San Bernardino Peak Trail via Angelus Oaks
One of the best-kept secrets of Southern California is San Bernardino Mountain. Just five miles away from the highest peak in SoCal - San Gorgonio - San Bernardino tops out at a respectable 10,649 feet. Hiking from Angelus Oaks, this 15-mile out-and-back trail climbs over 4,700 vertical feet. It makes for a very long day hike or a great weekend backpacking trip.
This trail has amazing views that begin very early in the hike. San Bernardino Peak is one of the lesser known (and lesser traveled) peaks in SoCal, providing a nice break from the more crowded trails like Mount San Antonio.
There are three distinct sections to this trail. The first section climbs steadily up well-engineered switchbacks through oak and pine forest. You gain a lot of elevation quickly, but the trail is smooth and not too steep.
The second section gently climbs through manzanita, with beautiful views to the north towards Big Bear.
The trail beings to climb up the final slope as you near Limber Pines. There is a small seasonal creek that you'll cross about 1/2 mile before Limber Pines.
Limber Pines is where the weekend backpackers often setup camp, and it makes a great place for a break before your final climb.
The third and final section follows switchbacks up the steep slope to Washington's Monument, then parallels the ridge to the top of San Bernardino Peak.