Before beginning a hike, take into account your available
time, know- ledge of the area, necessary equipment (especially water),
and weather conditions. Remember you are at 7000 feet, so don't
overdo it at this altitude. Leave word with a friend and avoid
Green Mountain is the highest peak in our immediate area. It is just east of the
ski/snowboard area (not currently in use) in Green Valley Lake.
From atop this southern ridge (sometimes called Little Green
Valley Ridge), one has excellent views of Butler Peak and beyond.
2N19 (5 miles,
One way to get to this ridge is to begin at Green
Valley Campground. 2N19 rapidly climbs out of the campground to
the top of the ridge. By walking along the ridge towards the EAST,
the trail begins to slowly descend towards Green Valley Road. From
here you can return the way you came, or you can shuttle back to the
campground. Numerous unnamed routes of all levels of difficulty
are available in either direction from the top of this southern ridge .
Along the top
of the ridge, if you chose to hike towards the WEST instead, you
would end up in the natural alpine meadow known as Little Green
Valley. It used to be a YMCA camp but just recently the Forest
Service restored it to its original condition. The meadow is a
very unique environment and you will see many interesting wildflowers
growing here in the summer months. The largest and most numerous
are the corn lilies (see photo
on right). If you do a
little exploring, you may also find rein orchids growing in a riparian
area and also Torrey's lotus (see
photos on right). [Please
remember that picking wildflowers is forbidden by law.]
Little Green Valley Trail 2W10 (1.5 miles, difficult):
Another way to get to this alpine meadow is to take 2W10. This trail begins on the north side of Highway 18
between the two entrances to Snow Valley Ski area. The trail
climbs steeply to the north until you reach the meadow ("Little Green
Valley") at FS Road 2N19. This trail provides you with outstanding
views of Snow Valley and Slide Peak.
Though not marked
on any maps, there is a trail on the north ridge of Green Valley
Lake as well. It parallels the street called Holcomb Creek Dr.,
just staying to the north of it. You can start this trail from the
Old Crab Flats Rd. (2N86) which continues north from the street called
Wild Cherry. After walking only 50 yards, and before the road
starts to descend, turn EAST and follow the ridge trail all the
way to where it intersects with the Fawnskin Road (2N13).
You will soon be at the northern end of the Green Valley Campground.
If you continue down 2N13 for 10 more miles, you will end up in Fawnskin
at the north shore of Big Bear Lake. This road is also known as
"Snow Slide" and used to be a toll road; it was the original and only
way to get to Big Bear before Highway 18 was built.
If you stay
heading north and northwest on 2N86, you will soon
intersect with 2N54 . This is another lovely trail
that will take you east and intersect with the Fawnskin Road (2N13). Click here for map.
There are many
other trails not marked on hiking maps in and around Green Valley Lake.
Some of the upper ones offer spectacular views of the San Gabriels to
the west and Lake Arrowhead. Some of the lower ones connect to the Crab Flats Road (3N16) and are fun to explore when the
weather is nice. 3N16 is heavily used by off-roaders and can get
quite dusty and noisy, so it is recommended to explore the trails that
lead away from the Crab Flats Road.
Corn Lily in
Little Green Valley meadow
Rein Orchid in
Little Green Valley
Torrey's Lotus in Little Green Valley
Click on wildflowers for more
photos, or go to: www.heapspeakarboretum.com
Please help preserve the beauty of
National Forest by staying on the trails, by not picking the
wildflowers, and by reporting any unlawful activity such as illegal
campfires and people riding motorcycles that are not street legal (they
have no license plates) or off-road vehicles in areas where they are
forbidden--which is anywhere except 3N16. The person to call is
Brad Burns, the Law Enforcement Officer for the Forest Service, at (909) 337-2444.