With cooler fall weather arriving in Southern California we were looking for a nice, relaxing hike. We picked San Bernardino Peak.
On the drive up we discussed trail options: a) The busy San Bernardino Trail from Angelus Oaks or b) The lesser used choice from Forsee Trailhead via John’s meadow. We decided on the later partly because it would take Kevin on some new to him trails.
At the trailhead we got a bit of temperature shock, it was in the mid-thirties. We all started hiking in jackets, that hasn’t happened till last winter :). We met a group coming from camping at John’s meadow but otherwise had the trail all the way to the wheel barrow intersection for ourselves. There we ran into some Forest Service guys surveying trails. From here its about 2300 ft to climb to the peak. As we got closer to the peak we met people coming down.
Just before reaching the peak we made a quick stop at the Washington Monument, the initial point for the San Bernardino meridian. On the peak there were about 10 people who kept taking all kinds of pictures of themselves with the sign the whole time we were there. We settled in a nice spot for a break and some snacks. From up there we could see the part of Big Bear where Jack’s cabin is located and we contacted him to ask him to try to signal us with a mirror. It did not take long and we saw flashes coming from the correct spot. It’s always impressive how obvious a flash aimed like that is even when generated with just a small mirror.
At this point our nice, relaxing hike gained in scope…. We decided to descent over San Bernardino East peak. As we started towards that Kevin said he’d just run up and tag Anderson also since we would get so close to it. I couldn’t resist joining him. Srisuda opted to sit this one out, so we left our bags with her at the turn off to Trail Fork Springs and sped up to Anderson. It was a little further than we had thought and we ended up running a little on the way back to stay within the 20 min time limit we had given Srisuda. The remainder of the down hike on Forsee trailhead was uneventful, but a little unusual since we experienced some mild fog when we worked our way down through the low cloud layer.
Stats: 17. miles, 4,400 ft gain, 9.5 hours away from car.
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