Buck Point and San Sevaine Lookout hike, October 29, 2016

After reaching #199 of the HPS Peak list, I just could not contain myself and just HAD to get to #200!

A few days before, the weather forecast called for a HUGE rain storm to hit Los Angeles on Friday, which would have made it hard to get to the starting point for the Buck Point trail, being that it would take a drive on dirt roads for about 8.5 miles. As usual though, the weather forecasters had it wrong, and the Los Angeles area only received a trickle of rain, so the hike was on! The meeting point for the hike was on Interstate 15, at McDonalds. I got to the McDonalds at the exit for Hwy 138 at around 6:15AM hoping to get some breakfast before the hike, but it was still closed due to a fire earlier this year. So, I got a “delicious” sausage and egg sandwich at the gas station next door and waited for the rest of the hiking group. When I did not see anyone at the agreed upon meeting time of 7:00AM, I got concerned and checked the message from Peter about the hike and noticed my mistake: we were supposed to meet at McDonalds on Sierra Avenue, which is a few miles south of where I was!! I emailed Peter of my error, and quickly drove to the correct McDonalds. When I arrived there at 07:15AM, I did not see anyone, but Ignacia had sent me a message to call her. To my surprise they were all waiting inside! Such luck!!!

It was decided to take all our vehicles to the beginning of the dirt road, which was about 1.5 miles from the McDonalds. The 9 of us got into 2 four wheel drive vehicles, for the 8.5 mile drive to the starting point for Buck Point. The dirt road was in very good shape, except for a short section where you really needed four wheel drive. The “hike” from where we parked to the summit of Buck Point is about 6/8 of a mile, with the first 0.3 mile walking on the dirt road. From that point, we scrambled up the steep slope to a point where we turned right to follow a very vague use trail. At several points it looked like we should go up to the ridge line, but each time we tried our progress came to a halt because of the heavy brush blocking our way. The last time we tried to go this route we got to within 50 feet of the summit, but the brush was so thick it was impossible to get through! Back down we went to the point where we had left the “use trail” and followed it until we saw the actual route to the summit. With about 100 feet to go, Peter told me that it was tradition that the person who reaches a milestone (my 200th) gets to go to the actual summit first, and find the HPS Register! After the High Fives, signing the Register, and taking a group picture, we easily find our way back down to the road and our vehicles.

We drove down a little ways to where a side road took us up to the top of a hill with radio towers, where we had our lunch before taking off for San Sevaine Lookout. The hike to the Lookout actually goes downhill for about 500 feet, over a “bump” before climbing up 150 feet to the summit. Total distance to the Lookout is 1 mile! For a little while we again had to fight our way through very tall brush to get there. The summit used to have a Lookout, but all that’s left is the foundation due to a previous fire. The views from the Lookout are stupendous however, having a broad view of the many hilltops and Interstate 15 far below. After taking it all in for a while, we returned the same way, by climbing our way back up to the radio towers.

The drive back down to the paved road was uneventful. Where our cars were parked, the park rangers had set up a checkpoint where they checked all the vehicles going into the wilderness to do some hunting to make sure they had the proper licenses. To celebrate my 200th Peak I stopped at McDonalds for a Mocha Frappe!

When I got home, Teresa surprised me with a wonderful fruit pie, which was the icing on the cake so to speak!!

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