24 Hours on Mt. San Gorgonio ~ 06/17 - 06/18

I recently joined Jerry from BPL for a 19 mile out and back hike up Mt. San Gorgonio. At 11,500 feet San Gorgonio is the tallest mountain in Southern California. The elevation gain on our route was about 5,800 feet. We started in the afternoon on the Vivian Creek trail and after a 5 mile hike and about 3,000 feet we stayed at the High Creek Camp. 

The next morning we got an early start and headed up the gracefully carved switchbacks above High Creek camp. We met a girl the day before who hiked the entire trail in sandals so we figured the snowfields wouldn't be a problem. The thin air at about 10,500 feet made for some slow going, but we made it to the top by about 10:00 am.

The hike down was a welcome break from the switchbacks on the way up. Many thanks to Jerry for sharing some knee saving techniques. By the end of the day we had hiked 14 miles with a gain of 2,800 feet and loss of about 5,800 feet. I've been training for the JMT this summer and I was feeling great, . . until the end of the day. Some serious pain from an old I.T. band injury toward the bottom made me wonder if I'm crazy to try the JMT. Fortunately it turns out I just need to do a lot more stretching and rolling along with my usual routine.

A few photos from the trail:

San Gorgonio Mountain ~ At 11,500 feet it is the tallest peak in Southern California.  

The first climb is 1,000 feet of elevation gain along steep switchbacks.

The trail follows a lush valley along Vivian Creek before more swithbacks.

Vivian Creek still had lots of water (click for full size).

The first night we camped at High Creek Camp. This is Jerry's Zpacks Hexamid Twin tent. 10 ozs of cuben luxury. Nice. I kept it simple with a Zpacks 6 x 9 cuben tarp.

Early morning switchbacks on day 2.

Gnarled old tree still hanging on. . .

Snowfields at about 10,000 feet.

Hiking the northern slope.

The trail winds along a ridge at about 11,000 feet approaching the top.

The final approach to the peak.

The view from the top. Palm Springs and Mt. San Jacinto in the distance (click for full size)

One of the stone wind shelters on the peak.

The San Gorgonio mascot. He was chilling at 11,500 feet.

This is the register at the top. There are a few other empty boxes laying around. This has several notebooks full of signatures.

The way home.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool write-up. Thanks for the pictures. Are you aware of any actual sea to summit bid on this peak? Some buddies and I recently did a bike & hike from Seal Beach to Forest Falls and up from there to San G's summit and have been curious if it has ever been done before.