Saturday, November 14, 2015

Buck Point

Hiked: 11/13/2015
Distance: 1.4 miles on dirt road and use trail
Summit Elevation: 6433'
Prominence: 673'
Elevation Gain: 510'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.40
Round trip time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Recommended water: 16 oz.
Parking/Fees: Free on San Sevaine Road turnout
Difficulty: Easy

I got back from Etiwanda a little faster than planned and had time to knock off Buck Point, a short HPS peak on the way back along San Sevaine Road. While the hike is short, the wrong strategy could lead to a great deal of bushwhacking pain. Thanks to Patrick O'Neill for finding and sharing the best way up. The trailhead is a turn out on the south side of the peak. There used to be a path along the south ridge, but reports over the last couple of years claim it is severely overgrown with ceanothus and rhamnus (buckthorn). The alternative is to head down the road below the summit, then climb a section of class 2+ dirt and boulders to a use trail that can be followed to the summit.

I followed the current best practice. See the first picture for my entry point. I found the use trail behind the large rock wall. Even so, it would not be so easy to follow without the helpful cairns placed at intervals. At the first clearing near the top, I found a seismic monitoring station. The only other place I've seen one of these was on Mount St. Helens. A sign on the solar power panel stated it was an Earth Scope Project, part of the Boundary Plate Observatory. Cool stuff!

Scramble from the road

Use trail is behind the rock wall

Follow the cairns

Solar powered seismic station

Earth Scope Project

But wait, this is not the summit. A little bit north of the station is the register can. I signed in and checked out recent visitors. Buck Point is far less popular than Etiwanda (for good reason!). But wait, this still isn't the summit. The high point can be found further north in a clump of buckthorn that has swallowed the 5' metal marker pole. I flagged it with a waypoint in my GPS track (download from I returned along the use trail and scrambled down to the road. A short jog back to the truck and I was done for the day.

Cucamonga and Etiwanda from Buck Point


Summit marker in deep buckthorn. Maybe it should have been named "Buckthorn Point"?


  1. Classic San Gabes picture with the old rusted metal sign lost amongst the thorny bush! I think someone forgot to add "-thorn" to the Buck. I also saw some of that Earth Scope stuff at the top of Mt. Gleason about a year ago!

    1. Missy,

      Those seismic monitors are great science. Mt. Gleason just made my list. Thanks for the info.