Hike Date: March 7, 2015
Miles: Approx: 16 miles
Hours: Approx 12.5
Went for a hike up San Gorgonio a few days ago, and it was quite the hike. I had hoped that a few more people would have come through the trail and blazed everything for us, but apparently most people were turning around at High Creek Camp.
We met and caravaned up to the trailhead at the Big Falls trailhead and Picnic Area, the Vivian Creek trail is just upstream across from the stream bed. We were on the trail around 6:30 AM, which worked well as that gave us sunlight from the very beginning.
The day was incredibly warm, so most people were delayering by the time we made it to Vivian Creek camp, which is about 2 miles in from the cars. The trail was beautiful, and snow-covered almost everything.
As we started up the switchbacks towards Halfway Camp, the amount of snow on the trail started dropping quite a bit, and was only spotty from Halfway Camp to High Creek camp. The real fun began after we crossed High Creek and started what are normally the big switchbacks leading up one of the final ridges. Since no one had brought snowshoes, I made the (foolish) decision of following some other steps at a diagonal across the ridge. This ended up costing us a lot of time, and wasted an incredible amount of energy, as once we crested the ridge, we still had a good distance to go in order to get to where the trail normally crested the ridge. The better option would have been to proceed directly up the chute, but I’m not 100% sure that would have worked either due to our lack of snowshoes.
Once we made it to the point on the ridge where the trail normally leads, it was time to start heading down, saving the summit for another day (it was already 2:30 PM, and I didn’t relish the idea of being on the trails after things started getting really icy).
We made it back down to the cars around 6:30 PM, as things had gotten quite a bit more slippery farther down the trail than they were on the way up.
Overall, it was a great hike, and really proved that you can’t guess exactly what the mountain is going to give you on any given day.
Thanks to Enrique Lucha for providing the GPX track of the hike, my phone (as normal) was on the fritz. Note that this track isn’t 100% accurate as the GPS died a couple of miles away from the trailhead (but it lasted much longer than my phone did!)