San Gorgonio Peak via Fish Creek Trail

Big Bear, California 92315

San Gorgonio Peak via Fish Creek Trail

San Gorgonio Peak via Fish Creek Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The trail begins in the wilderness and its beauty is apparent from the very first steps. Wildflowers blossom and green grasses grow alongside the banks of beautiful Fish Creek. As the path wanders into meadows, wildlife is abundant, especially in the early morning and early evening. At the peak, the views are second to none. This is truly the high point of Southern California proper."

More San Gorgonio Peak via Fish Creek Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Afoot and Afield: Inland Empire (Wilderness Press)
David & Jennifer Money Harris
View more trails from this guide book
"Fish Creek drops down the northeast slopes of San Gorgonio Mtn. A long dirt road leads high up into its headwaters. The Fish Creek Trail, completed in 1971, is the easiest route to the summit, and is also one of the most lightly used, so you are likely to be able to get a permit when the more popular Vivian Creek and South Fork Trail have reached their quotas. The forests, meadows, and wide-ranging views are magnificent and this route would likely see as much travel as the others if the trailhead were closer to the highway. Fish Creek also provides backpackers access to excellent camping at Mineshaft Flats."

San Gorgonio Peak via Fish Creek Trail Trip Reports

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon2 Total
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
We only made it to the Saddle which was our destination. We set out thinking that the trail would be fairly simple because of all the maps we saw and a review we read. The first part was fine up to Fish Creek Campsite. After Fish Creek it's a climb to the Saddle. It's about 6-7 miles from Fish Creek Trail Head to the Saddle and I wouldn't suggest doing the hike in the heat of a summer day. This is a beautiful time to go.

I would strongly suggest that you do the trip in of couple days. We did the trek to the Saddle and back in 25 hours. Next time we'll stay at Fish Creek Campsite, then at the Saddle and perhaps actually make it to the peak that way. From the Saddle I hear the peak of San G. isn't too far away so that could be a day trip if you stay at the Saddle.

If you want to have time to enjoy the stillness of the forest and the stunning views I would strongly suggest taking a few days to go. If you like to push yourself and challenge yourself you can hike to the Saddle from Fish Creek Trail head in one day but seriously not recommended. Also fill up your water bottles at Fish Creek no water until Mine Shaft.

It's a beautiful hike. After Fish Creek it gets hot and lots of steep switch backs for about 3 miles. Remember simple carbs are great to boost your energy, lots of fruit and raisens are great. There are some rock seats to sit on every now and then so take advantage even if you're not tired.
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
I haven't actually gone all the way to the peak but have explored this trail a couple of times. Less than a mile in from the dirt road is a magical Aspen forest, probably one of the best Fall destinations in Southern California. It's a sea of quivering yellow in October. East coasters will feel more at home.

San Gorgonio Peak via Fish Creek Trail Photos

Trail Information

Big Bear
Nearby City
3,550 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
11 hours or overnight
Late spring to late fall
7,950 feet
Trailhead Elevation
11,500 feet
Top Elevation
San Bernardino National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS San Gorgonio Mountain
Local Maps

Trail Log