24n24 = 24 Peaks in 24 Hours

24n24 — an Epic4Epic challenge (24 peaks, 24 hours, 40 miles, 15,000 feet, loop course)

View east from East San Bernardino
            24in24 is an Epic4Epic, set for May 24-25, 2013. It’s a solo, self-supported run, comprised of climbing 24 peaks in 24 hours, covering about 40 miles and 15,000 feet of ascent (and the same amount of descent). A loop course, it will be done entirely on foot, starting and finishing at The Wildlands Conservancy's Bearpaw Preserve in Mill Creek near Forest Falls, CA. Like a roller coaster ride, the first section climbs up 6000 feet to the San Bernardino Mountain ridge just east of that iconic mountain. The course includes an out-and-back to Mount San Bernardino, then heads back east towards Mount San Gorgonio, tapping another dozen peaks before heading south and dropping 3000 feet to the Mill Creek jump off. The section from the ridge above High Creek Camp down to the jump off is all bushwhacking on a steep slope—it’s the sort of descent that takes as much time as climbing it. The jump off connects the two ridges and rests above the headwater of Mill Creek. It’s a fascinating geology, literally crumbling beneath one’s feet and before one’s eyes from one visit to the next, as if every heavy storm will transforms its appearance, slicing away at the rock and compressed sand that divides the Mill Creek and Whitewater (South Fork) rivers.

The Galenas
Next, the course climbs 800 feet to Galena Peak. What follows is the Yucaipa Range, or Oak Glen Divide, running east/west from the jump off to the mouth of Mill Creek at the Mill Creek Hydroelectric System. Galena Peak is the highpoint on the ridge and introduces one of the most challenging passages in the day. The next couple of miles are along a knife’s edge ridge without any trail. Crossing over Cuchillo and Wanat peaks (both names are under consideration by the USGS), I head west and climb Little San Gorgonio. From this point on to Wilshire Mountain is an easy, relatively flat section. Although the 24th peak, Mill Peak, is truly a very slight bump of a climb, it will still take time to run a couple of miles out to it (and then back from it). And it includes a thousand foot descent from the top of the previous peak, Allen, to the saddle beneath Mill. From Mill I turn around and climb 500+ feet back to the base of Allen, and then drop a thousand feet to the lodge at Bearpaw Preserve. If I’m doing well, I’ll be running down the last couple of miles. If less than good, it’ll be something of a slow trudge, hopefully with some time to spare on the clock.       

            Much of the course will be a focused, fast hike. But I’m calling 24in24 a “run” because in order to complete it within 24 hours I’ll need to run every place possible—for me, the flat sections and [runnable] downhill slopes. You might ask where the heck I dreamed this course up. Part of my inspiration came from Evan Welsh’s great trek of last year, a Tale of Two Ridgelines (bagging 18 peaks in 18.5 hours). Evan has since moved east, but while he was here he shared the local mountains that he loved with a great many folks through his job as Preserve Manager for the Oak Glen, Bearpaw, and Bluff Lake Preserves of The Wildlands Conservancy.

            Here's what I propose to you, dear reader: Look to yourself and find your challenge, your Epic challenge, what you believe you can do with your greatest effort, and then do it. Write it down, consider it, refine and define it, and then do it. What's YOUR Epic? Why not consider pushing yourself to an Epic Endeavor for Epic Landscapes? I promise you will not be disappointed…quite the opposite, you’ll be enriched. The Wildlands Conservancy preserves the beauty and biodiversity of great places, free to the public, and is devoted to providing children with opportunities to enjoy and learn from the wonder of nature. Be sure to connect your epic to a great cause outside of yourself. Stir the pot of inspiration inside others; get them to sponsor your epic endeavor by giving support to that other cause. The circle is thus complete: you give yourself over to a great challenge which in turn inspires others to give to a good cause that in turn gives back. This is the art of giving, the circle of life.

            As I complete this particular circle, the Epic4Epic, I want to ask that you think for a spell on what your Epic could be, and consider offering an Epic endeavor for Epic landscapes, the heroic places The Wildlands Conservancy stewards.

Please contact me with your questions and comments. Let’s meet up for a good walk.

In thanks,


Future Epic4Epics for Paul:

Run across the Mohave
Run the Santa Ana River Trail
Run Oak Glen Preserve trails for 24 hours straight
Redlands Runaround (every street in Redlands, at one time)


  1. Having done most of your route in two separate hikes, I wish you good luck! It would be an awesome achievement.

  2. HI Paul,

    Pamela here, we meet a few weeks back on the top of Mt. Wilshire with Charlies group of hikers. I was inspired by you adn your epic4epic! I Would really like to do some hikes with you: I am also prepping for my own 220 mile solo adventure and could use the extra hiking time. I can be reached at: liveplayskate (at) gmail (dot) com

    Have an amazing day!

  3. Great accomplishment, I wish you the best ! In in my 70's now and still enjoy a good hike now and then , but afraid this ones beyond my limits. I've hike San Jacinto and Gorgono many time in my younger years and love them both.

    Good Luck,

    Jerry Shearman