A good mid-level trail is Fish Creek Trail, used as a trailhead for San Gorgonio Peak Hikers. We went into the wilderness for a Day Hike.
You can drive all the way in to the Fish Creek area with your Adventure Pass, but you’ll also need a free Wilderness Pass from the Discovery Center, if you want to hike.
From Big Bear, Fish Creek is down Hwy 38 beyond Onyx Summit; at the top of the uphill passing lane before the Barton Flats Campground. The sign is marked well, but at a dangerous left turn. You would be better to pull to the right and prepare for a U-Turn.
The road is dirt and rocks for the next 10 miles. Many places are one-lane. Take your time. Enjoy the traffic. Low profile vehicles are not recommended. The view will make up for the rocky road.
The trail heads downhill at the beginning. This is unusual, as everyone knows, ALL California trails go UP!
A short hop off the trail is this lovely meadow. We had a short break and watched the birds chasing after insects.
When you reach this sign, you may follow down the Aspen Grove trail or head up.
We headed up. AH! There IS water in Southern California!
Those Elderberries were ALMOST ripe! Sure look tasty.
You have a choice at this sign. The Fish Creek Camp is just below in a lovely ravine. If you’re not feeling “broken in”, you may want to spend the night there.
From here on, the trail gets drier and steeper. Fish Creek Saddle is many hikers’ goal for the first day. Some will continue over the saddle to Dry Lake. Directly in front is Onyx Peak. Fish Creek Camp is just down the ravine in the trees.
We hit our “Altitude” and sat down at a point off the trail for our turnaround break. You can just see the 38 between the 2 cloud shadows. Wildhorse Canyon is above. Onyx Peak is behind the trees to the right.
These are the coordinates of our resting place: