Morton Peak Hike

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
2.5-3.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
8.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
412 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Morton Peak Hike is a fun outdoor journey in the San Bernardino National Forest that will see you gain elevation for beautiful views. While out hiking the trail, you will follow along a dirt road as it snakes uphill to the summit of Morton Peak, where you will enjoy sweeping views of Southern California. If you are after a hike that is more about the destination than the journey, then you will certainly enjoy the Morton Peak Hike.

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Route Description for Morton Peak Hike

Considering the road leading up to the summit, the Morton Peak Hike is a fairly laidback adventure, which is probably one of the reasons why it is so busy. Be sure to arrive early, as there is limited space available for parking at the trailhead. Additionally, there is a fire lookout tower at the summit of the peak, but hikers can only climb to the top for the views if they are invited to do so by staff members. Be courteous and respect the rules to ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy the viewpoint.

Although it is popular and can be quite busy at times, the Morton Peak Hike is still a fun adventure that will produce beautiful views over Southern California. After working your way up the winding dirt road, you will arrive at the summit of Morton Peak for stunning views of the surrounding San Bernardino Mountains and the cities of Yucaipa and Mentone below. This is a great bang for your buck hike if you don’t want to take on a challenging adventure.

Setting out from the trailhead, you will make your way to the northwest and climb uphill along the winding road as it works its way up the mountainside. Although the dirt road doesn’t offer much in the way of interesting terrain, it is easy to traverse and makes the route a convenient one.

After 1.2mi along the road, you will arrive at a junction and keep left in order to continue on towards the summit of Morton Peak. The views will continue to grow in beauty as you steadily gain elevation, providing a great sightline of the surrounding San Bernardino Mountains.

The road will keep winding uphill for another 2.4 km from the junction, at which point you will arrive at the Morton Peak Fire Lookout Tower. Take some time here to appreciate the amazing views overlooking the mountainous Southern California landscape, and make sure to climb the lookout tower if it is staffed and the opportunity presents itself.

After taking in the views, turn back along the trail and follow it downhill. In no time, you will find yourself back at the trailhead where you began your afternoon on the Morton Peak Hike.

Trail Highlights

San Bernardino Mountains

The San Bernardino Mountains are a rugged range that features some of the highest peaks in Southern California, including San Gorgonio and San Jacinto. This area is primarily used by hikers and skiers, although other activities are also popular. The range was first discovered by Spanish explorers in the 18th Century, and later became the site of the largest gold rush in Southern California.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I climb the Morton Peak Fire Lookout Tower?

While the Morton Peak Fire Lookout Tower offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, you can only access it if it is staffed and you are welcomed to climb it.

Are dogs allowed on the Morton Peak Hike?

Yes, dogs are allowed on the Morton Peak Hike but must be kept on a leash.

Insider Hints for Morton Peak Hike

  • Park at the edge of CA-38 or drive up to the gate if you want to reduce your hiking time.
  • Wear proper hiking footwear for this trail.
  • Be sure to purchase and display an adventure Pass prior to setting out.

Getting to the Morton Peak Hike Trailhead

The trailhead for the Morton Peak Hike can be found at the junction between CA-38 and Warm Springs Truck Road/1N12.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-Round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Morton Peak Hike Elevation Graph

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