Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hanna Flats

Our usual tent setup, she's on the left, I'm on the right

Hanna Flats Campground

Our lil house for the weekend, site 23

Happy Memorial Weekend!

PCT.... maybe one day....

View from Bertha Peak

Our backyard for the weekend

Clear skies while the sun sets

When I figured out Tizzy had Saturday through Monday off Memorial weekend, what better way to spend it than camping? So I spent a week or two looking into location and sites and not wanting to drive too far....Yosemite was fun but the 8 hour drive was not.... so it was between Big Bear and Idyllwild. After a few more hours looking at campsites, and seeing how everything was reserved we decided on Big Bear because there were more first come options.... (Holcomb Valley, South Fork Family Campground, Big Pine Flat, and yellow post campsites... just some campsites that don't need reservations... thank you Kari and Vo for the tips ^_^).

I spent the week prepping, while Tizzy had to work a night shift Friday night, so right when she got off Saturday morning we hit the road for Big Bear! I mapped us to the Big Bear Discovery Center first to talk to the park rangers and grab some maps. They could've been a little more encouraging to us, the ranger we spoke with didn't think we would find a campsite and she also did not suggest us driving my car through the backroads because I didn't have a 4 WD or high clearance vehicle, but we  did not let that put a damper in our spirits! 

The campsites all had called into the ranger station that morning to let them know how many spots each site had left, and as of 10 AM Hanna Flats said they had 5 first come sites left, so we marked that as our first stop, our back up was going to be South Fork in the Gorgonio Wilderness. Off to Hanna Flats we went! Oh the drive to Hanna.... 4 miles of unpaved dirt road with lots of bumps and holes... but my car made it. (My tire pressure warning light did come on at one point, but that's a minor detail.) Half of Hanna Flats is RSVP only, and the other half is who ever gets there first gets the site. 

We ended up settling at site 23. Once we set up camp, made lunch, we sat back and just enjoyed the fact that we had absolutely nowhere to be. We explored the nearby trails which was Hanna Flats to Grays Peak. But due to eagle nesting season the peak was closed. Then we just made quesadillas and screwdrivers, and settled in for the night.

Next day we hiked Cougar Crest Trail to Bertha Peak (8,201ft elevation, 7 miles round trip). The trail had some good views of Big Bear Lake, you can definitely tell California's in a drought with how low the water was though. Coolest part of the hike was that it crossed the PCT and we ran into a PCT thru hiker who was 2 weeks into the hike (I think he said he had hiked 200+ miles so far). Bertha Peak itself wasn't anything too special, with some radio towers at the top, but it had some clear views of the lake, so we posted up and ate our sandwiches there.

A quick breakdown of how much this weekend cost: $56 for 2 nights camping at Hanna Flats, $60 for tank of gas that got us there and back, $110 for groceries and firewood for 3 days of food = $226 for a weekend camping for 2 people. Not bad for 3 days, 2 nights of camping I'd say.

Another successful trip.

Until next time Big Big Bear!

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