San Gorgonio is the highest peak in Southern California. This regal 19 mile, 11.503 ft high mountain has become a ceremonial rite of passage for the expert-level hiker. Therefore, it behooves the aspiring hiker to be well prepared before taking this rite of passage. One needs to have plenty of water, food and an extra jacket to deal with the arduous trek. When you are ready to commence your journey, take a deep breath and then begin.
The first mile of this trail is steep. I was thinking to myself that this mountain might be testing me to see if I was qualified. After trekking and panting for 30 to 40 minutes, I arrived at the first checkpoint. I was immediately rewarded with a magnificent panoramic view that left my mouth open.
After the checkpoint, the gentle climb up the ridge offered me beautiful views at every turn, guaranteeing that I would never experience boredom. In particular, the bucolic surroundings spoiled me with a diverse array of beautiful trees that are not often seen in San Diego, specifically. After about three hours, I reached the mid-point, “High Creek Campground”, where I encountered many fellow hikers setting up camp.
Being prepared for an Alpine Hike is crucial for reaching the summit of San Gorgonio. I stress this otherwise obvious point because many either underestimate the seriousness of Alpine issues such as altitude sickness, or they overestimate their ability to deal with said things (without preparation).
After three and a half hours of tenacity, I arrived at the summit, fighting off dizziness, a headache, muscle aches and overall exhaustion. But those unpleasantries were completely washed away by the spectacular views that were laid out ahead of. It was as if I was presented with a much-deserved reward for reaching my goal. That sense of accomplishment gave me a huge rush of the warm and fuzzies, more than any gourmet victuals or libations could ever do. Today, John Moore's quotes feel special.
-The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go
Trailhead: 41900 Falls Rd, Forest Falls, CA 92339
Length/Est/ Difficulty: 19 mi (10 h +/-) / 5,492 ft /hard
Course | Vivian Creek Trail to San Gorgonio Peak
Hiking | Cocktail | Outdoor | Photography