Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 34.16420°N / 116.7628°W
Additional Information County: San Bernardino
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 8332 ft / 2540 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview and Route: "Where the Birds Slept"

On Highpoint of Heat Bar PeakOn summit of Heart Bar Peak

Heart Bar Peak is an 8,332 foot peak in the San Bernardino National Forest, about 12 miles southeast of Big Bear Lake. The origin of the name has no connection with any background of love and romance. Rather, the name has a very mundane origin, named after the nearby Heart Bar Ranch in the upper canyon of the Santa Ana River. The old center of the ranch is now Heart Bar Campground, located 1.5 miles west of the summit.

The Serrano Indians who inhabited the area called the summit “Pawarakam”, translated as the “summit where the birds slept.” This would certainly be a more interesting name.

Although a series of fire roads and jeep trails wind to Heart Bar’s summit, the route given below is via the peak’s north slope and provides a very nice cross-country experience.
North ridge  to Heart Bar PeakNorth ridge route to summit

Begin Route to Heat Bar PkBegin route on the jeep track
Low on Ridge to Heart  Bar PkLow on the ridge to Heart Bar

From the parking area (see next section) at 7,240’ elevation, start up the jeep track designated 1N38. After a few minutes of hiking, look for the peak’s broad ridge trending north/south. Take a right (south) off the road onto the fairly steep ridge and proceed to the summit. The summit’s high point is a rocky outcrop.
Near Heart Bar Peak summitNear summit of Heart Bar Peak
X-C Route to Heartbar PkHigher up on ridge to Heart Bar

Going back down, you can either retrace your steps down the ridge or pick one of the main gullies as a descent route. The round trip for this route is about 3 miles with 1,100 feet of gain. You would have a 5 mile roundtrip if you elected to take the fire road all the way up and down.
Core Exercising  on Heat Bar PeakSummit of Heart Bar Peak

Getting There

Coming from the west, take Interstate 10 to the University Street exit in Redlands. Turn left onto University and proceed through the campus of the University of Redlands to Lugonia Ave./Hwy 38. Turn right on Hwy 38 and proceed through the town of Mentone up into the mountains. In about 33 miles you will pass 1N02, the road to Heart Bar Campground. Continue straight on Hwy 38 another 1.6 miles to an obscure, paved road signed 1N38 that intersects the highway at a right angle. This intersect is at mile marker 35.13. Turn right onto 1N38. You can either park on this road just off the highway or drive downhill on this dirt road to a clearing on the side about 150 yards from the highway turnoff.
Sugarloaf Peak from Heart Bar PeakSugarloaf Mountain NW from summit of Heart Bar

Red Tape

You will need an Adventure Pass to park at the starting point for ascending this mountain. They cost $5 for a daily pass and $30 for yearly. Interagency Annual, Senior, and Access Passes may also be used. These passes are sold at Forest Service stations, most sporting goods stores, and, as of February 1, 2008, on-line.


The nearest camping is Heart Bar Campground, about 1.5 miles west of the summit. It is reached by taking 1N02 off of Highway 38 (see “Getting There” section).

When to Climb/Mountain Conditions

This peak can be climbed year round. During winter months, check beforehand with the National Weather Service forecast for the San Bernardino Mountains about weather and with the California Dept. of Transportation about road conditions. With snow cover, equip yourself appropriately.

Other Information

USGS Topos: 7.5 Moonridge

External Links

Adventure Pass information

Purchasing forest parking passes on-line

National Weather Service forecast for San Bernardino Mountains

California Dept. of Transportation