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The Best Hikes in San Bernadino National Forest

84 Triplog Reviews in the San Bernadino National Forest
Most recent of 30 deeper Triplog Reviews
10.35 mi • 4,267 ft aeg
2nd outing of the week, wasn't sure I'd be able to do this one because of the Achilles tendon, but figured I ought to at least give it a shot. Found the parking area, about 200 cars there, so it seems this is one of the most popular mountains in all of California. Even though it was pretty flat, I walked the whole road section up past the falls. Gets a bit steeper on the single track; tendon was loosening up nicely instead of complaining.

About a quarter mile past the hut, maybe ~2.5 miles in, it gets ridiculously steep. Quite the grind. Got to the summit in a little under 2 hours.

Figured I may as well check out West Baldy since it's close. Definitely worth the little ~1 mile round trip, since it gets you more unobstructed views to the west. And it's not a party up there.

After that, figured I may as well take Devil's Backbone back to Baldy Notch, which was a lot of fun. This is a really cool trail, and the side trip allowed me to stop into the cafe for an ice cold $3 can of soda. Beer was also an option...

The run down the road was fairly uneventful, and made much better time. Finished up just in time to go have lunch and get back to PHX at a reasonable hour.
110.2 mi • 20,125 ft aeg
Day 19. Camped at 367.1 (25.2)
Had some stomach distress; probably too much crap food yesterday. Still able to eat fine. Long dry stretch with lots of climbing so took 4.5 liters. Great day, lots of trains at the start. Leg seems to be gettimg better. Camped at Blue Ridge Campground.

Day 20. Camped at 383.9 (16.8 )
Walked 2 miles to the highway and hitched into Wrightwood for breakfast and resupply. Easy hitch back to the trail. Summitted Mount Baden-Powell and sang the critter song from Wood Badge. Made it to Little Jimmy campground around 9pm.

Day 21. Camped at 406.6 (22.7)
Very lathargic and slow this morning; hard to make miles. Had to detour around the Mountain Yellow Frog trail closure. Thankful for six easy miles to Sulphur Springs Trail Camp at emd of the day.

Day 22. Camped at 436.1 (29.5)
What a difference a day makes. Legs felt great the whole day. Wonderful views throughout the day. Finished at North Fork Ranger Station.

Day 23. Camped at 454.5 (18.4)
Lots of descending today which made for a fast start. Trail magic after 8 miles and I still made 10 by 10. Passed thru Vasquez Rocks County Park and made it into Agua Dulce around 1:30 pm for lunch, then went to Hiker Heaven for the night.

Daily vlogs of my hike: [ youtube video ]
10.41 mi • 3,117 ft aeg
last hike before long drive home and with heavy legs from the previous day. this ended up being perfect and an extremely nice hike!

went up icehouse canyon which is pretty fantastic. only saw a couple people. water flowing in the canyon and big trees of every variety. decent elevation gain but at a tolerable grade.

the short stretch on the three T's trail was simply outstanding. short spur to the woodsy summit that still offers excellent views. chatted with a very friendly guy on an insane training run for an ultramarathon coming soon. he had started at 2 am and was on like his 6th or 7th summit already! good luck dude :)

took the long way down the chapman trail, which was a good choice as it stays high up on the canyon wall longer and offers really nice views over the canyon.

loved this one
14.51 mi • 5,903 ft aeg
i did the classic loop with some extra goodies. started at the falls road trail head just beyond (bascially at) manker flats.

took the road up to baldy notch, then the world class awesome devils backbone to the summit. didn't see anyone til the top.

decided to spice things up and took the incredibly steep north backbone trail out to the summit of Dawson for amazing views back to baldy. worth it! considered going all the way out to Pine but i also wanted to hit west baldy and i wasn't entirely sure about the brief cloud build up over baldy (turned out to be nothing). 6000 feet of climbing would have to do for the day lol. on the way back up the brutal climb to baldy i saw 3 bighorn come charging full speed down the nearly vertical talus slope of baldy. totally unbelievable!

back on baldy i cruised out to the very nice summit of west baldy - probably my favorite of the day. chilled there for a bit.

came down the painfully steep yet beautiful baldy bowl trail.

this is the hike to come to the san gabriels for folks. absolutely killer!
2.17 mi • 0 ft aeg
We love this trail and have hiked in many times. This time we started at the bottom and went up about half way before turning around to meet time constraints. We have often left a car at the top or bottom and hiked in only one direction. There is more parking at the top than the bottom. It is a busy trail on weekends and holidays as it is very easy to access from the beautiful little town of Idyllwild. We hiked on a Monday and only saw one other hiker.

