Friday Photo – October 13, 2017

We have not wings we cannot soar; but, we have feet to scale and climb, by slow degrees, by more and more, the cloudy summits of our time.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Today’s Friday Photo is the fourth of a six-week theme to commemorate my completion of the 2017 Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge. Each week will feature a photo I took on the trail to the peak, or from the summit of the peak itself.

This photo was taken at the summit of San Bernardino Peak (Peak Number Four in the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge). This 16.5-mile out and back trek is one of the longest hikes in the challenge. Elevation gain is 4,650 feet which is a lot. But, it is very evenly spread out over your 8.25-mile ascent which makes for a long gradual climb to the top. I wouldn’t say it’s easier but definitely more manageable as long as you’re accustomed to long hikes. There is also altitude to contend with. San Bernardino Peak tops out at 10,649 feet which is around 250 feet less than Mount San Jacinto Peak, the second tallest peak in Southern California.

This is definitely one of the nicer and more interesting hikes in the six-pack. It not only has beautiful views and scenery, but also offers some obscure points of interest that you may find fascinating. On this hike you travel through Manzanita Flats, a beautiful meadow of Manzanita and other flora. This stretch can get hot on a warm day as well. At around the 7-mile mark, you reach this really nice rest stop called The Bench. Someone made a nice stone bench on which to rest your weary bones and take in the 270 degree view. From this point, and from San Bernardino Peak, you can see Mount San Gorgonio Peak and Mount San Jacinto Peak to the south. To the west, you can see Mount San Antonio, aka ‘Mount Baldy’, and to the north you can see Big Bear Lake.

Further up the trail is Washington’s Monument. This was a sighting point for the first surveyors and the mounument is actually a surveying apparatus built by surveying pioneer, Colonel Henry Washington in 1852. Some of the first roads in Southern California were developed using Washington’s surveying equipment. Baseline Road is the most famous of these early transportation corridors.

Once you reach the summit, you have somewhat of a 360 degree view, but parts of it are obscured by the lush pine trees. It’s a great spot to kick up your feet, have some lunch, and enjoy the reward for the all the hard work you put in to get up here. You earned it!

~ Photo Taken August 6, 2017, 11:23 am


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