January 23, 2010

Hike Review: San Bernardino Peak

Location: Angelus Oaks, CA
Distance: 15.8 miles
Elevation Gain: Trailhead (5,960 feet) to the Summit (10,649) for total of 4,700 feet
Time of Year Best to Hike: Spring thru Fall
Recommended map: San Bernardino National Forest

Trail-head: To get to the trail head from the populated area of Southern California, head east on I-10 into Redlands. Exit University, heading north, and turn right (east) onto Lugonia Blvd, also known as Highway 38. Continue on Highway 38 for 20 miles into Angelus Oaks. There is a sign for the trail-head off to the right (on Manzanita Drive) once you enter the city limit. Once you have left the highway, the road to the trail-head is a half mile dirt road passable (when dry) by most 2 wheel drive vehicles. The road opens up to a dirt parking lot. Park here.

Summary: The hike is very steep. This trek makes use of some serious switch backs on the side of almost eerily steep slopes. You will walk through a variety of pine, oak and fir trees. The majority of the hike is shaded, however there are several portions of the hike that are open and here the trail takes you through brush and boulders. Near the top on the north facing slopes there is snow pack year round. Although it can get hot in the summer months, a wind breaker is recommended. The wind chill can be very cold. Several creeks are crossed. Not all run year round. There is overnight camping for which a permit is needed. Contact the Mentone Ranger Station for more year round weather related details and to obtain permits.

Best Season: July thru October

Recommended Maps and Books: National Geographic TOPO! Weekend Explorer 3D (Los Angeles, Los Padres, San Bernardino National Forest)