STAY IN TOUCH

Sand to Snow National Monument Hikes

The 154,000-acre Sand to Snow National Monument extends from the Sonoran desert to the high mountains of San Gorgonio Wilderness on the San Bernardino National Forest.

Name Distance Level Location Climb Dogs
Mission Creek Preserve Hike3.4EasyDesert Hot Springs340Y
Whitewater Preserve Hike – Canyon View Loop Trail4ModerateWhitewater790Y
Big Bear Aspen Grove Trail Hike4.8ModerateAngelus Oaks770Y
Dry Lake (San Gorgonio) From The South Fork Trail11.5HardAngelus Oaks2330Y
Hike San Bernardino East Peak From Forsee Creek Trail18HardAngelus Oaks4600Y
San Gorgonio Hike18.5Very HardForest Falls5470Y
San Bernardino Peak Hike16HardAngelus Oaks4670Y

All Guides

Mission Creek Preserve Hike

Mission Creek Preserve Hike

The Mission Creek Preserve hike is a great family-friendly adventure that offers a little bit of everything in an easy package. You’ll be able to visit the ruins of an old “glamping” resort, follow a creek that started high in the mountains and is now irrigating the desert, pass a rare wetland, enjoy views of the high peaks, and then visit an old stone ranch house. The trail is wide, the climbs gradual, and it’s easy to follow. Even if you’re an experienced hiker, there’s enough beauty here to warrant at least one visit.

Desert Hot Springs, CA - 3.4 miles, Easy

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

Big Bear Aspen Grove Trail Hike

Big Bear Aspen Grove Trail Hike

Hidden in a remote valley in the mountains around Big Bear, the Aspen Grove Trail offers a rare glimpse into one of the two aspen groves in Southern California. The leaves turn orange and yellow in the fall, and the area feels more like the Sierra Nevada than Big Bear. The Aspen Grove Trail was destroyed in the 2015 Lake Fire, and while the big pine trees are no longer there, the aspens have grown back nicely. If you’re looking for fall colors, this hike is a great option.

Angelus Oaks, CA - 4.8 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 Gorgonio Hike

San Gorgonio Hike

At 11,503 feet, the San Gorgonio hike brings you to the highest peak in Southern California.  The hike to San Gorgonio is an iconic SoCal hiker rite of passage, and I highly recommend it. There are a few ways to hike to the peak. This hiking guide takes the Vivian Creek trail, which is the quickest way to the summit at 10 hours roundtrip. It’s a tough hike but doable in a day if you train for it.

Forest Falls, CA - 18.5 miles, Very 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