06/08/2020 at 1:55 pm #4240
Trying to plan the best (most enjoyable) route up Gorgonio for an overnighter this weekend. We plan to start at South Fork TH and continue past Dollar Lake and camp at Red Rock flat.
1. SGWA website says there is a spring there at Red Rock Flat… but For some reason I don’t believe this… Is it the same spring as High Meadow Springs?
2. I assume there is still water at Dollar Lake, and if so, should i just load up on water there as an easier source before going further up to the peak?
Thanks for the info!
06/08/2020 at 2:33 pm #4242shawnsislerParticipant
I don’t know where you saw that Red Rock Flat has water. If you could please give the SGWA website link or document you saw that states that.
Red Rock Flat Camp has no water. I would get water at Dry Lake on the way up to Red Rock Flat. Otherwise from Red Rock Flat Camp the nearest water is at High Meadow Springs which is just south of High Meadow Spring Camp and about 1 mile from Red Rock Flat Camp which is fairly level except for the 150ft drop in elevation to spring from High Meadow Springs Camp camp. Or Dollar Lake is about 750ft drop in elevation from Dollar Lake Saddle and a 1.5 mile from Red Rock Camp.
06/08/2020 at 4:23 pm #4244
I re-looked up where I found that mention: it is not on SGWA site. It is a comment that I mis-read on the USDA website. The comment is:
Dollar Lake Saddle (9,960’-no camping here, no water) is located 0.7 miles beyond Dollar Lake. From the saddle, it is 5 miles to the summit. One popular campsite accessible from Dollar Lake Saddle is Red Rock Flat (10,100’,) ¼ mile west of the saddle. High Meadow Springs (10,400’) is ½ mile further with water available for both camps.
I mis-read the final sentence as “with water available AT both camps”.
Sorry for confusion. thanks for clearing it up.
If you were doing my route, would you camp at high meadows, red rock, or at dollar lake?
06/08/2020 at 4:40 pm #4246
Are you planning on returning the way you came? Or are you going to descend via the Sky High Trail and Dry Lake?
Last time I did something like this, I tanked up at Dollar Lake and camped at Dry Lake View. I had the place to myself, and it was a nice time. Nothing wrong with Red Rock Flat, though.
I think that High Meadow Springs is nicer than either Red Rock or Dry Lake View, but it’s out of your way, and getting water there is a little bit of a chore. You have to search around for the water, and the flow is low. When the water is flowing at Dollar Lake, it’s pretty easy to gather.
One more thing about High Meadow Springs: I’d say it’s about a mile and a quarter west from Dollar Lake Saddle. It’s just about a mile from the saddle to the turn off to camp, and then it’s a quarter to a third mile steeply down to the water. If that site is saying that High Meadow Springs is only 1/2 a mile west of the saddle, I think they’re off, way off. If you’re going to go to High Meadow Springs, you’re adding about 2.5 miles to your trip.
06/08/2020 at 4:49 pm #4247
Thanks for your comments!!
I mostly just wanted to camp with a view.. preferrably something that would be good for sunset… and the following morning get sunrise at gorgonio summit…
Do you recommend the loop, and go down via sky high trail instead of coming back the way we came?
06/09/2020 at 3:33 pm #4281
Take a look at this map: https://caltopo.com/m/2F7R
Notice how the view due west from Red Rock Flat goes straight into the S. Ridge of Anderson Peak. Your camp is at about 10,100′. The view west intersects the S. Ridge of Anderson at about 10,100′. In other words, your camp’s elevation is about the same as the ridge. I don’t think you’re going to have a great view of the Sunset.
Then look at the view due west from Dry Lake View. Dry Lake View is at about 10,500′, and the view west intersects the S. Ridge of Anderson at about 8,500′. In other words, your camp is 2000′ higher than the ridge. I think you’re going to have a much better sunset view from Dry Lake View.
Incidentally, if you like sunset views, Limber Pine Bench is my personal favorite, but that would be for another hike.
As for doing the loop, yes, I would recommend it, but it will be a bit longer. If you can get the permit, Lodgepole is a good place to stop for a second night, or, if you’re a strong hiker, you can hike all the way out. I like seeing as wide a variety of scenery as possible, and this loop, the South Fork Loop is one of the classics of the San Gorgonio Wilderness.
Be aware that of course there will be no water from the Dollar Lake area to the Dry Lake area.
See also my blog post on some of the loops in the wilderness. I’ll post the link below. If you put more than one link in a post, your post typically goes into Never-Never land. However, note that the Grinnell Loop is currently in bad shape in lower Fish Creek.
06/09/2020 at 3:34 pm #4282
In case it is of interest: My blog post re six loop hikes in the San Gorgonio Wilderness: http://hikinjim.blogspot.com/2013/10/six-backpacking-loops-in-san-gorgonio.html
06/08/2020 at 8:43 pm #4249MikeHParticipant
I’ve never stayed at Red Rock or High Meadow, but I have stayed at Dry Lake View. I remember it being a pretty tough hike up to it after Dollar Lake as I was carrying a ton of water from the Dry Lake/ Dollar Lake split.
But I remember after waking up in the morning, the walk to San G peak being very nice.
06/09/2020 at 7:07 pm #4283
Thanks for all the info Jim! I appreciate all the careful answers to my questions!
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