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See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.


Birch Mountain


Location: San Bernardino County, about 6 miles northeast of Yucaipa, 81 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubLos Angeles and Vicinity, San Bernardino Mountain Area
Forest ServiceSan Bernardino National Forest
USGS TopoForest Falls 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable JPG file - Approximately 1.1 megs
 GPX file or Google Earth KML file to download to GPS units and other map software (How to use GPX and KML files)
 Routes as shown on CalTopo using the above files (How to use CalTopo)
 All of Yucaipa Ridge: 3.6 meg JPG, TPO file, GPX file, KML file, CalTopo.

Nearby Peaks: Allen Peak, Cedar Mountain, Wilshire Peak, Wilshire Mountain, Little San Gorgonio Peak

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 12 miles round trip on road, trail, and cross-country
Gain: 3300'
Time: 6 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, moderate
Navigation: Easy

Original: Warren E. von Pertz


  • Take I-10 east past San Bernardino to the Orange Street exit in Redlands (SR 38).
  • Go one block east, then go north (left) 0.5 mile to Lugonia Avenue. Turn right on SR 38 (east).
  • Continue on SR 38 14.2 miles to Valley of the Falls Road junction (Forest Falls Road). Park here.


  • From the parking area hike across Mill Creek to the south on 1S08.
  • Hike up 1S08 through privately owned land 2.6 miles to 1S09 (Yucaipa Ridge Truck Trail) at the Allen-Birch saddle (5160'+).
  • Turn left and hike east on 1S09 approximately 1.8 miles to a saddle at 6160'+. At the saddle there is a trail on the left called the Oak Glen Divide Trail.
  • Turn left and hike up this trail 1.4 miles. At this point the summit of Birch Mountain will be on your right to the southeast and about 200' above the trail.
  • Turn right and hike up the southeast trending ridge to the summit. Use care when descending this route, as you want to go down the trail on the west trending ridge and not down the trailless northwest trending ridge.


This route crosses private property and permission must be obtained well in advance of the day of the hike.

Printable version of this route


Yucaipa Ridge Traverse (5 peaks) from east to west
From Cedar Mountain
(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 1.8 miles one way on trail and cross-country
Gain: 300'
Time: 1 hour one way
Rating: Class 1, very strenuous when combined with other peaks in the area
Navigation: Moderate

Original: Warren E. von Pertz


  • See the driving instructions for Route 1 above and Little San Gorgonio Peak Route 1. This route assumes that you are hiking each peak along this section of Yucaipa Ridge (5 peaks) from east to west.


  • From Cedar Mountain, hike west and then northwest down the ridge following the route of the trail shown on the topo map until you reach the saddle just east of Birch Mountain.
  • Leave the trail here and hike up the ridge to the summit.


The Yucaipa Ridge Traverse continues west down the Yucaipa Ridge to the Allen-Birch saddle and to the west shuttle parking area. This route crosses private property and permission must be obtained well in advance of the day of the hike.


It is possible to descend north from the Birch Mountain-Cedar Mountain saddle to Forest Falls. The descent starts in the easternmost part of the saddle and descends on an eastern diagonal to the gully. Stay high on the ridge until it runs out, and then descend into the gully to take advantage of the scree slope. If you encounter brush you are too far to the west. There is no brush if the proper descent route is used. This route should be used by experienced hikers only. The route goes across and down steep rocky slopes where rock fall can be very dangerous. This route can be used without permission from private landowners. The driving instructions for where the route ends in Forest Falls are as follows:

  • Turn right (east) on The Valley of Falls Drive. (See Route 1). This is 6.5 miles past Mill Creek Ranger Station on SR 38.
  • Drive 1.4 miles east on The Valley of the Falls Drive and turn right onto Prospect Drive.
  • Drive southwest on Prospect Drive about 0.1 mile to near the intersection of Mountain View Road. Park here. You will exit the gully near this spot.

The USGS topo shows a trail starting at Pilgrim Pines Camp in Oak Glen and going up to a point near Cedar Mountain. This trail crosses private property and must be used only with permission. Call Pilgrim Pines at (562) 335-7697 for permission.

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