Southern California’s highest peak is San Gorgonio Mountain, which also happens to  be one of the best day hikes in the region. There are a few different approaches that can be taken to the summit, but the most rewarding is the Vivian Creek trail.  Three friends and I started the 18 mile trek around 7am at the Vivian Creek trail-head on a cool, late October day. The hike took about 11 hours and proved to be one of the hardest day hikes I had ever done. The views from the summit were spectacular because strong Santa Ana wind’s had blown all of the Los Angeles smog far out to sea.

BRING: A few things that should be packed on this hike are: lots of water, sunblock, extra socks, good boots, and a jacket for warmth on the summit.

*I wish there had been more pictures to document this hike, but for some reason our group only brought one camera, and that camera had just enough battery life to take a few pictures on the summit.