Wildflowers
Very few. Totally not the season right now. Have see lots of lupines before in the spring.
10 mi • 5,000 ft aeg
My original plan was to do Cactus to Clouds. Wednesday night, all ready to go, parked at lot across the street from the Palm Springs art museum, set to crash for the night and wake up early to get started up the Skyline trail. I decided to double check the Tram schedule, and..."CLOSED for annual maintenance", "Tentative" opening on Saturday. ](*,) With that bit of bad news, I needed a plan B. I was not going to hike 10,000 AEG and then back down into the heat. A quick internet search of alternate trails up to Mt. San Jacinto peak and I was driving around the mountain to Idyllwild. I parked at the trail head and slept in the back of the truck and got started at 7am. Great trail and perfect weather! I came across a Conservation Corps crew building a new trail about 3/4 the way up, chainsaws and jackhammers were not the sounds I expected to hear on my way to the top. Then around Little Round valley I ran into a very nice couple from Australia on their way back down after summiting. I got to the top at 2:30 pm after 7:30 hours :y: . Cool and breezy up top with views to die for. Simply amazing 360 degree views of Palm Springs, Banning, San Bernardino, Idyllwild, Salton Sea etc. I had the summit to myself for about 15 minutes then I was joined by a gentleman who was doing the day hike thing. After numerous photos and standing on top of the world, I went back down to Little Round Valley and set up camp. I forgot my thermometer, but based on internet weather search I'd agree it got down into the low 40's. With nice down top and bottom quilts, I was warm in my hammock. Despite my warmth, I didn't sleep well, I am assuming due to not acclimatizing to the altitude. Kept waking up feeling short of breath. Anyway, woke up and got started back down around 9am and made it back to the truck by 12:30. A lot of folks heading up, met some nice people whom I might hike with soon. Over all a great hike with awesome views! Highly recommend it!
19.2 mi • 8,560 ft aeg
My hardest hike in a very long time, and because you have to carry all of your water going up, my heaviest pack, too. Hot, sunny, long, beautiful, expansive, tiring, and finally annoying, but I did it up and down, finishing after dark and with no tram cheating. This is only the town to tram hike, not to the Peak, but I couldn't do that. Besides, I would prefer to enjoy some time up there if I come back to hike to the summit.

I carried a lot of food and 6 liters of water. Needed it all going up, but only 3 down. Also, I had a 12 oz NY Strip Steak on top, which was awesome to do. I'm in pretty good shape, but won't run out and do this anytime soon, again. 6 hours up, including numerous breaks, over an hour on top, and then 4 1/2 hours down. Not bad, I think.
19.74 mi • 10,800 ft aeg
A good day, but a tad bittersweet. Telescope Peak continues to prove elusive, but the power of water is something to behold in an area like Death Valley. After it became clear that hiking 18 miles to Shortys Well wasn't a great idea, we convened a meeting of the minds on the front porch of the Furnace Creek Inn. Part of what happened next was certainly my fault - upon kicking around ideas, I asked "how far away is Palm Springs?" Oops. Though my vote was officially for Mt Charleston (closer, and had done C2C a few times before), the coin said otherwise and off we went on what twisted and turned into a great adventure.

Some things I learned: that last 2,000' to the tram always is a party that leaves your legs feeling as special as always. I love the first few thousand feet of this trail and the sunrises that hit around 5,000': always will. Five Hour Energy gives you the antithesis of wings, despite what others will tell you, and the summit is great when there's no wind. Great group and good laughs along the way. Did I say I was retired from C2C? Huh.
3.6 mi • 790 ft aeg
The original plan was to hike Cedar Springs trail and PCT to Pyramid Peak, but as always I had a late start from Phoenix, so ended up hiking a part of Ramona trail as far as the remaining daylight allowed. The trail starts at a large trailhead parking just off highway CA-74 and goes up Thomas Mountain along manzanita covered slopes. It is mostly grade with a few steps so there's some downhill mountain bike traffic from campgrounds atop the mountain down to the highway. Corner points of the trail provide good views of Garner Valley and the village of Thomas Mountain as well as San Jacinto mountains ridge across the valley.
21.24 mi • 6,419 ft aeg
And our exploration of SoCal peaks continue, now with San Gorgonio mountain. A grueling 19 mile 6000AEG trail to its summit from Vivian Creek trail.
This mountain compared with Mt. Baldy nearby sees very little traffic due to its daily permit limit. We started at 545AM followed the jeep road for the first 1/4 mile or so until we reached the almost dry Mill Creek, from this very spot just cross the river and you will see the trail sign......we made the mistake of going up the creek 1.5 miles and had to backtrack, it sucked but we marched on and made it to the summit at about noon, stayed about 20 minutes then quickly made our descent and made it back to the TH at 345PM.
It was a great hike with great views once we got close to the tree line and above. There are a few dispersed camp spots along the way up but they also require a backcountry permit.
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