07/15/2019 at 8:09 am #3108
Good Morning and Happy Monday All!
Hiking this week from the San Bernardino Peak Trailhead, camping the first night at Limber Pine Bench Camp, then arcoss to San G to High Creek the second night and down Vivian. I know what to expect after dollar lake saddle. I’ve hiked all that before. From the trailhead to Dollar Lake Saddle is all new territory for me.
What is the water like for this stretch?
I see on maps there is Limber Pine Spring, any water here? how far is this from the actual camp area?
Also any advice for this trail, we are going to be hitting the nine peaks all the way to San G would be appreicated. I have all trails downloaded on my phone, and I have the maps on my Garmin inreach ready to go as well.
Thank you in advance!
07/15/2019 at 8:47 am #3110
Limber pine spring is a perennial water source. it’s a nice little stream that’s easy to get water from, and it’s at the end of the first switchback above the camp at limber pine bench. limber pine bench is a fantastic place to camp. Aside from snow melt, I don’t think you’ll find much water along the divide proper beyond limber pine spring and your next known source beyond dollar lake saddle. Trail fork spring is another nearly-perennial source of water that is just a small detour conveniently located midway on your traverse to dollar lake saddle. Kind of a pain to drop down to, though, especially if you’re summiting Anderson.
If it were me, i’d just get enough water at limber pine to get me to gorgonio and down to high creek. Everyone’s different, but for me, that’d be about 4 liters. There are probably still plenty of patches of snow to melt high on the north face of gorgonio if you need some water in a pinch. The last year we had a winter like this, i remember melting snow up there in august!
You’re in for a treat! Take your time traversing the divide between san bernardino and dollar lake saddle; that’s my favorite part of the wilderness. the views, especially from san bernardino east peak and from a “lookout point” just below and to the south of Anderson peak, are incredible. if you’re tagging all the peaks, you can almost ignore the trail along the divide and just walk the ridge, using the trail where it’s convenient.
07/15/2019 at 10:14 am #3112
Thank you much for getting back to me! This is great information. Yes, I think we will depend on Limbre pine and High creek for water. Thats perfect!
Like a said above, I will have the gps to guide us, but am I okay to assume that visually spotting the peaks is pretty easy? Reading the topo it seems like they will be pretty dominant along the trail.
Oh and thank you for the new term, perennial, not going to lie, had to look that one up to be sure I was taking it in the right context! 🙂
07/15/2019 at 7:46 pm #3113stbrnnrParticipant
Should it remain really warm on the ridge next weekend and you find yourselves going through your Limber Pine water faster than anticipated…there’s another bailout source between Alto Diablo Pk and Red Rock Flat, prior to reaching Dollar Saddle: High Meadow Springs (see some previous reports mentioning it below). It’s both a SGWA-sanctioned camp spot and reliable water source but doesn’t always show up on electronic maps. If your phone/In Reach don’t show ‘HMS’–obtain printed or download paper maps, e.g., via Caltopo (be sure to click “forest service” overlay in left sidebar). HMS is not shown on my (free) Gaia phone app, for ex. SW-bearing spur trail from Divide Trail to HMS camp and springs is signed. Holler back here if you don’t see it…
07/15/2019 at 8:58 pm #3114
Oh snap! High Meadow…another perennial spring. Forgot all about that one. I’ve actually never been to the spring…I’ve never needed water at that point but it looks like a spot that’s worth a visit anyway, being only a couple hundred feet or so below the divide.
Between limber pine and Charleton peak, the divide trail basically goes right past all the peaks but two, and they’re short easy detours (with obvious trails for san b and san b east). The two exceptions (at least in my mind) are Anderson and Shields. In both cases, as soon as you get to the saddle at the west of the peak you can basically walk up the face or ridge of the peak to the summit and down the other side to rejoin the trail. Shields is a bit of an adventure. It’s short, but rocky. After dollar lake saddle, you can go straight up Charleton, which I assume is what most people do going from west to east. I don’t mind going down this face coming from the east, but from the west it’s much easier to take the trail around to the saddle east of little Charleton and go back west to summit little charleton and charleton, then retrace your steps to the trail. It only adds a mile to your trip.
From the saddle east/south of little charleton, it’s straight up and over jepson then down the other side and along the trail to gorgonio. if there are trails to the summits of anderson, shields, the charletons, and jepson, i’ve not found them. sometimes there’s cairned paths, but not always, and usually there’s a bunch of seemingly random cairns if there are any. If you just keep “going up” the peaks on the divide in the right general direction, you’ll get to the summit, and you’ll see your path to the next peak from there. Might be some false summits you go up needlessly on the way, but those are good too. You can see forever from all the peaks, pretty much!
07/16/2019 at 8:19 am #3115
stbrnnr, thank you for this, I just located it on the ” San Gorgonio Interactive Caltopo” I have saved from someone posting it. I will pin point that on my maps I have so I know where to look if needed!
