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San Bernardino Peak via Angeles Oaks

A long 16.5 mile day-hike with nearly 5,000 feet of vertical gain, and one of the best-kept secrets of SoCal.

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 15.7 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  One of the best-kept secrets of Southern California is San Bernardino Mountain. Just five miles away from the highest peak in SoCal — ... more »

Tips:  The first challenge with this hike is finding the trailhead. I was able to find it on Google Maps, but the directions Google gave me... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Angeles Oaks Trailhead Parking

The first challenge with this trail is finding the trailhead parking. Look for the Angeles Oaks fire station, and turn left on the frontage road. You'll see the most detailed road sign I've ever seen (see photo).

You'll find the gravel trailhead parking at the end of a bumpy 1/4 mile dirt-and-gravel road. You can drive it in a sedan with caution... More

2. [JCT] Manzanita Flats

This a a four-way junction. A side trail to the south heads to a spring that was used in the past for pack animals. Continue straight ahead following the trail signs for Limber Pines.

This section of the trail is easy, following the side of the ridge with great views to the north toward Big Bear Lake.

3. Limber Pines Campground

This makes a great rest spot before hitting the switchbacks for the final ascent.

There are primitive backpacking campsites available, although water is only available seasonally. It dries up in the summer.

4. The North Face

The north face of Cucamonga Peak holds snow late into the season. It's not unusually to find wide sections covering the trail well into June.

5. Washington Monument

This monument has nothing to do with our first president. In 1852, Colonel Henry Washington and his Army survey party were directed to erect a monument atop San Bernardino Peak. The monument was the east-west reference point from which all future surveys of Southern California were taken.

6. San Bernardino Peak

At 10,649 feet above sea level, this peak isn't the tallest in SoCal, but it's a respectable hike. Congratulations, you've hiked up nearly 5,000 vertical feet!

If you have the time and energy, you can continue east on along the ridge another .5 miles to the slightly higher East San Bernardino Peak.

Looking down to the south is Mill Creek and... More