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


Galena Peak


Location: San Bernardino County, about 10 miles north of Banning, 80 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubLos Angeles and Vicinity, San Bernardino Mountain Area
Forest ServiceSan Bernardino National Forest
USGS ToposSan Gorgonio Mountain 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable JPG file - Approximately 544K
 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)

Nearby Peaks: Little San Gorgonio Peak

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 8 miles round trip on trail and cross-country
Gain: 3300'
Time: 7-8 hours round trip
Rating: Class 2, strenuous
Navigation: Moderate
Leader Rating: "I", normal conditions
Recommended limit on participants: 4 people per experienced leader (due to control issues on the headwall)

Original: Warren E. von Pertz, 1968


  • Take I-10 east past San Bernardino to the Orange Street exit (SR 38).
  • Go one block east, then go north (left) 0.5 mile to Lugonia Avenue. Turn right on SR 38 (east).
  • Continue east on SR 38 for 8 miles to Mill Creek Ranger Station, a standard rendezvous spot.
  • Continue past the Ranger Station another 5 miles to a junction with the Valley of the Falls Road on the right. Turn right.
  • Drive up this paved road for 5 miles to the parking lot at the end of the road.


  • From the parking lot (6080'), hike east up the road past a locked gate to its end.
  • Keeping on the right side of the canyon continue east a short distance on a use trail to a point where it drops into the wash.
  • Continue up the canyon, passing a class 3 waterfall on its right side.
  • Continue to the top of the Mill Creek Jumpoff headwall at 8456'. Note: Conditions in the canyon change after heavy rainfall.
  • The best route up the headwall is to ascend the gray-colored dirt up the center then, near the top, contour to the right on steep slopes to join the saddle. Avoid starting up the left side (in the tan dirt), as the ascent is not viable, becoming very steep and loose, and it is very difficult to traverse to the right from there. WARNING: the wall is concave in shape, so gets steeper with elevation. This is not apparent from below, so the tan dirt can seem to be superior. Do not fall into this trap!
  • Beware of loose rock! The boulders in the canyon are unstable.
  • Continue south up the ridge, following a faint use trail, which finally bears around to the right to a saddle. Turn left and go up to the summit. A peak to the west is higher but is not the official summit.

Note: HPS policy requires the possession and use of a climbing helmet on Class 3 terrain or where the hazard of rockfall is present.


Near the beginning of the hiking route, you may see a sign stating that Wilderness permits are required. This is intended for hikers of the Vivian Creek Trail. This trail crosses the wash and enters the San Gorgonio Wilderness. The route to Galena Peak does not enter this Wilderness. A permit is not required.


The summit has been reached by hiking over the ridge from Little San Gorgonio and from Snow Peak, which is to the southeast. Continuing north from the top of the headwall (Mill Creek Jumpoff) leads, through dense brush, to the Vivian Creek Trail.

History of Summit Signature

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Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.

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