Shields Peak Trail

Redlands, California

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This trek takes you up and up into the San Gorgonio Wilderness. There is no easy way into this high country; every trail to the tallest crest in Southern California gains at least 3500 feet, and the shortest way to the top is just under 7 miles. Anyway you slice it, getting to the San Bernardino Divide is an all day workout. Make sure your dogs can handle this type of trip before setting out on this one. Even the best-conditioned dogs can wear out at this distance, elevation, and duration. My dogs and I have bagged Shields, Anderson, and San Bernardino East in a day, and by the end of the trail, they were in misery. The trail is a good one, dirt-and duff-covered a majority of the way, but gravelly in parts. Shields Peak itself is a short, rocky semi-scramble to the summit; your pooches can make it, but check their paws before the final push up the peak. There is normally very little water along this trail, except at the two springs, so make sure to remember the little guys and pack in quite a bit extra. When you reach the San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail, turn left. Follow it to the rocky base of Shields Peak. The summit push is off-trail, due to the boulders leading to the peak.
Best Hikes with Dogs: Southern California

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Dogs: Southern California

by Allen Riedel (The Mountaineers Books)

This trek takes you up and up into the San Gorgonio Wilderness. There is no easy way into this high country; every trail to the tallest crest in Southern California gains at least 3500 feet, and the shortest way to the top is just under 7 miles. Anyway you slice it, getting to the San Bernardino Divide is an all day workout. Make sure your dogs can handle this type of trip before setting out on this one. Even the best-conditioned dogs can wear out at this distance, elevation, and duration. My dogs and I have bagged Shields, Anderson, and San Bernardino East in a day, and by the end of the trail, they were in misery. The trail is a good one, dirt-and duff-covered a majority of the way, but gravelly in parts. Shields Peak itself is a short, rocky semi-scramble to the summit; your pooches can make it, but check their paws before the final push up the peak. There is normally very little water along this trail, except at the two springs, so make sure to remember the little guys and pack in quite a bit extra. When you reach the San Bernardino Peak Divide Trail, turn left. Follow it to the rocky base of Shields Peak. The summit push is off-trail, due to the boulders leading to the peak.

©  Allen Riedel/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Redlands
Distance: 12.2
Elevation Gain: 4,000 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 7.5 hours
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: San Bernardino National Forest, Mill Creek Ranger Station
Local Maps: USGS Big Bear Lake
Topo Map: Shields Peak Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Best Hikes with Dogs: Southern California Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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