I had applied for some permits for San Gorgonio in October for myself. They sent them back incorrectly, so I called back to the ranger station for corrections. In my conversation with the ranger, he explained a new policy that isn’t reflected on the website yet. The order for the quota system for day hike permits by the USFS expired 5 years ago and they didn’t know this. So, this means that effectively immediately Day Hikes require a self-issued permit only. Essentially, if you want to hike San Gorgonio or San Bernadino as a day hike, it works just like it would for Cucamonga, Baldy and San Jacinto. You have to pass the ranger station to get to the Vivian Creek Trailhead, so just stop by in the wee hours of the morning and fill out your permit, drop it in the box and go hike.
This just happened this last week. I sent in my permit requests on 8/31/17 and at that time the website said only Overnight permits were available for some of the Saturdays I wanted. Now, the SGWA website says “All Day Hikes Available”.
You only need to fax in permit requests for Overnight hikes, since those are still on a quota system. They absolutely want people to self-issue permits so that they can track usage and for safety purposes.
So to clarify – I can go to Gorgonio anytime now and do Vivian, Moymer, South Fork as day hikes and get a permit I fill out myself from the Mill Creek Visitor Center? Or is there a permit box by the Gorgonio trailheads?