Saturday, May 24, 2008

Delamar Mountain

Delamar Peak overlooks Fawnskin and marks the west end of the hills bordering Big Bear Lake to the north. The hike is enjoyable, although the views somewhat less than spectacular. Even at the summit, trees and rocks block clear views and you have to get them in when you can while hiking. On the other hand, the journey is nice, and the serene, undisturbed summit is definately worth the hike!

Trail Basics

9 miles round-trip, with about 2 miles off-trail hiking
Start at 6860', peak at 8398'
What to bring:
Good trail shoes, water, food, sunscreen, camera, smile. You'll probably also want a topo map and compass for this hike, as there are some off-trail sections.
**Hiking is strenuous and potentially dangerous. It is your own responsibility to be prepared for the circumstances into which you venture. The information on this page is provided as a courtesy only; it is not meant to replace proficiency taking care of yourself in the wilderness.


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Directions to Trailhead

Drive west on Northshore Dr toward Fawnskin. Approx 2 miles east of Stanfield cutoff and just past Cougar Crest Trailhead you will come to Polique Canyon Rd. Turn R, follow pavement to where the fire road 2N09 starts. Park anywhere around here or on pavement off the road with your adventure pass.

Trail Directions

Note: Delamar is probably the most difficult summit in terms of NAVIGATION that we will hike. If you know how to use a map and compass, this would be the one to bring those on! We recommend printing the directions as well. If you have a really bad sense of direction and get turned around easy, then please go with someone who will be able to help you out.

Hike up road 2N09 for about 1.5 miles and you will come to a 3-way intersection. Turn right to head toward Holcomb Valley and continue on 2N09. In another ¾ mile, at the very top of the road before it heads downhill, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) crosses the road. Head west; that’s a left turn.

The point you turn off the PCT is critical. The PCT travels along the south side of the ridge for about 1 ¼ miles. You can see the lake. Then it crosses a saddle, a low point on the ridge, and moves to the north side. This only happens once, and this is the spot where you’ll leave the trail. You’ll head uphill to the west, which is going to be to the left of the trail as you stand on the saddle.

Looking around you should discover an old, overgrown fireroad that heads uphill to the west. You will see multiple down trees across this old fire road, most you can walk around, but make sure you get back on the road. This old road follows the ridgeline and you can see into Holcomb Valley on the north and down to the lake on the south side.

After just a little while you will come to a steep climb where the rocks are white and you will come to a “false summit” that has a yellow summit marker post. We have not yet found the name of the summit on any map, so we just call it “Little Delamar”. It has the best views of the hike so make sure you stop for a photo op either on the way up or down.

From “Little Delamar” you can clearly see the real summit. To get there you will head downhill along the ridge to a saddle (depression between to mountains) and then start climbing again. There are several old (old) roads and paths that seem to lead upward, but no serious trails. If you find a good path, take it upward. Depending on which direction you approach the summit from, you may get some good views of Holcomb Valley and the Butler #2 fire area.

Minimize your impact on the forest when you’re off trail. The rule is, if there is a road or trail, use it. If there is not an established road or trail, then you want to avoid creating one.

The top of the mountain flattens out (you can see the dome shape when you look at the hill from far away). The real summit is located somewhat towards the south end, and maybe a bit toward the west side, of the flattened area at the top. There is a noticeable pile of large rocks and a yellow post marking the summit. You will find the Seven Summits marker attached and summit record canister in place!

Pay attention when you are headed back down to go northeast off the summit back the way you came. If you get lost, just go downhill and make sure you can see the lake.


rickstep said...

If you follow these directions, you will not get to Delamar without first taking a hugh detour. When you reach the second post on the PCT (which is closer to 1.5 miles), you must go WEST on the old fire road and not east. From the "Little Delamar" summit post, Delamar summit is SW at a 240 degree true (226 degrees magnetic) heading. Be prepared for a steep climb over loose terrain, through thorny bushes, and downed trees. Retracing your path down from the summit is not easy. Just remember that the PCT runs along the north side of Delamar and is not that far away.

gugo said...

Rickstep was correct. The previously posted description of the trail was so wrong that you would have ended up at Gold Mountain instead. Shame on the one who wrote this! The current and corrected description will lead you to Delamar Mountain but the second post is indeed 1.5mi from the intersection of PCT with Polique Canyon Rd

gohike said...
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gohike said...
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gohike said...

both comments are correct. When you go left like the last 2 comments suggest its 2N71 and if you go right like the original post its 2N09. There are a bunch of ways to reach the summit depending on what direction your coming from. I prefer the 2N09 cause you will cross the PCT after about 1.5 miles. The PCT is easy to find. If your not a seasoned hiker you might want to drive up the the PCT and park and hike it to Delamar. Today I parked at the bottom of the hill on North Shore and hiked it via 2N09 to PCT. It was about (4) plus hours of hiking. I used a SB mountain topo map from REI. It shows all the roads. However, on the map there is a 2N96Y. I bring up this point cause when I arrived at the 'T' section I should have passed the 2N96Y. As im looking at my map at the 'T' intersection a Sheriff pulled up. He said that 2M96Y road is no longer open. That cleared my confusion. He mentioned the easy route to Delamar is the 2N09 to the PCT. I agree. Once on the PCT its a gentle walk and like the original post says, you will reach a saddle. You will be aware your hiking through the saddle cause you will not be able to see the lake anymore and you will be on the North side of Delamar Mountain. Once you cross the saddle you will see Delamar to your left. You will be on the PCT about 1.5 miles and you see will see 3N12 to the right off the PCT. If you reach that road you've gone too far. About 10 mins back is a clearing going up to the summit. You hike up that clearing and this is where you need to pay attention for your way back. You will be off trail and on your own. I used my bread crump option on my Garmin GPS so the way back was simple. This is a confusing peak because you can reach it from so many directions and there is no clear trail to the top. Once at the top you will see a yellow pole with a triangle sign at the top. It will be located on top of a hill of boulders. That view is amazing..