San Bernardino Peak – San Bernardino Peak Trail
The San Bernardino Peak Trail from the Angelus Oaks trailhead (5,960′) begins ascending through a mixed forest of pine, fir and oak, switchbacking up the wooded slope. You mount a ridge, walk along its crest for a brief distance, then continue climbing. You’re welcomed into the San Gorgonio Wilderness by a wooden sign, 2 miles from the trailhead at about 7,000 feet. A bit beyond the wilderness boundary sign, the grade grows less steep.
As you climb above 8,000 feet, the Jeffrey pine becomes widely spaced. Shortly, the trail penetrates a manzanita-covered slope. Soon you’ll arrive at the Manzanita Springs trail junction (at 8,240′ and 4.3 miles from the trailhead), with trails coming from Johns Meadow and Columbine Springs. Columbine Springs (8,000′) is 0.7 miles from the junction. After the junction, the trail ascends over slopes covered with manzanita and homely chinquapin. In 1.4 miles from the junction, it reaches Limber Pine Bench (at 9,360′ and 5.7 miles from the trailhead). Another 1/4 mile up the trail is Limber Pine Springs, usually a dependable source of water.
Then, the trail begins a long traverse south, switchbacking up to Camp Washington, a trail camp with plenty of views but nothing to drink. One-hundred yards from the trail is Washington Monument (10,290′), which looks like little more than a pile of rock rubble. Finally, the trail climbs another 1/2 mile, where it intersects a brief side trail that takes you to the summit of San Bernardino Peak (10,649′).