Crafts Peak, 2N19

The Cultivation of Life's Felicities

So Others May Share in its Euphoria

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This trail takes you to Crafts Peak at an elevation of 8,300 feet and is the sister peak to Butler Peak in the east.  The views from here are spectacular where you can see Big Bear, Arrowhead and Green Valley lakes not to mention the skylines of the neighboring country side.  Trail 2N19 includes several different off roading routes to Crafts Peak.  They include 'A', 'B' and 'C' and are easily accessible from the Green Valley Lake Road off State Highway 18.  Just travel approximately 1 mile and the trail is on your right.  Just follow the signs and your 4 wheeling fun will begin.  Here are a few pictures of 2N19C at the top.  The topographic map will help you get orientated so that you can discover this wonderful place.  Need help?  Just drop the Hegowee 4WD Club a line.

See the trail maintenance write up, photos and videos (May 21, 22, 2005) right below the map.

Day 1

Got up at 5:00 am and packed up the '81 F-250 for the road to Green Valley Lake (GVL) near Big Bear and hook up with the group camped there overnight.  I was making great time, the roads void of traffic and the morning cool and pleasant.  I decide to take 138 all the way up the mountain through Crestline and over to my destination via the detoured 18.  Still traffic light I turn off the 18 to Green Valley Lake road.  In less than a mile I approach the 2N19 trail head and look at the time... 8:00 am.  Great I say.  I'll surprise the work party and drive the 2N19 trail over too them.  I turn off and immediately discover that the signs are down.  Our logo missing.  The crevasse at the beginning much larger than before.  I proceed with caution keeping in mind that 9:00 am is the time set for our meet and breakfast get-together.  2N19 is really tore up.  As I slowly move along the many deep cracks and debris fields I remove just enough material to keep moving to make time.  I approach the 2N19 intersection where the old 'YMCA' turn off is and make the left onto 2N19 towards Green Valley Lake and the 2N19B spur.  Knowing that the group is camped at the GVL campground ahead I bypass the 'B' spur and continue down the trail.  As I near the first turn down the hill  I trample down a small snow drift.  Luckily I'm going down hill.  Soon I arrive where two trees have fallen covering the road.  My stomach begins to sicken as I ponder this next obstacle.  8:20 am I'm still okay and can back out and still get to my party before 9:00 am.  Ahhhh I can get around the obstacle safely and continue towards the camp.  Oh NO!!!!  Just before the road starts to level out nature has craved out a nasty 40" rut.  The angle and depth was such that it was possible to cross if I had others with me.  I looked at it from many different angles and decided to go back up the hill.  Still running early enough to make the get-together.  I manage the fallen trees, the snow drift and arrive at the 'B' spur.  The 'B' spur is the closest to Green Valley Lake so I decide to take it.  Going back 2N19 proper was just to ruff and nasty.  I decide to air down and relieve the tires of it's 50 psi.  10/11 psi was the setting for all fours and always mindful of tire placement as not to pop a bead.  I take off and discover that the trail is uneventful, turning left past 2N19C and making my way to GVL.  Several yards from the downhill section to 2N19A was a monstrous snow drift about 2 to 3 feet high.  I look around for bypasses.  Nothing this time to save my bacon.  I approach with caution.  The truck is walking over nice and easy... then down she went.  Even with the great flotation of the low tire pressure the snow succumb to the weight and I settled deep within the wet snow.  The time is now 8:50 and I ain't moving.  I get out and dig, place debris under the tires, but the massive axles are imbedded within the snow pack.  I fire up the CB and begin my search for my comrades.  Over and over again I repeat, "Bob Gibson do to copy, this is Mr. Ugly", and "MacGyver do you copy", "Rick do you copy", "does anyone hear me?"  "Break channel 3.. 3 can anyone copy, come back?"  Now it's after 9:00 and I'm soaked and wet.  I continue to call out and finally I hear this faint voice calling out, "Mr. Ugly do you hear me, this is Bob", I immediately reply over and over again "Yes I hear you".  Rick also can be heard trying to contact me.  The distance and the weak signal the voices can barely be heard, but we manage to get our message heard.  Most of the time I believe Bob is hearing me clearly and I began to tell him to go through GVL to 3N13 then over to 2N19A.  The message is misunderstood and Bob leaves GVL and goes to the 2N19 trail head.  I unknowingly have the caravan coming from the opposite direction from behind me.  Their signal strength gets stronger and stronger as they approach 2N19B.  I tell them to turn right up the hill and they insist that the trail goes left.  I tell them just take 2N19B.  I walk over to the downhill section of 'B' and don't see or hear anyone.  I rush back to the truck and hear them saying they reached another fork.  Not knowing that they are at 'C' I tell them to continue down 'B'.  I hear a voice saying, "I see a Big Red truck up ahead".  I look around and there they are behind me.  Wow.  "I apologized for my stupid side trip, I reply" and they all laughed it off to "that's what we're all here for".  A couple yanks and I'm off the mound of snow.  I move forward again through the snow and stop, but can quickly back out.  One more try and I'm through.  All the others follow one by one. Some needing a little extra help.


We drive on going towards GVL going down 2N19B towards 2N19A (now 9:45 am).  Our goals is breakfast in GVL.  We start our trek west and encounter a washout.  Big enough to be a nuisance, so we all start piling in large rocks and shoveling in dirt to fill the hole.  I'm the first in line and everyone is talking about the line they will take to get over it.  I already had my line planned, but relied on the spotter to guide me over.  Well the truck slide sideways deeper into the washout.  I began to retreat and the tire came off the rim.  After several attempts to get safely located and jacked up we removed the tire and mounted the spare.  Off and running and now nearing 11:00 am we come upon a locked gate.  Thanks to Greg I have a key.  In and out off the gate we soon run into the second gate just before GVL road.  We all safely negotiate the opening and head over to the cafe.  Everyone's been waiting for breakfast and now it's lunch time.  We are seated and 30 minutes later fed.  We relax.


After lunch we rebeaded, inflated and mounted the tire.  We returned to work on 2N19A.  We ran across barricades of fallen trees which we removed.  As we approached the first switchback heading up to Crafts Peak, we discovered a giant washout.  Here we will definitely need a drainage pipe and lots of fill.  2N19A to Crafts Peak closed until we can do repairs.  We back tracked to 'B' and up to 'C'.  A few stayed behind and the rest went to check out this section of the trail.  A few more fallen trees and debris fields cleared.  However, as we got closer and closer to the 'T' intersection of 2N19A the snow was just too deep.  It slowed our progress so we decided to turn around.  The group masterfully maneuvered themselves as winching points on the return trip.  One by one each vehicle was safely retrieved and and the journey back down 2N19C began.  Poor Bob and Mike were waiting so long that they came searching for us.  Thank you Bob.  We continued out 'C', then 'B', then 'A' and onto 2N13 and out through GVL.  The sun is dropping fast, we are tired, hungry and ready to get back to the OHV work center to relax.  As we get closer to Sky Forest the traffic stops.  Motorcyclist down, with ambulances, paramedics and the local sheriff.  We arrive at North Shore after dark and begin setting up our camp.  I rush off to check the water heater and get some water ready for hot showers.  Rat's the water heater will not light.  Cold is as good as anything.  Everyone else is setting up tents, getting the BBQ hot and arranging the small group for our evening of story telling.  Here we are the next morning: Group 1, Group 2 and Scout

Day 2:  This will take you to 3N59A

Here are a couple video's of the entire trip just to wet your appetite. DouglasCharlieMikeJohn.  Sorry Rick I didn't have any footage of you... damn.

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Friday, January 02, 2015

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