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Elevation: 11,503 ft
GPS: 34.099, -116.825 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 1,893 total, 26/month
Shared By: Dave Alden on Jan 22, 2012
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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The highest peak in Southern California, specifically between the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Mexican border. Also known as "Old Greyback", and located in the San Gorgonio Wilderness which is a part of the San Bernardino National Forest. Ranked 7th among the most topographically prominent peaks in the contiguous 48 states of the US (8,294'). The most technical climbing is found on the North face and can best be approached via Dry Lake. Numerous campgrounds are located around the mountain both at trailheads and in the backcountry. Permits are required for all hiking in the San Gorgonio Wilderness and can be obtained at no cost from the Mill Creek Ranger Station (34701 Mill Creek rd, Mentone, CA 92359). In addition, an Adventure Pass is required to be posted in your vehicle when parking in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Getting There

All trailheads are accessed by CA SR38 either from Redlands or Big Bear, and include:
Vivian Creek trail (6,080') 7.8 miles
Momyer Creek trail (5,440') 13.3 miles
Fish Creek trail (8,080') 9.7 miles
Aspen Grove trail (7,410') 11.1 miles
Lost Creek trail (6,320') 14.8 miles
South Fork trail (6,880') 12.8 miles
Forsee Creek trail (6,800') 14.7 miles
San Bernardino Peak trail (5,960') 18.3 miles

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Location: San Gorgonio Mountain Change
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Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Chris D
the couch
Chris D   the couch
As far as maintained trails go, everything is open again except for Fish Creek, Lost Creek, and Aspen Grove trails.

Permits are no longer required for day hikes. Only overnights. Oct 18, 2017
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Cool - I did something very similar in 1985, stopped at Dry Lake and pitched camp, then climbed the North Face and came back to camp. Sep 16, 2017
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
A lot of the trails listed are still closed due to fire damage. Visit this site for current information on trails closures, and to get permits. Sep 16, 2017
ron amick
poway, ca
ron amick   poway, ca
In 1977 we snowshoed to dry lake in winter, must have been 10 ft snowpack on the entire dry lake plateau, we camped on the snow. The N face of san gorgonio rises directly up from dry lake, maybe 1500 ft of moderate angle snow that would be class 2/3 hiking in summer. We snowshoed over a series of ledges until it got too steep, then put on crampons and climbed the snow crust to the summit. The top was a sheet of ice, very windy. To descend we did a glissade down the east coulouir, which was a blast. Camp to camp took about 1/2 day. Dec 5, 2014
On 7-8-2014: Hiked Old Greyback via Vivian Creek trail head. Very nice hike, I recommend it. Trail is good generally. We found easily gotten water at Vivian Creek camping spot about 1200 feet up, where the trail crossed the small stream. More importantly, we found easily gotten water near High Creek about half-way up the mountain where trail crosses stream at about 9200 feet; however, this tiny stream might go dry later in the summer. Note that the last two years have been very dry in this area. About 67 degrees at trail head at 7 AM.

This is a unique peak, as it is the 7th biggest (official prominence) mountain in the Lower 48 and you look across at the 6th biggest mountain in the Lower 48, San Jacinto, with a 10,000-foot deep 'valley' in-between. You can't do this anywhere else in the 48 States except White Mtn looking across to the California High Sierra. More impressive to me than the Grand Canyon and the Snake River Canyon. I have seen all those sights. Jul 17, 2014

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