San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

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San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby backpackpack » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:54 pm

Hello my friends,

I have not been here much because I have not been camping much recently, too busy with things. But I would like to plan a trip up Mt San Gorgonio and I had a few questions.

If I take the vivian creek trail, I would like to hike to high creek camp on the first day and sleep there. Then I would like to hike up to the top. I have some questions:

Is there always water at high creek?
If I hike to the top can I camp up there or do I need to go back down to high creek?
Are there bears?

Anything else I should consider?

Thank you all
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Re: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby GoPlayer » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:48 pm

backpackpack wrote:...
If I take the vivian creek trail, I would like to hike to high creek camp on the first day and sleep there. Then I would like to hike up to the top. I have some questions:

Is there always water at high creek?
If I hike to the top can I camp up there or do I need to go back down to high creek?
Are there bears?

...


The San Gorgonio Wilderness Association website (search via google) may answer some of your questions. They are working on their forum and it looks to me like all the posts are gone.
Here is my attempt at some answers:
1) Don't know about the water situation.
2) I believe you have to camp at the site for which your permit was issued. They do issue permits for the camp area on the summit
3) Yes, the area has bears.
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Re: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby Ellen » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:30 pm

Howdy Backpackpack :)

Excellent water flow at High Creek.

As GoPlayer noted, (1 you need to camp at the site{s) for which your permit is issued and 2) you can camp at the summit (your last water is at High Creek).

A bear canister is required. At the very least, it will protect your food from chipmunks, squirrels and field squirrels.

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Re: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby GoPlayer » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:30 pm

Ellen wrote:....Excellent water flow at High Creek.....


Hi Ellen,
that's excellent news as I'm going up there next weekend. I will likely pass the High Creek area in the dark though. Therefore my question: Is there water right a the trail or does it require some searching in the creek bed/off trail?

Thanks.
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Re: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby guest » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:52 pm

Hello friends,
Can you obtain a day use Vivian Creek to summit permit online?
I've searched SGWA site, and it looks like the old, archaic fax or mail still?
Have you had luck getting on on a wkend, or just weekday?

Thxs ss
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Re: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby Sally » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:57 pm

The water at high creek is rather easy to find. On my trip last week I had to step over it!
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Re: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby GoPlayer » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:32 am

Sally wrote:The water at high creek is rather easy to find. On my trip last week I had to step over it!


Thanks Sally. That's perfect and will allow us to hike with much less weight.

guest wrote:...Can you obtain a day use Vivian Creek to summit permit online?
I've searched SGWA site, and it looks like the old, archaic fax or mail still?
Have you had luck getting on on a wkend, or just weekday?


I only know about the fax/mail deal, but I recently discovered that they have put up a page that gives an indication of available permits:
http://sgwa.org/wilderness-permits/permit-availability/
Using that page I was able to find a Vivien overnight permit on a weekend just 2 weeks away. Day hike permits were all gone for the desired date. The table shows plenty of permits for weekdays.
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Re: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby guest » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:33 am

Thanks GoPlayer, I did notice this too. At least we have an indication that we can a change of getting out desired date / trail.

ss
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Re: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby backpackpack » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:19 pm

So what is the deal with bears?

From reading, to be "bear safe" they say some pretty crazy stuff like store, prepare and eat all of my food 200 yards from wear I am sleeping, do not have any equipment that I have ever had food in (like if I ate a power bar in my tent) and change my clothes after I cook and eat and don't sleep in those clothes, and store them 200 yards away from my camp.

Do you guys do that? What precautions should I take? I don't want a bear to eat me, but I know people go up to San Gorgonio all the time and bear attacks are super rare.
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Re: San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Postby zippetydude » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:09 pm

Yes, you are right, you most certainly will not be eaten by a bear. Those are instructions for someone backpacking in an area where there are huge numbers of bears that are accustomed to humans and the food they carry, like in the Mammoth or Yosemite areas. The bears here are somewhat conditioned, largely from wandering down into Forest Falls and finding human food in garbage cans, etc. at the picnic area. However, they are not so numerous as in other areas and sightings are fairly rare in the San G Wilderness. It should be sufficient to keep your food in a bear canister and to make sure you wash any dishes you either cook or eat out of. Changing clothes and checking for every last morsel that might have come in contact with your clothing or tent would be a lot of unnecessary work.

That being said, like HJ mentioned, squirrels will not hesitate to nibble their way into a tent if there are a few good smelling chips inside, so while you won't be in any danger if there's a stray Cheeto in there, your tent may have a hole in it if you leave it unattended with enough food to attract them. I usually just leave the tent open so they can go in and explore while I'm gone without having to create their own entrance. It's kind of comical when I occasionally return to see a little tiny head poking out of my tent looking at me. I like the little critters so I enjoy the encounter.

BTW, I had looked into this some time ago when I did some trail runs at night, starting at about 2:00 in the morning. Everything is spookier at night! Turns out that 30,000+ people are killed in auto accidents each year (in the US), about 25,000 are killed by the flu, about 50 are killed when they are hit by lightning, from 20-30 are killed by dogs, about 5 die from rattle snake bites, and on average 2 people are killed by bears. So, camping at High Creek or on the Summit, since you won't be driving on the trail, and it's summer so hopefully you won't contract the flu, and I imagine you have the sense to come down from the mountain if a monsoon storm rolls in (so that rules out lightning), dogs are required to stay on leashes, and rattlers are extremely uncommon at that elevation, I'd say you're probably as safe as you are ever going to be while you are up there. The danger lies in coming back down...

Have fun!

z
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