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24H Dobbs Peak

Location: San Bernardino County, California

Named for John W. Dobbs, a long time mountain man, prospector and guide (not related to Frank C. Dobbs). His family came from Texas. Relatives lived along Yukaipa ridge and in the same general area. John lived in a hand-hewn log cabin along Falls Creek (now Dobbs Trail Camp), and he built part of Falls Creek Trail (now closed by the USFS) in order to tap the water of Falls Creek and build a flume for a hydro-electric plant in lower Mill Creek. His name also survives in Dobbs flume, and Dobbs Falls. He achieved notoriety as the mountain guide (of Botanist George B. Grant and Walter Wheeler) who was struck dumb by a lightning flash while descending San Gorgonio, as recorded in C.F. Saunders The Southern Sierras of California (1923). Grant is quoted describing the incident (1904): "It was as black ... as smoke from a locomotive funnel. I never thought of lightning, and I don't think the others did. What we were afraid of was a hurricane or hailstorm. Suddenly there was a crash of thunder and a blinding flash. The bolt stunned the guide and sent him plumb crazy, so I had to hold him on the ground for half an hour, or he would have thrown himself off the mountain. A second bolt that followed killed Wheeler instantly, ripping his clothes to shreds and leaving him almost naked. Then a third bolt struck close to me while I was struggling with Dobbs, who cried like a baby and was calling for his mother. I couldn't make him realize what had happened. Other bolts followed striking here and there on neighboring buttes, and there was a dead man and a lunatic on my hands, and no help so far as I knew within a dozen miles and the mountain wild with storm". Grant and Dobbs experienced a long and harrowing rescue and survived but understandably ever after, or so it was told of Dobbs, "the sight of lightning unmans him".

Name first appears on USFS San Bernardino National Forest map (1955).

Peak was added to the HPS Peak List in 1960.


Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
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Updated 25-February-2003