Kitching Peak

Banning, California

Kitching Peak Professional Review and Guide

"This fine day hike leads to a panoramic viewpoint on the edge of the wildest mountain country in southern California. Kitching Peak stands like a great throne overlooking the San Gorgonio Pass country. From its summit, massive San Gorgonio Mountain looms bold in the northwest, and San Jacinto Peak, its majestic northeast escarpment soaring 10,000 feet above the floor of Coachella Valley, seems close enough to touch. Although Kitching Peak lies at the drier southeast end of the San Bernardino Mountains, it stands high enough to capture adequate moisture from Pacific storms funneling through San Gorgonio Pass. On the upper slopes of the peak, cool stands of white fir offer welcome shade to hikers as well as to the variety of wildlife that inhabits the area. Kitching Peak lies within the wildest and most remote mountain wilderness within southern California—the headwaters of the Whitewater River. In this mostly trail-less region of the San Bernardino Mountains, hikers can find solitude and a wilderness experience available in few other places in southern California’s mountains. Here, in the remote southeastern corner of the San Gorgonio Wilderness, bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lion, and black bear thrive. In fact, unusually large black bears inhabit the area, some weighing in excess of 500 pounds. Black bears are not native to southern California; they were introduced in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains from the southern Sierra Nevada in the 1930s."

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Trail Information

Banning
Nearby City
9.4
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
4 to 5 hours
Duration
Best mid-April through June and mid-September through November
Season
4,200 feet
Trailhead Elevation
6,598 feet
Top Elevation
San Bernardino National Forest, San Gorgonio Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Cabazon, San Gorgonio Mountain, Catclaw Flat, Whitewater
Local Maps
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Activity Feed

Jun 2018