San Gabriels vs San Bernardinos vs San Jacintos

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

San Gabriels vs San Bernardinos vs San Jacintos

Postby OldsRocket » Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:59 am

Which range is the most beautiful? Which range is the most peaceful (solitude)? Which range is the cleanest and which is the most abused (graffiti and trash)? Which range offers the most hiking and backpacking? Which range seems the safest (are there areas to avoid as a solo hiker/backpacker)?
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Re: San Gabriels vs San Bernardinos vs San Jacintos

Postby Wildhorse » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:47 am

Viewed from Palm Springs and Cathedral City, or from the 10, I think the San Jacintos are the most beautiful. I also think that was generally true of hiking in these mountains before the fire a few years ago that burned through their heart.

In the San Bernardino Mountains, I most prefer the walk up the White Water River into the San Gorgonio Wilderness.

The San Gabriels offer many beautiful day hikes into the canyons north of the 210 freeway. To my taste, the lower elevations are more beautiful than the higher elevations in those mountains.

San Jacintos are probably safest. Mountain lions but no bears.

All offer extensive day hiking, and limited backpacking compared to the Sierras.
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Re: San Gabriels vs San Bernardinos vs San Jacintos

Postby Sose » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:30 pm

I could never choose which is more beautiful as they all are in their own way. Something that I've noticed and wonder if anybody else does, is that the San Jacintos smell so good! The mixture of chinquapin, pine, and sun is almost like incense. Another thing is that I've done 15 to 20 mile hike/climbs in the San Gabriels and come home with clean clothes! Must be that they are mostly rock and scree.
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Re: San Gabriels vs San Bernardinos vs San Jacintos

Postby zippetydude » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:50 pm

My 2 cents:

San Gabriels - Closer to LA so they're more crowded and more developed. I have limited experience in the San Gabriels, having done Baldy only twice and those experiences were limited to the "Run to the Top" race in September. What are the good sides to the San Gabriels?

San Gorgonio Wilderness - Coolest, tallest and with the most water. Also, once you have attained the ridge that runs from San Bernardino Peak to Dollar Lake Saddle the trail climbs and falls very little, so you have a beautiful, easy path for several miles at 10,000 feet of elevation. When South Fork reopens, that is a beautiful route, probably my favorite of any trails in the three areas.

San Jacinto Wilderness - Greatest escarpment on the north side, great for steep challenging hikes like C2C. The south side features magnificent exposed granite features (like Suicide Rock) that are reminiscent of that in the Sierras, and huge boulders that are pleasing to the eye and fun to climb on.


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Re: San Gabriels vs San Bernardinos vs San Jacintos

Postby Sose » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:48 am

In answer to the question "What are the good sides of the San Gabriels", I would say the other sides. Recently did the north backbone trail via the acorn trail from Wrightwood for a birthday hike. Started out from Wrightwood before dawn, made it to the top about 10:30, and back to the truck around 3. This is one of the most scenic and challenging hikes in So Cal. Straight ridge climb over 3 peaks with a little class 2. Google north backbone for some excellent descriptions and pictures. Keep in mind the ridge climbs are much higher and steeper in person than they appear in pictures!
Total mileage: 15.5
Elevation gain (round trip): 6,850
Deer encountered: 1
Bighorn Sheep encountered: 3
Hikers encountered: 0
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Re: San Gabriels vs San Bernardinos vs San Jacintos

Postby zippetydude » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:09 pm

That looks awesome! Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try...

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