A hike along the Aspen Grove Trail in the San Gorgonio Wilderness is almost guaranteed to cure just about any ill…streaming water, lush green conifers and lovely stands of aspen trees (rarely seen in Southern California), along with an uphill climb amidst summer wildflowers and verdant ferns await the weary and forlorn hiker escaping the cement jungle of Southern California suburbia. Silence (disturbed only by the mosquitoes along the creek in June and July-bring an appropriate line of defense) is also a cherished feature of a hike along this trail. The Aspen Grove Trail can be taken to its end to intersect with the Fish Creek Trail, one of the main routes used to access several paths leading to the summit of San Gorgonio Mountain, the highest point in California south of the Sierra Nevada. A free permit is required for all wilderness trails, and can be obtained at the Barton Flats Ranger Station on Hwy 38 six miles west from the Heart Bar Campground.
Trailhead: In the city of Redlands, exit Interstate 10 at Highway 38-travel northeast for 32 miles to Forest Service Road 1NO2 (look for sign directing you to Heart Bar Campground, Coon Creek, and Fish Creek. Turn south (right) and continue for 1.25 miles to FS Road 1NO5, then turn right at fork. Continue along the rough road (passable for most two-wheel drive vehicles) 1.5 miles to the Aspen Grove Trailhead on the right. A Forest Service Adventure Pass is required to park at the trailhead, and a wilderness permit is required to hike past the signed wilderness boundary line. Both are available at the Barton Flats Ranger Station on Hwy-38 six miles west of the Heart Bar Campground, or at the Ranger Station at 34701 Mill Creek Road/Hwy 38 in Mentone (about 12 miles east from the intersection of University and Lugonia/Hwy 38 in the city of Redlands).
Distance: 4.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 700 ft
Hike Time: 2.5 hours
Trail Condition: OK, but a few difficult spots
HikeType: Out and Back
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