Chris, thank you for all this, going to screen shot it and take this with me. Looking at the topo this all makes perfect sense! We planned on taking that saddle to the Charltons, and Jepson looks like it will be fun hahaha…
Last question for whomever,
How would you compare Vivian Creek Trail incline versus the climb to San Bernardino peak? I can see up to Limber Pine its about 3,340′ of gain. How would this compare to hiking Vivian to High Creek which is roughly 3,080′ of gain? Pretty similar as there mileage is just about the same as well? Just overall thoughts really lol. We are going to be starting in the evening on Thursday to beat the heat. Probably starting around 6-7pm.
09/20/2019 at 7:20 am #3339
Brittany and others…how was the trip? I am planning the route in October, round two. I attempted in the May, but conditions had me turn around at Anderson Peak. Any updates/etc would be awesome!
10/03/2019 at 12:32 pm #3356
Hey there, unfortunatly we had a car break down on us the day before our trip so we didn’t get to make it up there!
07/17/2019 at 8:10 am #3116
The mile or so of the Vivian Creek trail after you cross the creek and before you turn north into the hanging valley where vivian creek camp is located is more severe than any mile of the san bernardino peak trail. that said, the san bernardino peak trail starts you right out; there’s no warm up walk like the one you get going up mill creek. You’ll climb steadily for 2000 feet or so, then you get a nice mile-long stroll on what will seem like nearly flat ground through manzanita flats, which is a super-beautiful are of open manzanita, chinquapin and buckthorn and lots of really cool trees, including a number of spectacular flag trees. you’ll probably be there in early evening, just as the light gets really amazing. bring your camera!
beyond the wheelbarrow junction above columbine camp, you climb slowly to limber pine bench. From limber pine it’s another steady climb, never steep, to the washington monument, at which point you’re on the divide. as far as elevation gain over distance, the first couple miles are like the first couple miles of the forsee creek trail. i’m having trouble thinking of comparable sections of trail on Vivian. Beyond the wheelbarrow, i feel like the slope is similar to the vivian creek trail beyond high creek…hard to say.
Your first day will be a breeze. day two, assuming you summit all the peaks will be a pretty big day, comparable to gorgonio in a day, effort-wise. By the third day, you’ll be ready for a big meal at El Mexicano on your way home. 🙂
Starting on a Thursday, you’ll see almost nobody for the first two days. You’ll see the throngs heading up gorgonio on saturday, but you’ll be going the other direction. A good strategy.
07/17/2019 at 8:16 am #3117
oh, also…if you don’t already have a copy of the Tom Harrison map of the wilderness, it’s worth picking up a copy if it’s not too much trouble. if you have amazon prime and another $25 worth of stuff to buy, they’re showing same day delivery available (to me, at least, here in redlands).
You might have a map on your phone or GPS, which is good, especially for wayfinding or maybe just confirming you’re where you think you are, but you’ll find this map to be incredibly useful, as it shows the whole wilderness you’re going to be traversing. From any peak, it’s an indispensable reference as you look around and orient yourself.
07/17/2019 at 10:04 am #3118EdParticipant
The Tom Harrison maps are also available for smartphones, both Androids and iPhones. They work with the Avenza app, which is free. I like paper maps, but the ability to zoom in and out and instantly locate yourself on the map is great. Check the Tom Harrison website if you are interested.
10/14/2019 at 10:42 am #3596
Completed the SB Divide / 9 Peak…
Day #1 -started at Forsee TH…watered up at Limber Pine Springs (7 Liters) to Shield Flats for Night #1 (4 Peaks – SB, ESB, ANDERSON, SHIELDS).
Day #2 – Shields Flats to Vivian Creek Camp ….had enough water to High Creek, watered up there to Vivian Creek for Night #2 (5 peaks – AD, CH, LCH, JES, San G)
Day #3 – Vivian Creek Camp to Parking lot….(needed to be out really early)
I didn’t chance looking for water at Trail Forks, High Meadow, or Dollar Lake…once on the divide carrying the water weight was worth it.
BTW I saw a lot ill prepared people trying summit San G on Saturday …jeans, only one water bottle, late-starts, etc…
10/26/2019 at 12:40 pm #3635DaveHParticipant
I see from previous posts that limber pine spring seems to be flowing nicely. I have an overnight planned on November 9 and just wanted to hear from someone who has hiked recently to confirm water at limber pine.
10/27/2019 at 7:12 am #3636
Yes, you should be fine…it may be less flow but reliable.
10/27/2019 at 8:47 am #3637
Yeah, Dave, I was up there last weekend. Plenty of water at Limber Pine. We came up John’s Meadow trail and there was lots of water along there as well. No water at Trail Fork. We didn’t hike down to Columbine to see there. A few spots had water coming down Forsee Creek trail as well.
10/28/2019 at 9:30 pm #3646rayfoundParticipant
Was up this past weekend (Oct 26-27).
Plenty of water at Foresee creek near johns meadow (both sides),
Limber pine also flowing just fine, and jackstraw was easy to collect from. I did not see water at trail fork but I don’t think I ever was exactly on the “spot” of the springs as it were.
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