San Gorgonio hike (elevation: 11,503 feet) via Vivian Creek. What a great hike it was! The full moon eclipsing at 6 am was just the beginning! The temperature was perfect and it was a great 5,700 feet elevation gain endurance and cardio workout!
HOW TO GET TO VIVIAN CREEK TRAILHEAD
It is very likely that you would be taking CA-38E via Mill Creek Station if you’re coming from the Greater Los Angeles area. However, if you’re coming from Big Bear or taking CA-18, get on 38W. Either way, you will end up on Valley of the Fall Dr. The trailhead entrance is at the end of the road.
There are two parking lots. The upper small lot is strictly for day hike and its gate closes at night. The lower larger lot is for day hike and backpacking. There’s a plenty of picnic tables around them for recreation purposes as well as restrooms.
WHEN TO HIKE SAN GORGONIO VIA VIVIAN CREEK
All year-round. Winter hikes of course require winter hike gear, such as snowshoes, microspikes, macrospikes or crampons, and an ice axe, but till snow arrives, one can hike without winter gear any time. Just be aware that days are much shorter in spring and fall compared to summer.
ITEMS YOU MUST BRING
- Permit (Receive by mail or pick up at Mill Creek station)
- Plenty of water (3L or more)
- Layers of clothing
- Adventure Pass day or annual pass or National Park pass
OUR SAN GORGONIO HIKE
2 weeks ago I kick started this year’s hiking/backpacking season by hiking San Jacinto via Deer Springs with the San Jacinto Hiking Club. Since I am committed to marathon training till early September this year, my season began rather late. (Yes, I’ve been training, and you can find out all about it here.) And I am certainly planning not to hike and backpack this year as much as I did last year.
However, since being in nature makes me happiest, I will need a little dose of the great outdoors as often as I can squeeze in and as long as it doesn’t disrupt my training.
What was pretty cool about this hike was that I was able to catch the full moon eclipsing while driving up at 6 am in the morning. I did some quick research the night before, and apparently we here in the US weren’t able to see this lunar eclipse till September 16, 2016, so I was quite stoked about it!
This about 18.5 mile RT San Gorgonio hike via Vivian Creek is simply one of the best hikes there is in San Gorgonio Wilderness (You can read more about this hike here, which I did last late November). Of course, there are many peaks to bag in the area, and one may combine several peaks, including San Gorgonio peak (say, Dobbs, East Dobbs, Charlton, Little Charlton and Jepson), but as a straight forward hike, this is simply a great hike to help get back in conditioning for multi-peak bagging hikes or strenuous hikes like Mt. Whitney.
Surprisingly, until we got close to the top, we hardly had snow to worry about slowing us down or getting us lost, like it did 2 weeks ago on Deer Springs in San Jacinto. So, our microspikes had to stay unused in our packs this time.
It was quite chilly in the parking lot when we gathered around getting ready for our hike, however, once as we started moving, it got warm quite quickly. In fact, it turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny day throughout, other than a little bit of wind at the summit.
What I love about San Gorgonio hike via Vivian Creek is that Mt. San Jacinto accompanies me all the way to the peak once a certain elevation is reached.
Of course, one may appreciate Mt. San Gorgonio, Santiago Peak as well as Rabbit Peak while hiking on the north side of Mt. San Jacinto, but this is what we get in return while hiking in San G.
The majestic view of Mt. San Jacinto.
It was such a great day to do San Gorgonio hike, and at the top where I was the last one to descend among the group, I just found myself, San Gorgonio and San Jancinto.
It is no joke that one may get high at such a high elevation. And I am looking forward to many more hikes like this.
Thanks for reading.