HomeAdventuresChallenging SOCAL Hikes

With an elevation gain of 10,300′, the Cactus to Clouds Trail has one of the greatest elevation increases among day-hike routes in the United States. It is 16 miles from the trailhead to the summit (+5.5 more miles back to the Sram station), making it one of the steeper trails of its length in the world.

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While Iron Mountain, also known as Big Iron, is far lower in elevation than other Southern California summits, it is the most difficult mountain to climb in the entire region. The trail follows a series of high mountain ridges to the summit, gaining 7,300′ of elevation – 3.500′ in the last two miles alone. 

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San Bernardino Peak is one of my favorite local hikes. It’s never crowded like many of the other trails, and the scenery is beautiful. I’ve been wanting to go for months, but the weather and my schedule have not cooperated.

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Once we made it to the top of the bowl, the view was incredible. From the summit ridge, we could see Catalina Island clearly and we could even see boats on the water. I’ve been to the summit of Mount Baldy many times and I have never seen it so clear…

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The Yucaipa Ridge is clearly visible from the 10 freeway as you pass Redlands east bound. The ridge of four small peaks is dwarfed by San Gorgonio Mountain behind it – so much so that you never give it a second look. Yet behind these little mountains lies one of the best hikes in Southern California. Verdi, with the San Jacinto Hiking Club, posted a hike that traversed these mountains with sections of “class 3 and class 4 scrambling.”

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It was another Saturday when I knew Bec was going to be doing homework, so I decided I would go out and hike a peak. I found that the San Jacinto Hiking Club was doing a six-peak, 22-mile hike in the San Gorgonio area. When I saw that, I thought, “Okay, this will be my speed; I’ll get out there and push it up.” Unfortunately, I did a really, really hard workout on Friday at CrossFit and I was still pretty sore…

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The Pine Mountain Traverse is a tough point-to-point hike across one of the most remote areas in the San Gabriel Mountains. The route has 4,690′ of elevation gain and 7,700′ of elevation loss if you end your trip in…

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I managed to talk Manny Castillo into another hike – which would prove to be more “epic rough” than the last one. After a half mile, the route cuts across the creek then follows a steep avalanche chute to Sugarloaf Peak, then…

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