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Homepage Forums Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge™ Q&A Hiking in January in SoCal

  • Hiking in January in SoCal

    Posted by Christopher on January 22, 2024 at 9:13 am

    For the SoCal 6-pack, are there any special considerations to make for any of the peaks? Besides the list of peaks and routes, I don’t see much advice in terms of preparation, gear, or safety. I feel like that should be very easy to find and seems like a responsibility of this site if they put this together and charge for it. Hopefully I’m just missing this information though so if some can please direct me to it, I’d appreciate that.

    Shana replied 4 months, 2 weeks ago 5 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Christopher

    January 22, 2024 at 9:14 am

    So just to recap I’m looking for specific gear and safety advice for each peak, but especially when hiking during the colder months.

  • Matt

    January 24, 2024 at 9:09 pm

    It really depends on which peaks you are planning on doing. If you’re planning on doing any of the bigger/higher altitude ones right now (Baldy, San Bernardino, Baden-Powell, San Jacinto, San Gorgornio) know that there WILL be snow and lots of it. You definitely need the right gear for that, as well as general knowledge of the trail directions without snow. I’d be more than happy to walk you through what you might need as far as gear. This is also dependent on skill and experience level. If you’ve never been to these peaks without snow, I wouldn’t recommend them until the snow melts. Some of the other peaks will probably be better to start with in this case. But ask away! More than happy to give you any advice I can. I’ve been hiking all of the big stuff in all year round for years. Rain or snow or sunshine lol. There also should be basic trail guides for them somewhere on the site.

    • Christopher

      January 25, 2024 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks for the reply and offering to help Matt! I’m definitely not very experienced in hiking so I would love to start on the less technical hikes and work myself up. Knowing that I do eventually want to do the bigger peaks later in the season when it’s warmer, what order can you recommend since I want to start now?

      If it’s not too much trouble, I also have another post here about which gear I should have with me. If it’s not too much trouble, I’d appreciate your feedback there too.

      Thank you!

    • Matt

      January 25, 2024 at 8:39 pm

      Yea I’ll definitely find your other post and reply. It helps knowing you aren’t interested in doing any of these in the snow because that would require more gear. And more gear is more money lol.

      As far as which peaks you should do first, honestly Victoria has the right idea. I’ve done all the originals many times, as well as Baden Powell and Ontario from the alternates. The others I’ve never done. For some reason I like the bigger stuff better. BUT, you should definitely start with the alternates because most of them are either less mileage, or less altitude gain, or both. And that’s what you should go with first. You’ll want to build up your strength and endurance. I’ve seen far too many people go balls to the wall and do the big stuff and then just absolutely be destroyed. That isn’t the funnest experience lol. Looking at the alternates if I was just starting out I’d probably start with Sawmill, then Strawberry, then Baden Powell, then Santiago (the suggested route), then Sitton, Cucamunga, Ontario, Wilson, Baldy, Jacinto, Bernardino, Gorgornio. That’s if you’re doing all of them. Take out any you don’t want to do but still maybe in that order. Baldy is less miles than the three I put before it, BUT the suggested route takes you over the backbone and you don’t want to do that in the winter (snow/ice). People die out there every year in those conditions. I’m experience with snow and even I don’t do that. So I placed that later. Baden Powell is snow covered right now so you can put that later too but it’s less difficult in the snow if the trail is well traveled. I basically made this list a gradual climb in miles and elevation from easiest to hardest.

      Let me know if you have any questions on this. Or frankly on any of the peaks I’ve mentioned I’ve done. More than happy to give you knowledge or advice on any of them.

    • Sheryl

      January 26, 2024 at 10:35 am

      Thx Matt! I appreciate this information you provided as I’m looking into the def go to hikes for this So Cal 6 pack of peaks…. This one is a bit more challenging than San Diego’s. 😬 Happy Hiking! 🥾 🗻

    • Matt

      January 26, 2024 at 9:17 pm

      You’re VERY welcome! Any info I can give I’m more than happy to do so 🙂

    • Shana

      January 27, 2024 at 9:14 pm

      Order to do the peaks because you want the winter months to escape the heat of these peaks/bugs that come out in heat:

      January-March or October-December

      Strawberry 6 miles but not after the rain because it does get snow

      Sawmill-7 miles but on weekends when gate is open and not after recent rain because of snow

      Sitton- 9 miles, bring gloves to climb at the end

      Wilson via Sierra Madre- 14 miles

      Santiago via Holy Jim- 16 miles

      March-September (depending on snow melt)

      Baden Powell- 10 miles

      San Jacinto- 10 miles from tram

      Cucamonga-12 miles via Icecanyon

      Baldy- 12 miles from ski hut to the notch

      Ontario- 14 miles from ice canyon

      San Bernardino- 17 miles

      San Gorgonio- 18 miles via Vivian creek

      All of these hikes you need the 10 essentials in your day pack, hiking poles, and good shoes! Good luck!

  • Victoria Weiss

    January 25, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    Were you wanting to tackle the original big six, or do some of the alternate ones? For a less technical one, Sitton would probably be great to start with. I’m not a snow hiker myself so with the rain we’re getting lately, we’re saving the bigger ones until any potential snow is mostly melted!

    There’s another discussion post on this forum titled something like 2024 Socal Peaks with people looking to meet up for some of the peaks if you’re interested in hiking with friends! 🙂

    • Christopher

      January 25, 2024 at 7:58 pm

      That’s a great start. Thanks. Which of the other parks would you do now that the weather is still too cold for some of them?

    • Shana

      January 27, 2024 at 8:55 pm

      You want to do any of the lower peaks ft like Sitton, Santiago, sometimes Strawberry if it’s been no rain for awhile or Sawmill if the rain hasn’t been coming down. Everything thing else you are going to need crampons and snow gear. You can check the recent hike logs for current conditions and tips.

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