San Gorgonio BackpackingHigh altitude adventure with a string of summits

4 Days
4 Days
28.0 miles
$995 non-peak member
About the trip

Traverse above treeline on Southern California's tallest mountains

A challenge of mythical proportions, San Gorgonio rises up out of the desert floor in the Sand to Snow National Monument. This sky island stands tall and imposing with a profile clearly visible from Mount Whitney, 190 miles away.

High above the lodgepole pines and with clouds at your feet, you will drink from streams and bathe in sunlight along a serpentine ridgeline of seven summits before you rest on Old Greyback, San Gorgonio itself, standing over the region at 11,500 ft. Descending through mountain meadows for a final, fourth night in the mountains, your team will celebrate an epic accomplishment.

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Level 7/10
4 Days



Day 01

Today, we'll depart Los Angeles in the early morning. Those arriving through LAX should plan arrivals no later than 9:15 AM. After our pick up, we’ll arrive at Forsee Creek for a trailhead briefing and thorough gear check. Meandering upwards, with everything we need for the trip carried neatly on our backs, the group will arrive at Limber Pine Bench, our first campground. Over a meal cooked on small gas stoves, your guides will share stories of the millenia past, and the days to come. (Meals: D)

Hiking Distance: 6.7Hiking Time: 5 hours

Day 02

From Limber Pine Bench, our trail takes us up to High Meadow Springs. Now fully on the serpentine spine of the range, we have epic views of our path to come. (Meals: B, L, D)
Hiking Distance: 6.7Hiking Time: 4 hours

Day 03

The big day has arrived. Starting early, we’ll watch the sunrise over San Gorgonio backdropped by the Sierras in the far distance. Once we arrive on top of this high point of Southern California, we’ll celebrate and sign the logbook but we aren’t done for the day. Continuing on, we’ll begin our descent, ultimately arriving at Dry Lake to set up our final camp. (Meals: B, L, D)
Hiking Distance: 10.4Hiking Time: 6 hours

Day 04

From Dry Lake we can look back and admire at how far we’ve come. It’s a steady downhill from here back to the trailhead. At a nearby campground facility we’ll have showers available and be ready to hit the road before 4pm. Flights today should be booked after 8PM or for the day following out of Los Angeles. (Meals: B)
Hiking Distance: 6.1Hiking Time: 3 hours

Here’s what you need


Essential Gear
  • Backpack, sized 55-75 L
  • Backpacking Tent (available to rent for an additional fee)
  • Sleeping Bag, rated 20 degrees or lower (available to rent for an additional fee)
  • Sleeping Pad (available to rent for an additional fee)
  • Water bottles or Camelbak, 3L total minimum capacity
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Mug, bowl, and utensil
  • Small towel or facecloth
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
Recommended Items
  • Trekking Poles
  • Camera
  • Journal


Essential Clothing
  • Hiking boots with sturdy soles
  • Wool hiking socks, multiple pairs
  • Long sleeve base layers (wool or synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Long pant base layer (wool or synthetic and moisture wicking, like running tights)
  • Light synthetic shirt or tank for warmer days
  • Hiking pants
  • Warm mid layers (fleece, puffy)
  • Waterproof, windproof shell
  • Light gloves
  • Heavy pair of gloves or mittens
  • Warm hat
  • Balaclava or buff
  • Casual clothes for the ride home

Trip Package

  • Round Trip Transportation from Los Angeles
  • Licensed and medically trained guide team
  • Meals as outlined in itinerary
  • Group equipment
  • Park permits and fees
Not included
  • Airfare to Los Angeles
  • Personal gear and equipment
  • Meals not outlined in itinerary
  • Gratuity for guides


To ensure enough time to transit to and from the trailhead, flights should arrive no later than 9:15 AM on Day 01, and depart after 8:00 PM on Day 04. Initial/Final night of accommodations are available as an add-on upon checkout.


Prepare for dramatically fluctuating temperatures and the potential for high winds. Seventies at the trailhead can easily translate to freezing on the summits. Warmth from a strong sun will fade fast as night falls in the alpine zone. Rain is uncommon in this area but raingear is recommended as it makes for ideal protection in the windy conditions that often occur on these peaks high above the desert floor.


Every night on this adventure will be on the mountain in tents. Shower facilities with hot water will be available on the final day in a nearby campsite before returning to the city.


This trip does not require technical climbing skills or experience. It does, however, require a high level of physical fitness. We strongly encourage our hikers to experience hiking on rugged trails, particularly up and down steep hills, while carrying weight. The difference in difficulty while carrying the weight of a fully loaded backpack can sometimes come as a surprise to hikers, so you are encouraged to try challenging day hikes with a weighted backpack. Those who are in good shape are more likely to enjoy the experience and the views along the trail. Give yourself adequate time to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new. Additional training recommendations are available to registrants.

Dates and Prices

The right trip,
at the right time.

Price From
Jun 1, 2019
Jun 4, 2019