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Homepage Forums Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge™ Q&A Backpacking San Bernardino & San Gorgonio

  • Backpacking San Bernardino & San Gorgonio

    Posted by Cecil Crudo on June 6, 2018 at 9:57 am

    I’ve read Jeff’s post on this, but has anyone backpacked this recently? My friends and I got an overnight permit on Gorgonio Summit on August 4-5. What’s the usual condition around that time? Is there a water source other than Limber Pine’s? If none, how much water do you recommend each of us should carry?

    Thank you!!

    Jeff replied 4 years, 4 months ago 5 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Jeff

    June 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Cecil, what route are you planning to take? There is typically some water at Limber Pine spring, and also at High Creek. There are a couple of other springs that are off the divide, so you'd have to hike downhill (losing the elevation you've already climbed) and then hike back up to the divide — not idea, but could be necessary.

    August is pretty dry, but when I hiked the divide last year it was in September and there was still water at Limber Pine spring. A trickle, but enough to refill our bottles.

    If you are going up Vivian Creek to San G first, then there should be water at High Creek Camp. Or if you're going via South Fork trailhead, there is water where you cross South Fork. A lot depends on the route.

    As for how much to carry, I planned for one liter to get from Limber Pines to camp, one liter for dinner plus breakfast, and one liter to get from camp to the next water source (three liters total). I could've easily used four.

  • Cecil Crudo

    June 6, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the info! And it was good to see you last Sunday.

    We were initially going via Vivian Creek but decided to follow the same route you did (Forsee Creek to South Fork). We just requested for a new permit with the changes.

    Happy Trails!

  • Dave Stimson

    June 9, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Just finished an overnight at LPB, the spring is extremely low…not sure how long it will remain active.

  • Cecil Crudo

    June 10, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for letting me know, Dave. I really appreciate it!

  • Marc

    July 1, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I'm mulling over within the next few weeks breaking up San G by backpacking to Halfway in the afternoon, so I can slack-pack to the summit the next morning and then down n out.

    • Marc

      July 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Well, so much for these plans. Had the overnight permit for July 13, and the Valley Fire officially killed it. I was just contacted by the Mill Creek Ranger Station that all permits, issued for the coming days (mine was for 4 days from now) for the San Gorgonio Wilderness are suspended. Hopefully the fire crews can (safely) get a handle on this fire so we can all resume getting to San Bernardino and San Gorgonio!

    • Jeff

      July 9, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      Looking at the map of the fire area, it doesn't look like it's actually cross into any of the trails or camps in the area yet, and it seems like the firefighters have been able to hold the perimeter. Fingers crossed that things open up soon!

      Challenger Greg and his wife Barbara were actually camped at High Creek when the fire broke out. A helicopter hovered above the area and told them on a loudspeaker to “evacuate immediately.” So much for their sunrise summit, but at least they made it out safely.

  • Cecil Crudo

    July 20, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Pardon the double post, but letting folks know that our permit for August is no longer valid due to the fire. I was also informed by the ranger station that it might be closed for some time.


  • photochk611

    September 19, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    We are planning an overnight on Gorgonio next Wednesday/Thursday. I'm curious as to the alternate route up, South Fork, versus Vivian Creek. Is one better than the other and what is the starting point for South Fork? Thanks!

    • Jeff

      September 20, 2018 at 11:17 am

      [quote quote=23507]We are planning an overnight on Gorgonio next Wednesday/Thursday. I'm curious as to the alternate route up, South Fork, versus Vivian Creek. Is one better than the other and what is the starting point for South Fork? Thanks![/quote]
      South Fork – longer (about 13 miles ONE WAY according to my GPS data) but more gradual. Vivian Creek is shorter, but has some steeper sections.

      I did San Gorgonio as a backpack trip last year, stringing together San Bernardino and San G peaks. If you read my trail guide, you'll see the South Fork part covered on Day 2, with a map and elevation profile. https://socalhiker.net/backpacking-san-bernardino-san-gorgonio-peaks/

      Here's the “standard” Vivian Creek route: https://socalhiker.net/hiking-san-gorgonio-via-vivian-creek/