Granite Peaks hike, October 16, 2016.

After a few weekends of doing nothing, it was time to hit the trail to get my 199th peak on the books. Ignacia and Peter invited me to join them on a Sierra Club hike to Granite Peaks, a 6 mile hike north-east of Big Bear.

After getting my gear together, I drove to the Fairplex Park and Drive where we would meet before driving to the actual trailhead. Just before the Fairplex I stopped at a Starbucks for coffee and a sandwich. After getting out of the car, I walked around the building to find the entrance, not realizing that this Starbucks was a drive-through only! I really needed some coffee to wake up…

Back in the car I drove to the Park & Ride, where I met the other hikers. The total number of people on this hike was 14. We were able to consolidate into 4 high clearance vehicles, and a little after 8 we were on our way. We took the 10 Freeway to the 15. At the exit of Bear valley Road, we stopped at a Carl’s Jr. to make sure we are all still together. On we went towards Highway 18, which we followed all the way to Cactus Spring, where we took the dirt road for about 4 miles to a parking spot from where we would start our hike. The ride from the Fairplex took more than 2.5 hours!

We hiked the first 1.5 miles across the desert floor, carefully avoiding the many cholla cacti and yucca plants. Ahead of us was the ominously steep looking head wall of Granite Peaks. Once we reached the “wall”, we slowly started climbing through the brush and rocks. After a little while we decided to take a short break to catch our breath and eat some snacks. After the break, we climbed further up the slope stopping frequently to find the ducks leading to a plateau. We easily crossed the plateau to the first boulder area we had to concur which would get us around Granite Point. When I saw this rocky point, I thought it was the peak we were trying to reach, so I climbed up the boulders to a point where I could not get any further. At that point I realized that this was the wrong peak, clambered back down to where Ignacia was waiting, and continued going the correct way around the Point towards East Peak. The Final climb over some large boulders to East Peak was easy, and we made it to the summit block. The summit had a register, which we all signed.

After taking some pictures and enjoying the views, we had lunch just below the summit, and took a group picture. The hike back down went without a glitch. Ignacia did a great job guiding us down the steep slope the exact same way we had climbed it up earlier! At the bottom of the slope, we took another short break before we hiked back out to our vehicles.

Gallery includes photos contributed by Eric Chu, Jin Oak Chung, Jorge Estrada, Jackson Hsu, and Naresh Satyan.