San Bernardino Peak Hike view

San Bernardino Peak Hike

In This Guide
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
  • Do You Need a Permit?
  • San Bernardino Peak Trail Maps
  • How to Get to the Trailhead
Total Distance (?)16 miles (25.8 km)
Hike Time8 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Hard
Total Ascent (?)4,670 feet (1423m)
Highest Elevation10,649 feet (3246m)
Fees & PermitsParking Fee & Day Use Permit
Dogs AllowedLeashed
Alerts & Closures (?)Mill Creek Visitor Center
Park Phone909-382-2882
Weather & ForecastLatest Conditions

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

Where Is The San Bernardino Peak Hike?

Use this trailhead GPS address: 5766 Frontage Rd, Angelus Oaks, CA 92305, which will get you to the fire station. Detailed directions to the trailhead parking are below.

IW07 sign
The trailhead GPS address that I listed is for the fire station. Once there, you’ll see this sign for the forest road. Keep going up the road toward IW07.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trailhead sign
A few feet after that last sign, you’ll see this helpful sign directing you to the trailhead.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trailhead sign
A big sign directs you onto the dirt road to the trailhead. Note, the tape over the sign is still from when the trail was closed due to fires earlier in the year.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trailhead sign
Once on the dirt road, there’s a split and trail sign, stay right.
San Bernardino Peak Hike parking
Grab a spot in the parking lot. Get here early, the lot fills up. You might have to get creative and park down the road if it’s full. Also, note the cars in the lot. You don’t need a high-clearance vehicle if you go slow on the dirt road.

There are no bathrooms at the trailhead.

You need a parking pass. I use the affordable National Parks Pass, which gets me in every park, monument, and national forest. You can also use an (Southern California only) Adventure Pass, or buy a $5 day permit from the ranger’s office.

Preparing for the San Bernardino Peak Hike

After a stretch where no permits were needed, they have been reinstated.

Gear for the Hike

This is a tough backcountry hike, and you need to be well prepared with layers, water, and food. Check the summit weather and call the ranger office to check conditions before you leave. Be prepared for changing conditions.

Limber Pine Bench Camp also has a spring to fill up water bottles. The spring doesn’t always have water, so don’t count on it.

If you want to check if there’s snow on your hike, read this guide.

Gear 2022 8

I waste my time with lousy hiking gear so you don’t have to. Only the winners get onto my gear page. There’s no fluff, sponsorships, or promotions. It’s just gear I personally use, have tested, and recommend. Right now I’m liking my inReach Mini 2, Garmin Epix, and Lone Peak 6 shoes.
.
My August 2022 Top Gear Picks

San Bernardino Peak Trail Maps

Click Here To View

Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

How will you navigate this hike?
I use my Epix to record the hike, GaiaGPS to zoom around a map, and have a backup paper map.
Learn more about navigation tools that I use here.

San Bernardino Peak Hike 3d map
The hike has incredible views for most the way up to San Bernardino Peak. You can see it climbs along the side of the mountain, with nothing blocking the view into the valley.
San Bernardino Peak Hike elevation
It’s a steep hike but there’s a nice plateau in the middle of the hike where you can catch your breath.

San Bernardino Peak Hike Directions

Don’t do this hike in the winter unless you have snow and ice hiking experience.

Video Directions

Turn by Turn Directions

San Bernardino Peak Hike start
The trail starts right by the boards. Ignore the gate at the far end of the lot and start the hike here.
San Bernardino Peak Hike board
Check out the hiking board for any trail notices.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trail
The trail climbs for the first few miles. Pace yourself and take breaks. The trail makes it’s way up toward San Bernardino peak on a series of well-designed switchbacks built by the CCC in the 1930s.
San Bernardino Peak Hike views
One of the great things about the San Bernardino Peak hike is the views, and they start right from the beginning. Take breaks to catch your breath and soak it all in. You’ll get great views of Mt. Baldy, Angeles National Forest, and the Santa Ana Mountains as you climb this section.
San Gorgonio Wilderness sign
After the majority of the switchbacks, you’ll reach this cool San Gorgonio Wilderness sign.
Manzanita Flats
At about 3 miles, the trail starts to level out and you hike across Manzanita Flats.
Manzanita Flats views
There are great views from Manzanita Flats. To your left are the mountains around Big Bear, to the right, San Bernardino Peak.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trail junction
At about 4 miles, you’ll reach a trail junction. Hike straight through toward Limber Pine.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trail junction
Closeup of the trail junction sign. Remember, continue hiking towards Limber Pine.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trail
After Manzanita Flats, the trail starts going up again.
LImber Pine campground
At about 5.7 miles, you reach LImber Pine campground. This back-country campground is a great option if you want to do the San Bernardino Peak hike as an overnight backpacking trip. The views from this campground are spectacular. Head to the left through the campground.
Limber Pine campground
Follow the stone path to the left through the Limber Pine campground.
San Bernardino Peak Hike sign
There’s a sign along the trail in the campground pointing you toward San Bernardino Peak.
San Bernardino Peak Hike climbs
More uphill! The views are incredible as you climb.
San Bernardino Peak Hike overlook
At about 7.2 miles, the trail goes left, but hike to the overlook on the right.
cris hazzard at overlook
A cool stone bench sits at the overlook. Great photo opportunities here.
San Bernardino Peak Hike view
San Jacinto Peak looms on the horizon. In the valley below, you’ll see Mill Creek and the VIvian Creek trailhead for the hike to San Gorgonio.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trail
After soaking in the views, continue hiking on the trail to San Bernardino Peak. Almost there! As you climb, you’ll get views of Big Bear Lake to your left.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trail junction
At about 8 miles, the trail splits. Head right up the steep trail for the last few hundred feet to the peak. A small cairn marks the trail junction. It’s easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled.
cris hazzard at San Bernardino Peak
Success! You did it. The pile of rocks marks San Bernardino Peak.
trail registry
Sign the trail registry, located in the rocks.
views from San Bernardino Peak
Soak in the views of San Jacinto Peak, San Gorgonio Mountain, and Mt Baldy from San Bernardino Peak.
San Bernardino Peak Hike trail junction
Head back down the way you came to finish the hike. About 10 -15 minutes down the trail, you’ll see a left hand turnoff to Washington’s Monument. A metal sign marks the spot. Hike to the left for the side trip to the monument.
Washington’s Monument sign
This plaque gives some background on Washington’s Monument at the trail junction.
Washington’s Monument
This pile of rocks is Washington’s Monument! The rock pile is actually a sighting point for surveyors, setup by Colonel Henry Washington in 1852. From here, just head back down the way you came to finish the hike.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I’m Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, National Recreation Trails (NRT) Ambassador, 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 in that it gives very detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I share the hiking tricks and tips that I’ve learned over the years to fast-track you into a hiking pro. And I tell you what hiking gear works and what gear doesn’t so you don’t waste your money.

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