Located in some of the most pristine wilderness of Southern California, the hike up Momyer Creek Trail to Dobbs Cabin is a real treat. The hike offers several camping options, solitude, and a backcountry feel, even though it is not that far from civilization. And Momyer and Dobbs are influential figures in local history: this peaceful hike route was at the center of the battle between development and wilderness protection.
Where is the Momyer Creek Trail?
The hike starts at an established trailhead in Forest Falls, CA. Use this trailhead address:
40560 Valley of the Falls Dr, Forest Falls, CA 92339
There are no bathrooms here. If you have to go, drive up to the nearby Falls Picnic Area.
You do not need a parking pass at the Momyer Creek Trailhead.
You can get a free permit for a day hike or overnight camping trip at the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association’s permit website. Save the permit on your phone or print it out. This isn’t a popular trail and you should be okay to score a permit at the last minute. The two campsites are Dobbs Camp and Alger Creek. Space is limited at the trail camps (no facilities), but again, this is not a popular area.
Gear For the Hike
This is a backcountry hike and you should plan accordingly.
- Trekking poles help on the slopes and stream crossings.
- Your feet could get wet at the stream crossings.
- There are perennial water sources along the route; you can get away with 1L and refilling with a filter.
- In the winter, snow and ice can be on these lower slopes.
- The route is well-shaded and cooler in the summer.
- Bugs can be intense when it’s warm out.
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Momyer Creek Trail to Dobbs Cabin Trail Maps
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- Dobbs arrived in the area in 1896, originally from Arkansas and then Texas. He quickly became a fixture in the area, working as a mountain guide. Dobbs Cabin and Dobbs Peak were named after him.
- Dobbs was also opportunistic, staking mining claims here and pursuing his most significant project, a hydroelectric power generation system. He teamed up with hydroelectric pioneer Cyrus G. Baldwin to channel the water on the north side of Mill Creek into a flume, providing power to developed communities like Lakeview and Perris. The project never panned out, and Dobbs focused on tourism, but you can still scattered lumber from the flume project in the area.
- Dobb’s original Falls Creek Trail and flume route was east of the Momyer Creek Trail. However, local homeowners shut down the lower slopes of that trail in the 1960s because they didn’t want hikers traversing their land. After that, Boy Scouts created the connector trail from Momyer to the old Falls Creek Trail, which you’ll hike on for this route.
- Dobbs was hit by lightning when hiking by San Gorgonio. After getting hit, he retired and wasn’t seen often.
- This area of the San Bernardino mountains was at the forefront of the battle against development. From the early 1900s, Forest Falls was home to several resorts. Baldwin (Dobbs’s partner) wanted to use his hydroelectric power to build a gondola from Forest Falls to the summit of San Gorgonio. The high slopes were also popular with skiers, and in the 1960s, Walt Disney tried to build a ski resort here.
- But in 1962, Joe Momyer and a few others created the Defenders of the San Gorgonio Wilderness, which fought against Disney and others. Eventually, they helped pass the Wilderness Act, and today the entire wilderness is protected against development. The Momyer Creek Trail honors one of the folks who saved the area.
Dobbs Cabin Hike Directions
Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.
Turn by Turn Directions
Sometimes there can be intense flash floods at Mill Creek. If that’s the case, it’s not the time to do this hike.
Is this the actual site of the cabin? I was told that but I’m not sure. I’ve heard of metal debris off-trail to the north. I’m also not positive after looking at the old image earlier in the guide. Wherever it was, it was around here somewhere. The area in the last photo was definitely cleared and leveled by humans.
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard
Hi, I’m Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn’t so you don’t waste money. I don’t do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn’t do it without folks like you!).
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