Uwe and Srisuda visited our cabin for a hike up Sugarloaf Mountain. This is the highest mountain in the immediate Big Bear Lake area, just a few feet under 10,000 ft. Looking at the map the night before, we decided to go a different route than the standard approach and add Lightening Gulch because it didn’t look like much and it gave me a new route up Sugarloaf. John joined us at 0730 the following morning for the adventure. The first part of the hike was spectacular along Lightening Gulch Ridge, with great vistas of the San Bernardino’s and snow-capped San Gorgonio. On the ridge were groves of very large Western Junipers, some of which were 4-5 feet in diameter – a rare sight. We made it up Lightening Gulch and realized on the way down to Sugarloaf, it seemed rather long and steep.
The original plan for Sugarloaf was a 10 mile round trip hike, but once on top, we already were at almost 8 miles. So much for not paying any attention to the map the night before. Uwe and Srisuda returned the original path and John and I went back over Lightening Gulch for the car. The “rather long and steep” turned out to be a long and brutal slog of 1,050 feet to climb. On the return, we picked up Uwe and Srisuda, and went back to the cabin for a Cinco de Mayo feast Dorie had prepared. Our 10 mile hike turned out to be 15.5 miles and 3,535 vertical, Uwe and Srisuda hiked 11.5 miles with 2,800 ft gain. (Please click on any picture to enlarge to see slide show)
(Photos by Srisuda and Uwe)