If you’re looking for a way to get a good workout, add some elevation to your life, and win prizes and social media fame, then you may be interested in Adventure 16’s Three Peaks Challenge.
The Challenge tasks participants to hike Southern California’s three tallest mountains – San Antonio, San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto (a.k.a. the Three Saints) with several different levels of prizes depending on how long it takes you to bag all three summits – 90 consecutive days, 21 consecutive days, 72 consecutive hours, or – if you’re REALLY gung-ho – 24 consecutive hours. Prizes include gift cards, water bottles, and – for the superfast hikers – new daypacks and hiking boots.
Everyone who completes the challenge will also get their own 16 minutes of fame on the company’s web site, where your name and image will live forever or at least as long as A16 keeps the site up (I’m pretty sure I see some Modern Hiker readers on that list, too. Nice work!). You have to register at a store and pick up your summit flag for your photos and I’m sure there are a bunch of other rules, too.
Of course, we have routes to all the peaks right here on Modern Hiker … and while the Aerial Tram at Mount San Jacinto is OK, the Mount Baldy Ski Lifts are not. So don’t think about cheating.
Mount San Antonio
3940 feet of elevation gain is a good way to get the blood flowing – you’ll want to start at the Ski Hut Trail (the descent route described on this write-up) and double-back or take the gentler but lengthier return on the fire road beneath the ski lift.
San Gorgonio Mountain
This is probably the toughest of the three – you can either take the longer but less steep route from South Fork described here, or take the more direct but much steeper route from Vivian Creek. You’re either getting 4608 or 5840 feet of elevation gain – dealer’s choice.
Mount San Jacinto
If you’re using the Aerial Tram, San Jacinto is the easiest approach with just under under 2200 feet of gain in 11 and a half miles – but if you’re not acclimated to the altitude you may find yourself more short of breath than usual.
If you do the Challenge, be sure to let us know about it – and if you bring some of your Modern Hiker gear along, be sure to tag a photo with #modernhiker on Instagram or Twitter or share it on our Facebook or Flickr pages!