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San Gorgonio Mountain Summit Camp


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

 
 
 San Gorgonio Mountain Summit Camp

My tent sits in one of the rock walled sites atop Old Greyback. At 11,500 feet the summit of San Gorgonio Mountain is the tallest point in Southern California. This was my second time to camp on top and fourth time to the summit. The low rock walls have been built over the years by hikers looking for some amount of protection from the often brutal winds on the barren summit. Tonight the walls would not be needed. I reached the summit at 4:30 PM to completely calm conditions with no sign of any late afternoon thunderstorms.

The most direct route is an eight mile hike starting in Forest Falls up Vivian Creek Trail with 5400 feet of elevation gain. The route is very strenuous but straight forward up well established trail. Most people seem to attempt this as a marathon day hike, going the sixteen mile roundtrip in a single very long day. I much prefer the tradeoff of carrying the weight of a backpack and spending a night out on the mountain.

Depending on the amount of smog in the air, the view from the summit is impressive. Looking southeast offers a great view of San Jacinto Mountain and on to Palm Springs, Indio and even the Salton Sea. Further east is Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree National Park. On a clear day all of San Bernardino and Riverside counties are visible far below to the northwest.


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San Gorgonio Mountain - Summit Camp
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