Distance: 1.4 miles on dirt road and use trail
Summit Elevation: 6433'
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
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!
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 peakbagger.com). 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.