Vivian Creek

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Vivian Creek Canyoneering Canyoning Caving
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Vivian Creek Banner.jpg

Difficulty:3B II (v3a2 II)
Raps:‌5, max ↨180ft
Overall:2.5-5h ⟷1.8mi
Approach:45min-1.5h ↑1000ft
Red Tape:No permit required
Condition Reports:
4 Sep 2023

"This was a "chill" late morning run, since I did not want to do anything lengthy. Water flow is surprisingly high. Maybe the bottom of class C if yo

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Vivian Creek is a beautiful and very accessible canyon on the slopes of Mt San Gorgonio. It starts just off one of the main trails to the top of Gorgonio and descends 5 rappels from 50ft to 180 ft, to eventually drop you back into Mill Creek. You can do it in the late winter to spring depending on rainfall, and it flows year round, if only slowly in the late summer.


From Los Angeles, take the 10 to Redlands. Exit at Orange Street or the Route 38 offramp. Drive to Orange Street and turn left to head north. Drive 6 blocks and turn right on E. Lugonia St, which turns into Mentone, then Mill Creek Rd. Drive up into the mountains until the road makes a sharp left run and the spur road to Forest Falls (Valley of the Falls Drive) you can do continues straight. Follow the Forest Falls road through the town until it ends in a large parking lot.

From here, keep heading up canyon through the picnic areas. At the far end of the site follow the trail along the canyon. Part of the way up the trail is obscured by rock fall, but continue as before. After about .5 miles the trail crosses the Mill Creek wash. Looking across the wash, you can see the sign which marks the bottom of the Vivian Creek trail. The trail climbs steeply up, but after around another 800 feet of elevation gain it eases up as you pass the sign for the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. After another 200 feet or so the trail starts turning right, away from the edge of the drop. Here is where you head off the trail, left and down into the creek bed. You shortly will reach the top of the first rappel.


R1: 180' off a large tree at the lip. It first drops around 20 feet into a pool then goes over the far edge into a spectacular, off-vertical, drop that delivers a huge view of the Mill Creek drainage. The drop can alternatively be broken up into two rappels under 100' using a tree high LDC for the first anchor and another large obvious tree part way down for the rebelay. This particular line is outside of the watercourse.

R2: 70' drop anchoring off a large tree RDC.

R3: 80' also anchored off a tree RDC.

R4: 50' from bolts RDC, or 80' from tree center canyon set back quite a bit from the edge.

R5: 95' from a tree RDC. This one has a short free-hanging section 3/4 of the way down.


From the last rap, just follow the stream down to Mill Creek and then head downstream in the wash, crossing over as you go to end up back in the park area you started in.

Red tape

Permit is required for the Vivian Creek trail and an Adventure Pass for your vehicle.
Wilderness Permit Online Reservation:

Beta sites

Trip reports and media




Information provided by automated processes. KML map by (unknown). Main photo by (unknown). Authors are listed in chronological order.

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