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San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail

San Gorgonio Wilderness

San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California

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San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail

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  • Entering the San Gorgonio Wilderness.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Snow Creek.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Gaining altitude on the  Momyer Creek Trail.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Looking back toward Momyer Creek.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Dense forest along the trail. - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Nearing the tree line.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • The trail junction for San Bernardino.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Fall color on Alger creek - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Alger creek, the first water source. - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Crossing Alger Creek.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Fall color on Alger Creek.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Hiking San Gorgonio via the Momyer Creek Trail.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Getting higher shortly after leaving the second water source at High Meadow Spring.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Traversing the Fall Creek Trail.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Traversing the Fall Creek Trail.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • You'll leave the Fall Creek Trail for the San Bernadino Peak Divide Trail.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail. - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Junction with another trail toward San Bernardino.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail. - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Dollar Lake Saddle. - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Looking toward Charlton Peak. - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Nearing the end of San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Nearing the junction to the Vivian Creek Trail. - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Above the tree line.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Looking toward the valley. - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Looking toward the valley.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Junction with Vivian Creek. - San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Looking back to the valley to L.A.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Toward the summit of San Gorgonio.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Looking at the valley from San Gorgonio.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • The summit of San Gorgonio is 11,503 feet.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
  • Saxton Camp.- San Gorgonio via Momyer Creek Trail + Vivian Creek Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Solitude. Camp at the summit. Wildflowers.
Cons: 
Long.
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Region:
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
6,913.00 ft (2,107.08 m)
Parking Pass: 
California Adventure Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
22.00 mi (35.41 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,443.00 ft (1,659.03 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Being the tallest mountain in Southern California, the climb to San Gorgonio is understandably popular, and permits can be hard to get. This Momyer Creek Trail approach provides a great alternative for people who can't get the permit and who are willing to hike a longer route than the famous and crowded Vivian Creek Trail. Note, however, that it is an additional 9 miles. But because of that extra distance hikers will enjoy plenty of solitude, as this trail generally doesn't see a lot of traffic. 

The Big Falls Trailhead is located just less than 2 miles from the Vivian Creek Trailhead. Before heading to this trailhead, make sure to pick up your permit at the Mill Creek Visitor Center that you will pass before entering the town of Forest Falls. Also, make sure you have either an Adventure Pass or an America the Beautiful pass for your car.

There aren't any facilities at the parking lot, so be ready to hit the trail when you get there. The trail immediately drops to Snow Creek for a short distance before climbing back up following the Momyer Creek Trail. You'll immediately be presented with an expansive view of the creek and the valley before entering back to the forest.  

The trail climbs up until the junction with the San Bernadino Peak Trail before slowly descending to Alger Creek, which is the first water source in this trail. From here the trail climbs gradually through the thick forest. After a few miles you'll start traversing toward High Creek Spring, which will be the second and last water source on this trail. From here the route proceeds out of the forest and onto the side of the hill . 

There are many side trips you can make along this trail, and several peaks are visible from the San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail. From here San Gorgonio is still very much well hidden. The trail becomes rocky after passing Jespen Peak. From here you can expect to see the junction with the Vivian Creek Trail. This also means it's only another mile to the summit, which can be easily seen once you pass the summit plateau.

This section tends to get pretty windy because of the elevation and lack of tree cover, but there are quite a few rock shelters that provide a little protection. On a clear day you'll have a great view toward San Jacinto . 

If you liked the approach, return on via the same route. To make this a loop, return via the Vivian Creek Trail, which is shorter, and then take Valley of the Falls Drive to the Big Falls Trailhead.

 

 

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