Trip to Big Bear to bag three peaks.

I drove to Big Bear today to join Peter and Ignacia to hike to three peaks, two of which I had not hiked before. I met the group of 16 people at the Valero gas station in Running Springs, after which we drove to the first trail head of Crafts Peak. I had hiked to this peak about 4 years ago, using a different route, so this one would count as a “pathfinder”, in Sierra Club lingo. After the first steep section, we had to cross through a short section of thick  buckthorn.  The hike to the summit is about 2 miles, going up and down hills several times until we reached the top. From there, we got a nice view of our next goal for the day: Butler Peak. After a long break, we hiked back down to our vehicles via de same route.

Back at the trail head we took a short lunch break, after which I joined Jorge and Diana in their truck and we caravanned via a 5 mile dirt road all the way to Butler Peak. Perched on the top of the peak is a fire lookout which was built in 1931. The “hike” up to the lookout was a couple of hundred feet ending with steep staircase. The inside of the fire lookout is completely furnished with a kitchen and a bed. After enjoying the 360 degree views, we get back to our vehicles to slowly drive back down the narrow dirt road.

Back in the town of Big Bear, we drove to our final destination: the trail head for Arctic Point. We again drove on several dirt roads, passing some interesting looking graves. The 1.5 mile hike to the summit is somewhat confusing, but Peter’s route finding skills took us straight to it! After signing the register we quickly dropped back down to the cars, ending a great day of exploring!

Diana and Jorge invited me to join them for dinner at Sizzler in Big Bear, which I gladly accepted. After dinner, Diana drove me back to my car, which was parked at the trail head for Crafts Peak. Two hours later I was back home.

Some photos contributed by Jorge Estrada, Naresh Satyan, Jackson Hsu, and Jin Oak Chung.