Short Mountain Hikes Big Bear July 2021

Dorie and I have discovered a series of short trails and abandoned forest roads on the Southeast side of Big Bear Lake.

Off Mill Creek Road (2N10) there is the beautiful Bluff Lake hike but further south along the Skyline Ridge there are several peaks overlooking the San Bernardino and Yacaipa Ridges. The first is Peak 8015. This was a nice 3 ½ mile hike starting at Bluff Lake. The loop took us to the Peak and across a portion of Skyline Ridge, spotting a deer and her fawn along the way. A few days later we hiked Lookout Point, another 2 ½ mile loop with excellent views of the distant south San Bernardino ridges. To make the loop, we did some minor bushwhacking. It was a little sketchier than I expected but we ended dead on the truck parking spot. The final little hike was to the remote Elsie Caves. This turned into a minor adventure in that we explored the mountain top for the caves, but they turned out to be along the creek bottom. These were not so much caves but completely eroded mountainside, leaving boulders with caverns etched between and below them. Locals used to gather mushrooms in the caves, but now there are only spider webs so no cave exploring for us. There were some interesting 1960’s trinkets and LOVE paintings scattered along the path, and there was Pooh’s corner with some very well-done paintings.
We were glad to discover the miles of easy hiking trails exploring in this area.

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