Heart Bar and Mineral Mountains

Heart Bar Peak is an obscure peak south of Big Bear Lake. The peak was named for the Heart Bar Ranch that thrived there in the 1880’s. The ranch was established by two cattle rustlers of the McHaney Gang. They had to sell their ranch because they were caught and convicted. Swarty Swartwood bought the ranch, keeping it in operation off and on until the 1940’s.
Dorie and I trekked up the long, winding fire road to the saddle where we could finally see the peak. A newly cut path veered off the fire road and allowed us to get to the peak with no bushwhacking. Someone else wanting to the bag the peak had driven the fire road and was parked at the path junction. We saw his foot prints on the way in but saw no sign of them coming out. Yet when we retuned, his car was gone. Spooky. The peak turned out to be a large clump of boulders. A nice fall afternoon hike and nicer return to the cabin.
The next day I took off alone to hike Mineral Mountain. This was one of the peaks Dorie, Quinn and I wanted to hike in conjunction with Tip Top several weeks ago, but we ran out of time. This was an easy 1-mile bushwhacking hike to the summit. On the way back, I hiked up Rose Bench Mark just because it was there, and it afforded some pretty views of the Rose Mine. The mine is nestled among the Joshua trees with distinctive rose-colored tailings flowing from the old shafts. Nothing is left of this mine that produced ~$1.2 million in gold in the late 1880’s.
On the 4WD back, I found the road blocked by 5 Jeeps and Land Rovers. This large group was trying to climb some extremely steep, rutted hills and one of them broke an axle. Somehow, they got it repaired and headed down the mountain, but 2WD only. This delayed me by ½ hour and I only assume they made it down the mountain safely.
Heart Bar and Mineral brought my total accents of the San Bernardino Mountains to 41 of 61. Just a few more to go. (Click on any picture to see gallery)

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