On Saturday, March 3, 2007 I hiked nearby Mt. Baden Powell and then headed off to hike another peak before going to visit my dad. I drove over to Tehachapi with the intention of hiking Tehachapi Peak, but the trailhead there had about 2 ft of snow. I didn’t want to spend the next day fighting that much soft snow, so I moved on to Plan B – Burnt Peak.
I drove back down to Lancaster and then headed west. I passed Lake Elizabeth and Lake Hughes before reaching Bushnell Summit. I turned onto the forest service road and started up the hill. There were spots of snow on the road, but they were easily passed over and soon I was at the ridgeline and the trailhead. I could see Burnt Peak off to the west and knew I was in the right spot. It was late afternoon so I didn’t start the hike immediately. I car camped here for the night and enjoyed the evening.
The next morning I got an early start and headed down the road towards Burnt Peak. The first mile or so is mostly downhill and I lost about 250 ft in elevation. On the way down to this low saddle I saw fresh cougar prints on the muddy road. As I started up towards Burnt Peak, there was snow on the road. In places it was about 6 inches deep, but it was easy to walk on and I made good progress. The higher I got up towards the saddle between Little Burnt Peak and Burnt Peak, the harder the wind was blowing. I had to finally take my hat off to prevent it from blowing away.
The road circles the summit area. First, I was on the north and then it circled around to the west and finally reached the summit from the south side. On the summit the wind was blowing about 30 mph steady. The summit area has been leveled for an FAA facility, but you can walk around the perimeter fence and get great views in all directions. I could see the Pacific Ocean way off to the west.
I didn’t stay too long because the wind was blowing so hard, so I headed back down the road. I took my time returning to my truck and got back there 2 hours after I left. The entire hike is just under 6 miles and the elevation gain with the ups and downs is about 1,050 ft. I enjoyed this hike. It is easy to get to and not a difficult hike. Since it was still early in the day, I left and headed to Santa Ynez Peak to catch another view.