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See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.

24M

Dragons Head

10,866'
(UTM 157719)

Location: San Bernardino County, about 12 miles north of Banning, 90 miles from Los Angeles

Maps

Auto Club: Los Angeles and Vicinity, San Bernardino Mountain Area
Forest Service: San Bernardino National Forest, A Guide to the San Gorgonio Wilderness
USGS Topo: San Gorgonio Mountain 7½
HPS: Route(s), waypoints and explanation of usage (Older version)

Nearby Peaks: Bighorn Mountain, San Gorgonio Peak,Dobbs Peak, Lake Peak, Ten Thousand Foot Ridge

Printable version of this route

ROUTE 1

(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 18 miles round trip on trail and cross-country
Gain: 4100' total, 3500' out plus 600' on return
Time: 8-9 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, moderate
Navigation: Moderate
Leader Rating: "I", normal conditions

Original: Joe Young, January 2000

DRIVING ROUTE 1

  • Take I-10 east past San Bernardino to the Orange Street exit (SR 38).
  • Go one block east, then go north (left) 0.5 mile to Lugonia Avenue. Turn right on SR 38 (east).
  • Continue east on SR 38 about 33 miles to 1N02 on the right, 1 mile past the first entrance to Heart Bar Campground. Turn right. Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 1.2 miles, fork. Go right on 1N05.
  • At 2.8 miles, Aspen Grove Trail 2E05 goes west.
  • At 6.9 miles, fork. Go right.
  • At 7.2 miles, fork. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) crosses the road here. Go right.
  • At 7.6 miles, fork. Go right.
  • At 7.7 miles, Fish Creek Trailhead (1W07). Park here.

HIKING ROUTE 1

  • From the parking area (8040'), hike trail 1W07 southwest about 1/2 mile to a junction with the Aspen Grove Trail.
  • Keep left on 1W07 and continue 4 miles to Fish Creek Saddle at 9805'. Follow the trail for another mile to Dry Lake Saddle. Shortly thereafter meet the trail to Mine Shaft Saddle (9960').
  • Turn left and follow the Sky High Trail. A sign indicates "San Gorgonio 3 1/2 miles". The trail switchbacks up the eastern and southern flanks of San Gorgonio Peak.
  • When you have ascended above the 11,000' contour, leave the trail and travel cross-country south toward a very wide, flat, almost vegetation-free area called "The Tarn" (10,600'). About 1/2 mile west of The Tarn is a saddle (10,640').
  • From this saddle proceed southwest up the ridge to the summit of Dragons Head.

Printable version of this route

ROUTE 2

(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 17 miles round trip on trail and cross-country
Gain: 6200' total, 5500' out plus 700' on return
Time: 9-10 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, strenuous
Navigation: Moderate
Leader Rating: "I", normal conditions

Original: Joe Young, January 2000

DRIVING ROUTE 2

  • Take I-10 east past San Bernardino to the Orange Street exit (SR 38).
  • Go one block east, then go north (left) 0.5 mile to Lugonia Avenue. Turn right on SR 38 (east).
  • Go 8.0 miles to the Mill Creek Ranger Station.
  • Continue east on SR 38 about 5 miles to the Valley of the Falls Road on the right. Turn right.
  • Drive 4 3/4 miles to the Big Falls parking area at the end of the road. Park here.

HIKING ROUTE 2

  • From the Vivian Creek trailhead parking area (6080'), hike past the locked gate on the initially paved road east for 1/2 mile to where the trail descends into the wash.
  • Cross the wash and pick up the trail again on the north side. Hike up the Vivian Creek Trail to its intersection with the San Bernardino Peak Trail (1W07) at 11,240'. Turn right.
  • In about 1/4 mile meet the turnoff to the summit of San Gorgonio Peak. Keep right.
  • Follow the trail southerly to where it turns eastward at about 11,160'.
  • At this point leave the trail heading south to a saddle at 10,640'.
  • From this saddle proceed southwest up the ridge to the summit.

Alternatively, one may leave the Vivian Creek Trail just north of elevation 10,131' and contour northeasterly, crossing the main wash, then proceeding easterly up another wash to the saddle at 10,640'. This reduces the gain to 5000' including 100' on return and the distance to 14 miles round trip.


SPECIAL CONDITIONS

A permit is required for all hikes, limited to 12 hikers per permit. They are issued at Mill Creek Ranger Station,9 miles from Redlands on SR 38. Day use permits are self-issue on the day of the hike or by mail. Overnight permits must be acquired in person or by mail.

Mill Creek Ranger Station
Route 1, Box 264
Mentone, CA 92359
(909) 794-1123

HISTORICAL NOTE

A map produced by the Defenders of the San Gorgonio Wilderness refers to this peak as "South Peak (The Dragons Head)", but it is not named on either USGS topos or on USFS maps.

The Hundred Peaks Section has called this peak Dragons Head for several decades, and it failed several attempts to be added to the List before being added to the List in 1999.

Route 1 traverses an unusual geological feature called The Tarn, also called Tosh's Tarn on the Defenders of the San Gorgonio Wilderness map. Bob Tosh is a naturalist who explored the San Gorgonio Wilderness extensively in the 1960's and 1970's.

History of Summit Signature

Climbing Archives

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.


Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
Published 17-December-2006
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