month ago

One thing to be aware of with these trail ratings is that you have to give trails a star rating in order to download the map to your phone. I think a lot of the star ratings with no description associated may be a result of this bizarre requirement by the app. On to the actual review...We encountered an oblivious, rude man playing with a drone at the trail junction for the Meadows, which was by far the most obnoxious experience I've had hiking (and I'm sure the wildlife agreed). So, watch out for really loud noises that sound like angry bees and howling dogs spawned an army of monsters--and the obnoxious noise of recreational drone "pilots" trying to justify why it's your problem that you're not cool with that noise on a hike in the wilderness. Otherwise, the fall colors are beautiful, a small stream is still running by a switchback turn, people on the trail were normal and pleasant, and my husband's Garmin watch pegged the whole hike at 22 miles. This 'rounding up' of AllTrail distances happens often with his Garmin. I'm curious why satellites and maps give such different distances, and which is closer to the truth.

Very fun trail, perfect if you like to trail run down!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike I do every year because I can’t get enough of the manzanita grove. Beware that the overview is not correct - there’s no “river” on this route. There is typically a spring running at Limber Pine, but double check with the Mill Creek station if you’re counting on it.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Hit it at 2:45am under a full moon. No real for a head lap, hiking at early morning before sunrise you miss a lot of the beauty but seeing the dawn is the best! 6:04 hours top to bottom with an hour waiting the the sun to rise. Weekend camping gets busy, get there early to find parking and camp sites. I didn’t camp but saw a lot coming up on my way down around 9am. Have fun!

One of my favorite trails of all times. It was a bit windy as of October 10, 2019. Not too many bugs or people on the trail. Can't wait to be back.

hiking
1 month ago

Started hiking at 6:30 and came back to my car at around 16:30. Our pace was moderate. Not fast or slow.

backpacking
2 months ago

Did this in 1997 with a beginner GF in October. Quick weekend hike. Easy elevation to Columbine Spring. Had 2 dogs with us. Spring was still active so water available. Great colors. At one point in the trail the brush was narrow and took its toll on our shins, so long pants recommended.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent hike. We took our time today - started at 4:00am and wrapped up at 1:30pm. Incredible sunrise, phenomenal views, and a great day. No bugs, it wasn’t too hot, and overall, highly recommended. Looking forward to doing this one again!

Be prepared for a long day and remember it’s a long journey, don’t rush it if you don’t have to. We started at 6am sharp and hiked in the dark for a little until sunrise. We started early because we didn’t know how long it would take us to complete the hike and wanted as much daylight as possible. There is nothing technical about the hike. Just make sure you have the endurance and mental strength to push through. Bring your 10 essentials. I’m an average hiker, not slow or fast and finished in 9 hours. The least favorite part for me was on the way down the never ending manzanita flat section. I felt like I was in a vortex loop haha, but we made it through! I can definitely see this hike as a knee killer but I prepped with ibuprofen and CBD balm before starting the descent and had ZERO knee issues. The stream after Limber Pine did have water flowing as of today.

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic hike!! In fact this is my new favorite peak in SoCal. Started at 8 am and finished around 5pm. Only saw 2 other people on the entire hike. My AllTrails recorder counted 17 miles with no detours. Temps ranged from mid 50's to mid 60's. A little windy near the top. Spectacular views almost the entire way. Very impressed. The best view is not at the peak but at the overlook at the Washington monument.

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