San Gorgonio from Vivian Creek – a beast of a hike !

Peak Summited2021 San Gorgonio
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadVivian Creek
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a group
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were not too bad
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

We started the hike at 6:30 AM, and the weather was quite pleasant. Not long before it started to get warmer, but we were in shade for most of the trail under 9800 ft., a big blessing on a day when the temperature was forecast in the mid-90's. First you cross a the washed-out Mill Creek rocky bed – in the distance we could see a pinkish glow from the fire near Mt. Whitney. Then you get on the main trail for Vivian Creek, on the other side of Mill Creek. The trail ascends sharply for about a mile and a half, before levelling off. As we started going up, we could smell the smoke from the fire, but thankfully, the smell dissipated as we kept climbing.

The mellow, gradual incline for the next few miles was a welcome respite. We took a few mini breaks, and refuelled just before High Creek camp. After about 6 miles, you come to the rocky switchbacks. After 7.5 miles, were were above the tree line, on exposed terrain, and this is when the heat of the sun can get to you on a hot day. This is also where it gets more challenging, and the final 2 miles to the summit are relentless, climbing up, up and up.

There was a cheering committee waiting below the final feet up the rocks to the summit. 🙂 Fun group, loudly cheering on their fellow hikers !  We spent 45 minutes at the top, took photos, ate lunch, and headed back down the way we came. With all the breaks combined, we finished the hike 11 hrs 15 minutes after we started, which made for a very long day ! An exhausting and challenging hike !


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