Lightning Gulch Point
Page Type: Trail
California, United States, North America
34.20010°N / 116.7576°W
Out & Back
1500 ft / 457 m
5.0 Mi / 8.1 Km
Created/Edited: Oct 13, 2007 / Oct 18, 2007
Object ID: 262334
Page Score: 76.66%
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Lightning Gulch Point is the unnamed prominent peak that resides between Sugarloaf Mountain and Onyx Peak. The entire summit ridgeline is old weather beaten Sierra Juniper Woodland, with mixed Pinyon, Limber, and Lodgepole Pine. Lightning has amazing views of the western Mojave, Big Bear Lake peaks, and the San Bernardino high country. The ride is along an abandoned 4wd route with some hike-a-bike sections. The views are amazing and would be a good ride to combine with the other two nearby peaks.
Trail Description The trailhead is the asphalt road on the west side of SR-38. Go through the opening into a large open dirt area. On the right you will see a 4wd route, very rugged and steep, hike your bike up this as it rounds Peak 9156. Once you gain a little more level spot the riding can begin. Follow the route to the saddle where there is a intersection with a South-North dirt road. Hike your bike to the left about 30-50 feet and you will see a rough 4wd route leading west up the slope. This route will gain the main ridge with amazing views of the Mojave. Continue in the saddle again on this route as it passes about five false summits. After you round Peak 9306 Lightning will come into view on the left. The woodland thins out on it's summit. Continue on this route as it drops to a saddle, then ascends directly up to the open summit area. There is a pair of triangle signs marking the summit cairn. The downhill will be sweeping and fun. The sections you had to hike your bike up now become fun steep rocky sections to ride.
Getting There Take the I-10 through San Bernardino getting off on the Orange exit, also marked SR-38. Take SR-38 through the suburbs and up into the mountains for 40 miles. At 40 miles you will reach Onyx Summit 8443 feet with a dirt road leading off on the right and a asphalt road leading off to the left. Park on the east side of the road at the large turnout.
When to BikeOnyx Summit is the highest paved road in Southern California and can sometimes be shut down in periods of heavy snow. The abandoned road itself would make a interesting snow ride.
You will need a Adventure Pass to park anywhere along the route. Adventure Passes are available at the Mill Creek ranger station at the lower reaches of SR-38.
For more information on mountain biking in the Big Bear area check adventurehostel.com.
Go to San Bernardino National Forest for current conditions.
Check Weather Underground for a current forecast.