For a long time I was quite ambivalent about the HPS program, but now I am SURE it is a REDICULOUS program!

Today, I decided to add 4 more peaks to my list in order to get to the coveted 100…. I drove to HWY 138 to hike the following 4 peaks:

Cajon Mountain

Sugarpine Mountain

Bailey Peak

Monument Peak #2

To get to the Cajon Mountain trail head you have to drive 6.3 miles over a dirt road that you should definitely NOT drive on if you have a small sports car. After driving for about an hour trying to avoid rocks and gullies in the road, I arrived at the locked gate for the Cajon Lookout road. You have to walk up this road almost to the Lookout location, and walk up a use trail to the actual summit (not the Lookout). On the way, I met 2 hunters in full camouflage outfits with bows and arrows hunting for deer. They saw two, but were not able to kill them, fortunately. Even though the actual climb is very short, it was made much harder because of the chaparral you have to fight with to get there. Needless to say I got numerous scratches on my arms and legs. Once at the top, there was a Register, where people had signed in since 1998! On the way back down, I stopped at the Lookout for nice views of Baldy and the freeway below.

Back at the car, it was on to Sugarpine Mountain via 2.5 more miles of slowly demolishing my car. Getting to the summit of the “Mountain” is a true challenge: ¼ of a mile hiking up an old jeep road! The summit is nothing less than disappointing; no great views here, no register… Back down to the car, for more automobile punishment. At mile 9.4 there is a fork in the road. Not sure which way to go, I followed the directions on the HPS Peak list, and hiked up 1/2 mile to the saddle between ”Bailey with antennas” and the one without. From there it is 1/6th of a mile hike up an old jeep road to the summit. The summit is completely overgrown, so no view and no register to be found.

Again, back to the car. Walking back to the car I noticed a few spots that would be hard for my car to negotiate. By the time I reached the car I had to make a decision which way to go. Reading the HPS Peak list directions, it told me to take the right fork and go up to the saddle of the “Bailey’s”. I was quite nervous about doing this, but felt I did not have a choice other than turning around and driving the 10 miles back from where I came from. The bottom of the car hit a few rough spots and rocks were flying around, but I made it through the steep and rough stretch!

Onward to the last PEAK of this adventure: Monument Peak #2. After passing the Bailey with the antennas peak, the road dropped down and became pretty rough, again rocks hit the bottom of the car regularly. The “trail head for this peak is at mile 11.4. The actual “hike” to the summit is 50 YARDS! Here you have a nice view of the surrounding area, and there is an actual Monument, which honors Father Garces, the first white man to cross the San Bernardino Mountains. No register.

Immediately after getting in the car there was another fork in the road. From the summit, I could see the freeway below, so I figured I should take the right fork. After 100 yard going down this road, I came up a very rough spot, with lots of large rocks, which forced me to have to stop. Looking at the area in front of the car, I felt it would be unwise to try to move on, and tried to back the car up the hill back to the fork, so I could take the other road. Of course being that my car had rear wheel drive that did NOT work! Just then a Jeep came down the road behind. I asked the driver what the condition of the road was going down, and he told me that it was a ROUGH road all the way down to the bottom. Not being able to turn the car around, I decided to get rid of some of the larger boulders and take my chances going down this road. Crossing this rough patch was horrors for the car. Rocks were flying, and hitting the bottom of the car like no tomorrow. After a while the road got better, and I decided to keep going down, especially since I knew I would not be alone with the jeep following behind me if something really bad would happen. Going down was NOT fun, and I was really worried about my car. The last few miles the road became a LOT better, driving mostly on hard sand. Elevation dropped 3,000 feet in 4.5 miles!

Once I got back on the pavement, I got out of the car to inspect it, and did not see any visible damage, other than the fact that my whole car was covered in dirt! The alignment seemed OK and the tires were still in balance, so I felt REALLY lucky to have survived this ridiculous “drive/hike”. Total miles driven on dirt/rocks: 22. I don’t know who puts the peak list together at the Sierra club, but they definitely have a SCREW LOOSE! Little Charlton is NOT on the list, but these “peaks” are?? Only 26 to go….