BIG BEAR LAKE, April 29-Passenger cars soon can use the Pioneer pass Rd. between Big Bear resorts and the high desert communities of Yucca, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms to the east, according to Earl Nichols, district ranger of the Big Bear headquarters for the U.S. Forrest Service.
A recent weekend was set aside for a volunteer “Pioneer Pass Push,” with dynamite crews, heavy equipment and even “peons” with shovels and pickaxes covering the road from Road Mine easterly along the route, in an all-out effort to show what volunteer workers can do. Their work followed preliminary efforts of the U.S. Forrest Service, which originally built the mountain road as a fire access route. However, it has become increasingly popular with residents of the desert and mountain as a shortcut between the two areas.
Meanwhile, the Forest Service is being aided by the 7th Engineers of the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at Twentynine Palms. Through their efforts, work has rested in a new stretch of roadway along the south slope of Mineral Mountain which eliminates a bad stretch in the original routing know as “Poop-out Hill.”
In about two weeks, with the efforts of the volunteer workers, Ranger Nichols reports that the new shorter route should be open to travel, bypassing the double crossing of Rattlesnake Creek, with only a 7% to 8% grade, which will also shorten the distance by a mile.