Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grays Peak

The trail up to Grays Peak is one of Big Bear's favorites for hikers. The trail travels along the south side of Grays Peak offering unique views of the lake, Fawnskin Valley, the high desert and more. The trail is a steady 3 mile climb with about 1,000 vertical feet of climbing to the top and ventures through portions of the burn area from the Butler #2 Fire of 2007. You will be treated to seeing the circle of life in action with re-growth sprouting up amongst the burned remains of trees and bushes.

Trail Basics

~6.5 miles
Start at 6750', peak at 7920'
What To bring:
Good trail shoes, water, food, sunscreen, camera, smile
Adventure Pass:
You will need an Adventure Pass to park at this trailhead
**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.


Directions to the Trailhead

From the town of Big Bear, head north across Stanfield Cutoff and head left or west on Hwy38/North Shore Drive. Go west and pass through the town of Fawnskin and then 0.6 miles west of Fawnskin on Hwy 38 you will come to a parking area on the right hand side of the road, which is across from the Grout Bay Picnic area located on the right hand side of the road. This lot has restrooms and the trailhead is located on the north side of the parking lot.

Trail Directions

The Grays Peak Trail (1W05) climbs northwest for about .5 miles until it merges with forest road 2N04X. There are two large arrows made of rock in the road that point you to the right or north, head this direction. In about another .25 miles this road joins with Forest Road 2N70, head right on the large road. (Ignore the brown sign post drawn in arrow that seems to point you to the extreme right and into the bushes). In about 200 yards you will come to the Grays Peak Trail sign on the left side of the road. One word of caution for the lower portion of the this trail is that it is a part of a very popular moutain bike trail known as "Grout Bay" and it is likely that you might encounter mountain bikes riding DOWN this part of the trail. Please keep your eyes and ears open and share the trail with everyone.

From the sign, it is approx 2.50 miles to the summit on the Grays Peak trail (1W06) even though the sign says 2 miles, believe me it is a little farther! There are no other trails or roads from here on up to confuse you, so if you go AFTER all the snow has melted off the trail or BEFORE it's winter arrival, it is easy to follow from here. Trail will take you all the way to the southern part of the summit where you will come directly to a yellow post if you stay on the trail. This is where you will find the Seven Summits punch. BUT we encourage you to make the last 100 yard climb to the real summit to take in the views and to sign in the registry book. (located in a tin can under some rocks at the peak)

Current Trail Conditions (5/3/09):

I have now gotten several reports that a majority of the snow has melted and most of the trail is clear. The parking lot at the trailhead is still closed for some reason, so just park off the hwy to the north toward Fawnskin (past all the NO PARKING signs) or to the south on the lake side of the highway.


rickstep said...

Just hiked Grays today (5/13/09). The trailhead parking lot, and the one across the street, were closed. The bathrooms at the trailhead lot are in desperate need of cleaning/maintenance. The trail itself is in great shape. There are still 3 stream crossings, although one is down to a trickle. My GPS marked the hike closer to 8 miles round trip, and the first right at 2N04X is closer to 0.8 miles. Other than that, the directions listed are great.

grandma karen said...

My husband and I hiked Grays Peak on May 15. Lot was open. Hike to stone arrow was closer to a mile. Seemed like about 7 streams. Maybe cause of melting snow. Beautiful. Only hairy part for me was walking sideways on steep snowy path. But made it! So worth it. The first peak for us. Hope to make them all. Cannister was there, but no punch.

Diane said...

Hiked Grayes Peak on Saturday 5-29-2010...Bathrooms in parking lot clean. Trail is in great shape. All in all it was an enjoyable hike. Canister in place and we signed in. We did not see a punch. We will continue to hike the other five left. We are hoping to join the group on one of the hikes if our schedule will allow it. Diane M. Laura O. & Diane E. aka DLD

karih said...

Hiked it today (7/6/2011) and the trail is beautiful. Mounds of Mt Bluebell growing in the aftermath of the Butler fire. New green growth contrasts with burnt out trees. Very surreal. Not as strenuous an incline as Bertha, and varying climate makes this a winner. Moderate pace up took us 1 hour 40 min. Hour and twenty down.

Philip Hopkins said...

hiked this peak on 7/4/2012. skies were clear with hints of a storm brewing to the south above san gorgonio. views of the lake pristine. burn area getting greener. trail was clear. crossed paths with a handful of mountain bikers and other hikes; several with dogs. no water.