The activation of Butler Peak was planned as a longer stay on the summit while operating on HF, FM and a bit of CW. The access was supposed to be an approx. 7 mile drive on a forest road from Fawnskin and a short hike to the actual summit and firetower. The road was reported as open on the San Bernadino Forest homepage. It turned out it was not the gate was locked, due to logging as we found out later. So it was decided to go around and try a deviation through the surrounding valleys (3N16 forest road) and try to access the summit via 2N54 and 2N13.
This trip through the valleys turned out to be more than 20 miles with some extreme 4×4 sections (beware of 2N54 especially) including two creek crossings. In any case we made it to the summit three hours later than originally estimated. As mentioned before the original short access was closed due to logging operations, but these work required the gates to be opened along 2N13 and made it possible to reach the summit. There was no active logging during the trip – logging operations are otherwise an immediate stop and return for any hiker, 4×4, mountain biker etc.
View from the trail
View from the summit
Big Bear Lake
On the way down the route via Green Valley as recommended by several hikers we met on the way up worked out. 2N13 to Green Valley was open without any locked gates. I had no huge desire to go down 2N54 again.
2N13 down from Butler Peak
The “Locked Gate” which was open to Green Valley
On Butler Peak I made a short activation before heading back down to Green Valley. It is a pity that the “alternative route” to the summit took too much time and the time on the summit had to be cut shorter than expected.
Date:02/Sep/2014 Summit:W6/CT-009 (Butler Peak) Call Used:WN6E