Ranger Peak Lookout
Ranger Peak is a old San Bernardino fire lookout site, built in 1935, in the San Jacinto Mountains. It has a unique position, standing at 5082 feet on the northwest slope of the San Jacintos, one can take in long views of the San Jacinto Mountains north and west slopes, San Bernardino Mountain high country, Yucaipa Ridge, Little San Bernardino Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Ana Mountains, and the Inland Valleys. Ranger Peak was on the first Hundred Peaks List in 1946, it was delisted in 1999 as being a peak of little value. One on my many mountain pursuits is to visit as many lookout sites as possible, so I made a detour to this peak to check it out. I could not believe the views, some of the best in the range that I have ever experienced. This a great place to come and watch the sun go down. The old lookout is now just it's pedestal mounts and nice rock stairs.
To get there
Take the 243 from the I-10 out of Banning and head towards Idyllwild. Drive about 12 miles, just before you reach the Vista Grande Ranger Station on the right side, there is a fire road. Take this fireroad one mile towards the tall towers, just before the towers the road continues to the right terminating at the old lookout site and summit of Ranger Peak. The fireroad is well maintained and passable by careful drivers in passenger cars. If you decide to park at the entrance of the road and hike the roundtrip hike would be 2 miles with maybe 200 feet of gain.
The peak can also be hiked up from the highway about a half mile north from the roadhead. There is a old firebreak that leads to the summit. The roundtrip would be one mile with about 500 feet of gain.
External LinksGo to San Bernardino National Forest for current conditions.
Ranger Peak was on the Hundred Peaks List.