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  • Paperback - 248 pages
  • ISBN 0-89997-063-X
  • ISBN 089997063X
  • Published by Wilderness Press.
  • Text Copyright 1986 by John W. Robinson
  • John W. Robinson is the author and hiker in The book contains 100 hikes in the San Bernardino Mountains.

    In About The Author, it is noted that John Robinson has spent many years exploring and backpacking throughout the West, from Alaska to Mexico. It states that he has written a number of books on the history of the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains.

    The San Bernardino Mountains section of the book gives the reader a nice introduction to the area. San Gorgonio Mountains or "Greyback" is singled out because it is 11,502 feet high. [25]

    The wildlife in the area is not what it used to be, "Grizzly bears which, were thick in these mountains during pioneer times, have been gone for over half a century." [29] Black bears still exist in these mountains but their numbers are not what they once were. It is said that the rattlesnakes are common below 6,000 feet and sometimes seen as high as 8,000 feet. [29]

    The Man in the San Bernardinos section reveals much about the history of these mountains. In the summer of 1845, Benjamin D. Wilson found a lake with scores of Grizzly Bears. He named it Bear Lake but it was later changed to Baldwin Lake. Eventually the name Big Bear Lake survived when a dam was built in 1884. [34] The mormons lived in the San Bernardino Valley from 1851 until 1857 and they built a number of mills during that time. [35]

    Gold was discovered in the San Bernardino Mountains as early as 1857. [36] There was a real gold rush when William F. Holcomb made his famous discovery in 1860. [36] Most productive of all mines was Lucky Baldwin's Doble Mine on Gold Mountain. [38] Baldwin had a big impact on Southern California. His influence was heavy in the Arcadia area and there is more information on him on the Visitor Page under the Arcadia section.

    In 1883 the original dam for Big Bear Lake was constructed but it was later replaced by a stronger dam in 1910-11. [39] The Lake Arrowhead dam was completed in 1908. [39]

    Having taken multiple trips to Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear Lake, Palm Springs and many other locations in this book, I can personally verify that the San Bernardino Mountains have some beautiful features. I have done part of the 77 hike(Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to Long, Round and Tamarack Valleys). It is true that the Palm Springs Tramway takes visitors through numerous different climates in a matter of minutes. Tourists go from the hot desert floor to an 8,500 foot mountain station in a short yet powerful trip.

    My copy of the book had an Erratum saying the last paragraph on page 129 actually belongs at the end of page 193.

    John Robinson does not disappoint in his description of the wilderness in this guide. I recommend it for anyone who is considering a visit to San Bernardino.

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