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San Gorgonio Wilderness Trail Maps

From the desert to the highest peak in Southern California, the San Gorgonio Wilderness offers a trail for everyone. There are 81 miles of trails here, along with pristine wilderness, endangered animals, and natural solitude. My trail maps and trail guides include videos and have everything you need to know for a San Gorgonio Wilderness hike or backpacking trip.

Name Distance Level Location Climb Dogs
South Fork Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain19.5HardAngelus Oaks4700Y
Fish Creek Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain20.5HardAngelus Oaks3700Y
San Gorgonio Hike on the Vivian Creek Trail18Very HardForest Falls5470Y
Whitewater Preserve Hike – Canyon View Loop Trail4ModerateWhitewater790Y
Dry Lake (San Gorgonio) From The South Fork Trail11.5HardAngelus Oaks2330Y
Hike San Bernardino East Peak From Forsee Creek Trail18HardAngelus Oaks4600Y
San Bernardino Peak Hike16HardAngelus Oaks4670Y

What’s a Wilderness Area? Here’s the answer.

All Guides

South Fork Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain

South Fork Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain

The South Fork Trail is one of the more popular routes to the San Gorgonio Mountain summit, and for a good reason. You have to put some work in on the climb, but overall the gradients are steady and reasonable. As you wind up toward the summit, you’ll get postcard views of the San Bernardino high line of peaks, views down to Mill Creek, and then, of course, the epic views from the summit, the highest point in southern California. Overall this is a classic hike.

Angelus Oaks, CA - 19.5 miles, Hard

Fish Creek Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain

Fish Creek Trail to San Gorgonio Mountain

Offering solitude and the easiest (but not easy) climb to San Gorgonio Mountain, the Fish Creek Trail is a great hike to escape the crowds. Getting to the trailhead is a challenge, but once there, you’ll start the hike just 3500 feet below the summit, and a well-designed trail helps you keep momentum as you climb to the highest point in SoCal. Unfortunately, there’s some damage from the 2015 Lake Fire, but it’s still a beautiful hike with great views and rugged wilderness.

Angelus Oaks, CA - 20.5 miles, Hard

San Gorgonio Hike on the Vivian Creek Trail

San Gorgonio Hike on the Vivian Creek Trail

Easily the most popular San Gorgonio hike route, the Vivian Creek Trail is an iconic adventure up to the highest point in SoCal, at 11,503 feet. Vivian Creek is popular because it’s the shortest and most accessible route, but it’s also the steepest, so expect a good workout on your way to the summit. It’s a beautiful hike through pines, cedars, and streams and then up to the barren moon-like landscape above the tree line. From the summit, you’ll enjoy sweeping views from Nevada to the Channel Islands. Many people hike it in a day, but you can also make it an overnight backpacking trip. In this guide, I’ll give you everything you need to know for either option.

Forest Falls, CA - 18 miles, Very Hard

Whitewater Preserve Hike – Canyon View Loop Trail

Whitewater Preserve Hike – Canyon View Loop Trail

One of my favorite hikes, the Canyon View Loop Trail at the Whitewater Preserve, between Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, offers beauty at every twist and turn. The well-marked trail follows the Whitewater River Canyon until it reaches the iconic PCT and then climbs up to a bluff that offers non-stop views into the canyon and high peaks of the San Gorgonio Wilderness area. It’s a hike that’s worth making a trip for, so give it a try.

Whitewater, CA - 4 miles, Moderate

Dry Lake (San Gorgonio) From The South Fork Trail

Dry Lake (San Gorgonio) From The South Fork Trail

Dry Lake, nestled in the shadow of San Gorgonio Mountain, is a beautiful day hike or overnight camping destination. This hiking guide to Dry Lake takes the scenic South Fork Trail, which is well maintained with gradual slopes. And despite being called Dry Lake, it often has water in it, making for a pristine alpine oasis in the mountains of Southern California.

Angelus Oaks, CA - 11.5 miles, Hard

Hike San Bernardino East Peak From Forsee Creek Trail

Hike San Bernardino East Peak From Forsee Creek Trail

Get away from the crowds on this San Bernardino East Peak hike that climbs up the Forsee Creek Trail, meanders along the breathtaking Bernardino Peak Divide Trail, then heads back to the start on the primitive and secluded John’s Meadow Trail. It’s a tough hike with a fair amount of climbing, but the scenery and ruggedness of the San Gorgonio Wilderness make it well worth it. I usually do this as a loop hike in a day, but there are several camping options if you want to make it an overnighter.

Angelus Oaks, CA - 18 miles, Hard

San Bernardino Peak Hike

San Bernardino Peak Hike

The San Bernardino Peak (10,649 feet) hike is tough but rewarding. The San Bernardino Mountains were named after San Bernardino Peak, which was named by one of the pioneer friars in California, Francisco Dumetz in 1835. I like this hike a lot. The crowds are light, the fauna is beautiful, and it offers sweeping views of Mt Baldy, Mt San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, Big Bear Lake, and the Inland Empire.Planning for the San Bernardino Peak Hike

Angelus Oaks, CA - 16 miles, Hard