San Gorgonio Wilderness Map

San Gorgonio Mountain is the highest peak in California south of the Sierra at 11,499 ft. The wilderness encompasses an incredible transition between desert, and mountain environments, including an enormous variety of thriving plant and animal species, in addition to bear, deer, mountain lion and bighorn sheep.

San Gorgonio Mountain was originally known as “Old Grayback” by those that lived around it, until it was officially changed by the USGS. The summit of the nearby 10,649 ft San Bernardino Peak was the starting point in 1852 from which the entirety of Southern California was surveyed.

Most of the Wilderness is above 7,500 ft. Water is usually a problem to find in this wilderness. The numerous streams in the Wilderness Area do not always flow in late summer and fall. Two small lakes, several meadows, and expansive forested areas provide a beautiful sierra-like alpine experience. The ridge-line hike is among the best in the region.

There are more than 20 back country trail camps spread throughout the wilderness. There are 80 miles of trails in the National Forest section of the Wilderness, and over 20 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the BLM land to the east . 

Permits are required for both Day Hikes and Overnight backpacking.

Southern Sierra Trail Map
Check out our San Bernardino National Forest Trail Map to help you explore the San Gorgonio Wilderness area.

San Gorgonio Wilderness Association (SGWA) offers Permits, Weather Conditions, a new Trail Conditions Map, (old google Trail Conditions Map), Trail listing and mileages, and much more.

Here is a reddit page dedicated to Southern Calif Hiking


Southfork is the best option to access the high peaks, Aspen Grove & Fish Creek require 4×4 access. All trails require a permit for day hiking

Vivian Creek (6310′)
Momyer (5530′)
San Bernardino Peak (5950′)
Forsee (6770′)
South Fork (6910′)
Lost Creek (6240′)
Aspen Grove (7435′)
Fish Creek (8100′)

Backcountry Camps:

All camps require a permit for overnight camping and all require a strenuous climb

Columbine Springs (8015′)
Johns Meadow (7310′)
Limber Pine (9320′)
Jackstraw (9375′)
Trailfork Springs (10,385′)
Anderson Flat (10,600′)
Alger Creek (7070′)
Dobbs Cabin (7220′)
Saxton (8500′)
Dollar Lake (9220′)
Grinell Ridge (8050′)
Halfway (7990′)
High Creek (9275′)
Summit Camp (11,400′)
Trail Flat (9400′)
Lodgepole (9150′)
Fish Creek Saddle (9800′)
Mineshaft Flat (9140′)
Bigtree (8530′)

Water Sources:

SGWA Facebook Page with trail and water updates

Hikin’ Jim’s Blog – a detailed report of the area

A List of Known Water Sources

  • Big Tree: Water year round.
  • Mineshaft Flat: Water year round. Located 0.3 mile down trail below the camp
  • South Fork Meadows: Water year round.
  • Vivian Trail Camp: Water year round.
  • Alger Creek: Water year round.
  • Dobbs Camp: Water year round.
  • Saxton: Water year round.
  • High Creek Trail Camp: Water is normally available year round.
  • Halfway Trail Camp: Water not reliable, but usually avail until mid to late summer
  • Dollar Lake: normally no water
  • Fish Creek Camp: Stream crosses trail .5 miles up from camp. Can be a trickle but still pumpable.
  • Lodgepole Spring: A tiny spring below the trail before you get to the lake that is usually reliable.

Transportation around Big Bear:

Public transportation from Mountain Transit

Private transportation around Big Bear from Jayride