The Peaks of the SoCal Challenge
The Original Six
MOUNT WILSON – Elevation 5,713′ (1,741m)
Mount Wilson was closed by wildfires in 2020, but the old Mount Wilson Trail has been cleared for hiking. Be sure to obey all closure notices and trail restrictions, all of which are subject to change.
Recommended Six-Pack Route Details: Mount Wilson Trail
Distance: 13.2 miles; Vertical +/- 4,697 ft.
CUCAMONGA PEAK – Elevation 8,859′ (2,701m)
Cucamonga Peak towers above the Inland Empire, with epic views and an Instagram-friendly rock outcrop. It may or may not get its name from a Shoshonee Chief who sent his wayward daughter to live on the summit.
Recommended Six-Pack Route Details: Hiking Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon
Distance: 11.6 miles; Vertical +/- 4,300 ft.
MOUNT SAN ANTONIO (MT BALDY) – Elevation 10,064′ (3,068m)
Better known as Mount Baldy thanks to it's tree-less, often snow-capped crown, this peak is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains and the highest point in Los Angeles County.
Recommended Six-Pack route: Manker Flats ► Devil's Backbone ► Ski Hut Loop
Distance: 10.2 miles; Vertical +/- 3,900 ft
SAN BERNARDINO PEAK – Elevation 10,649′ (3,246m)
San Bernardino Peak is back open to the public! One of the best-kept secrets of Southern California is San Bernardino Mountain. Just five miles away from the highest peak in SoCal — San Gorgonio — San Bernardino tops out at a respectable 10,649 feet.
Recommended Six-Pack route: Hiking to San Bernardino Peak via Angelus Oaks
Distance: 16.5 miles; Vertical +/- 4,702 ft
MOUNT SAN JACINTO – Elevation 10,834′ (3,302m)
John Muir described Mount San Jacinto like this, “The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!” Who are we to argue? San J towers above Palm Springs and provides an alpine environment right in SoCal.
Recommended Six-Pack route: Marion Mountain Trail to San Jacinto
Distance: 11.4 miles; Vertical +/- 4,689 ft.
SAN GORGONIO – Elevation 11,503′ (3,506m)
San Gorgonio is the tallest mountain in Southern California, and a rite of passage for serious hikers in the area. At 11,503′, “Old Grayback” provides an excellent high altitude training for those preparing to summit Mt. Whitney. Note that permits are required for these hikes.
Original Six-Pack Route: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trailhead
Distance: 17.3 miles; Vertical +/- 5,840 ft.
Alternate Six-Pack Route: San Gorgonio via Fish Creek Trailhead
Distance 18.4 mi; Vertical +/- 3,390 ft.
Alternate Six-Pack Route: San Gorgonio via South Fork Trailhead
Distance 22 miles; Vertical +/- 5,099 ft.
SITTON PEAK – Elevation 3,273′ (998m)
At an elevation of 3,273 feet is the lowest peak of the dozen, but conveniently close for Orange, Riverside and San Diego County residents. It's roughly 10 miles with over 2,100 feet of vertical gain to the summit.
Recommended Six-Pack Route: Hiking Sitton Peak
Distance: 10 miles; Vertical +/- 2,150 ft.
SAWMILL MOUNTAIN – Elevation 8,822′ (2689m)
The highest point in Kern County at 8,822 feet, Sawmill Mountain is also part of the 3-2-1 Challenge (since you're there).
Recommended Six-Pack Route: Mount Pinos and Sawmill Mountain – Modern Hiker
Distance: 7.4 miles; Vertical +/- 1,500 ft.
STRAWBERRY PEAK – Elevation 6,164′ (1,879m)
The highest peak in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains, and includes a steep ridgeline scramble to the summit. The 6,164′ summit rewards your scrambling skills with some sweet summit views.
Recommended Six-Pack Route Details: Strawberry Peak from Red Box
Distance: 7.5 miles; Vertical +/- 2,609 ft.
MOUNT BADEN-POWELL – Elevation 9,406′ (2,867m)
One of the highest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains, Mount Baden-Powell climbs nearly 3,000 feet to commanding 360-degree views and a trip on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Recommended Six-Pack Route: Hiking Mount Baden-Powell
Distance: 8.7 miles; Vertical +/- 2,900 ft.
ONTARIO PEAK – Elevation 8,696′ (2,651m)
Just north of Cucamonga Peak, this 8,696′ summit is reached via popular Icehouse Canyon near Baldy Village. With a little extra effort, you can also bag nearby Bighorn Peak, too!
Recommended Six-Pack Route Details: Hiking Ontario and Bighorn Peaks
Distance: 12.4 miles; Vertical +/- 3,738 ft.
SANTIAGO PEAK – Elevation 5,689′ (1,734m)
Hiking “Saddleback” from either the Maple Springs or Cadillac trailheads (both open) take you to the highest point in Orange County.
Original Six-Pack Route: Holy Jim Trail to Santiago Peak
Distance: ~15 miles; Vertical +/- 4,469 ft.
Suggested Six-Pack Route: Santiago Peak via Maple Springs
Distance 9.5 mi; Vertical +/- 1,463 ft.
Meet the Curator
The peaks in the Southern California Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge have been curated by our own Jeff Hester, 2nd generation Angeleno and founder of the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge Series.
Jeff first fell in love with hiking and backpacking in the 1970s and is still at it, bagging peaks and seeking adventure. The SoCal challenge is the original — initially developed as part of his training regimen for a thru-hike of the John Muir Trail.