Take A Sunset Hike! Along Green Valley Lake's 2N13
Updated: Sep 6, 2018
Green Valley Lake provides a variety of beautiful hiking trails, but many are not quite as well known or as pretty as 2N13! After a day of lake swimming we figured we couldn't go wrong with an evening sunset hike to combine beautiful vistas and a sunset view. The trail is listed as a light to medium effort trail for a pleasant summer mountain hike.
Starting off on 2N13 we veered right to follow the trail through the forest. The trail starts about 1/2 mile before the campground on Green Valley Lake Rd and is marked with a sign 2N13 Fawnskin. With temperatures in the mid-70's, the refreshing breeze was a welcome respite from 100 degree weather down the hill.
Starting our hike, we pass a patch of ferns under the shade of tall pines. The vibrant green is a bright contrast to the surrounding soil. The sun is beginning it's descent so we continue on.
A variety of pine trees surround the trail and mountains. Jeffery & sugar pines, along with incense cedars, lodgepole pines, and white fir are common trees in the San Bernardino Mountains.
On a hillside we spot a manzanita. There are several species of manzanita in these mountains, although none are endangered like some of the coastal manzanita species.
In addition to being a great place to hike, the 2N13 is also an off road trail and we notice a motorcyclist zooming down the trail. It is the only offroader we encounter on this hike. In fact we don't encounter any other hikers either, making it feel like a private hike just for us.
We spot a cheerful border of yellow flowering bushes lining the trail. The bushes are rabbitbrush which bloom in the late summer. Rabbitbrush belong to the sunflower family and their coloring is certainly close to sunflower yellow.
We also pass by a number of red flowered plants called California Fushias which bloom up until fall. Hummingbirds favor these flowers and you can sometimes see a hummingbird close by. We saw a humming bird on our hike but it darted away too quickly to pose for a photo. There are hummingbirds at Green Valley Lake, so it is fun to see the flowers they prefer.
The trail is picturesque and a fantastic change of scenery from our usual life down the mountain. One more reason to head to the mountains and be a part of Green Valley Lake life.
Some new pine trees are emerging from the soil under a larger California Oak tree. We see a few California Oak trees here and there at different points along the trail. There are 2 species of oak tree in these mountains, the California Oak and the Canyon Live Oak. The main oak tree around Green Valley Lake is the California Oak.
The sun starts to change the sky to a light peach color. Viewing the soon to be setting sun through the high trees we continued on the trail. As the sun starts to set, we hurry to reach a higher viewing plateau. Sunset colors deepen as we near the plateau.
On the left past the rabbitbrush flowers lining the trail we reach a large flat plateau, which is perfect to enjoy the setting sun. We are rewarded with expansive views of a peach, orange, and lavender sunset.
After taking in the sunset, we realize we need to hurry back so we are not scrambling around the trail after dark. Snapping one more photo of a rose and melon hued sun peeking between the trees we continue our journey.
Heading back at a jog we reach Green Valley Lake before dark.
Here are some facts about this local favorite trail:
~ 2N13 is also called the Snow Slide Trail, and connects Green Valley Lake to Fawnskin. The Green Valley Lake entry point is about a half a mile before the campground, and the Fawnskin access point is just 4 miles out of town off of Rim of The World Dr.
~ If you hiked from GVL to Fawnskin both ways, you'd have hiked 16 miles! That's right, the trail is 8 miles each way and defined as a "light to medium" effort trail by San Bernardino County.
~ You can branch off of the 2N13, to 2N13B which takes you to the Butler Peak fire lookout! It's only about 3 miles off on the 2N13 at the 4 mile mark, giving you a 7 mile hike classified as "light to medium."
~ Not only can you hike 2N13, but you can off-road there, both in the summer and winter. In the summer you can get all the way to Fawnskin, whereas during the winter you are only permitted to go about half way up.
~ During snow season, lots of people use the base of the 2N13 right at the access point as a sledding area! This is not plowed though, so locals and visitors use it at their own risk.
This trail is a short walk away from our two cabins. So if you crave peace, quiet, and a fun hike, book one of our cabins at gvleaglecabins.com and GVL like a local!