** Use at Your Own Risk **
See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.
Location: San Bernardino County, about 10 miles north of Banning, 80 miles from Los Angeles
|Los Angeles and Vicinity, San Bernardino Mountain Area
|San Bernardino National Forest
|San 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
DRIVING ROUTE 1
- 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.
HIKING ROUTE 1
- 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.
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
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.
Please report any corrections or changes to the
Mountain Records Chair.