31 August 2008

Reyes Peak

Los Padres National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

When everyone else went on down the mountain, I went further up it to see if I could get to the peak. The road did not actually go there although it was rather obscured by other details on the forest map. There was a trailhead instead. A short way down the trail splits one side heading off to one side of the mountain, the other to the other side of the mountain and a usage trail splitting the difference heading up the mountain.

I met a man walking along with his kids that looked like they weren't more than five coming down the usage trail. He said that the trail started off quite steep but got quite flat above. Although I didn't actually see little footprints all the way up, it was pretty good for a usage trail. It was especially good for a usage trail that travels along a ridge passing about four false peaks.

It looked like a lot of people don't actually get all the way up to the peak. There was a wide, flat spot that looked like a good place to camp, even for a very large group, along the way and the trail was a bit hard to follow through there. After that, it was much smaller and apparently less traveled. Also, the tiny footprints could no longer be found in the dirt.

The highest peak of Pine Mountain is Reyes Peak. It is 7514ft. up and not particularly bald. The peak itself is rounded pink sandstone. At the top, there once stood some sort of structure. Pieces of it remain, but I was unable to determine what it was. Almost all of the nearby pines looked quite young.

Somewhat twisted thing made of metal, this still a single, connected piece.
A twisted bit of metal that seems to be all connected. It didn't quite look like a cot, I can't figure out what it is.

Pink rocks at the top of the otherwise not so bald peak.
The top of the mountain, the pink sandstone, a few trees and bushes around at this height (7514ft.) to block the view some, and some anchors for whatever once resided on the top.

More great rocks, a little left over of what was once built, and the fantastic view beyond.
A little more mountain top, old cabin? lookout?, and the great view beyond.

Raspberry Spring

Los Padres National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

We spotted the sign for Raspberry Spring on our way to Chorro Spring the day before. It was a little way down the hill on the near side of Reyes Peak campground where trailhead parking could easily be mistaken for campsite parking since a campsite was also there. The trail was a little harder to see from the road but easy enough from the sign. It is only 0.4 miles down to the spring.

Finding the spring itself proved a little harder. We came upon a campsite, since this is also a campsite like the other spring complete with campfire grills, and then another one but didn't see a way off to a spring or any sign of a spring. I followed an animal trail a little ways figuring it would go to the spring. It probably did in the other direction but I found a third site up from the animal trail a little way instead. Then I found myself at the first site again and spotted a people trail that headed to the spring.

The spring on this side is a little smaller. Very little of it looks to be flowing out. It still comes out of the pipe someone stuck in it long ago and fills a barrel that still has a few slats in it. A second pipe had just enough water in it to drip a few drops when lowered.

The spring as it is first seen including one of its namesake vines.
Raspberry Spring as it is first seen by hikers on the small trail from the campground to the spring. Part of an old barrel still stands playing at catching the water.

Raspberry Spring in all its glory.
Raspberry Spring from the other side, you can see the pieces of barrel in a hole dug long ago that catches the spring water from an old pipe. On the far side, some sort of overflow pipe would have taken the water away too. A few raspberries can be seen near it.

On the way back up, I spotted this odd tree.

Tree with a sudden semicircle in its trunk.
A tree along the trail. It seems to have a sudden semicircle in its trunk like it's actually hinged.

And there's also nice views, this time to the north instead of the south.

Lockwood Valley from along the trail to Raspberry Spring.
There seems to be a lot more view to look out over to the north.

©2008 Valerie Norton
Posted 2 September 2008

30 August 2008

Chorro Spring

Los Padres National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

The trail down to Chorro Spring started at the far end of Reyes Campground. It had a large road sign to mark it so was easy to find. The first few feet looked like road and had a road block on it, but shortly after that it was only trail sized. The trail actually goes past Chorro Spring to Oak campground and then on to 33.

On the way to the trail head, we found a former bee hive.

A large hole in a tree where the remnents of honeycomb is visible.
A little bit of honeycomb is still visible in the hole that was once occupied by a bee hive. The hole still smells strongly of honey, too.

Reyes Peak area (camping)

Los Padres National Forest

Chorro Spring | Raspberry Spring | Reyes Peak

We headed out looking for a place to camp. The main plan was somewhere on up highway 33 near Wheeler Gorge. First we looked for a spot in the valley, but the Gorge campground itself was full with people reserving spots and had weird rules for weekends. Middle Lion and Rose Valley were both quite full when we went by, so we climbed the mountain. Dropping into Pine Mountain and found one site empty. I dropped off my passengers to hold it and wait for the second car while going up to see if there was something in Reyes Peak, our preferred spot, but there wasn't. It was quite nice, though, and I found the trail down to Chorro Grande.

After setting up and getting ourselves fed lunch, we headed over to Chorro Spring on foot. Then back for lovely dinner and a bit of star gazing. The stars were nice and crisp and plentiful.

Then along came the very annoying not quite teenagers who felt the need to drink all night and tear down bits of trees to keep their fire going. Since it was green wood, of course they had to keep squirting lighter fluid on it, besides that made it jump up in fun ways. Meanwhile, there had to be music. Boring rap music for the most part. Eventually they fell asleep.

In the morning we had a lovely breakfast of pancakes which worked surprisingly well. They had wonderful crunchy edges and were nice and light and there was even real maple syrup to douse them in although some had them with the peanut butter or jam that was meant for lunch. Then our neighbors woke up and started up some more music and burning wood and even drinking.

Most of us climbed the hill north of the campground to have a little time to ourselves. Reading or talking or painting. Coming back, the music was like a dreary roar. Shortly after that, though, is when the ranger came by and the music went off. An extensive lecture followed, as did supervised fire burying. Information was collected and they were sent on their way. Unfortunately they might not even be fined, but it was entertaining to watch all the same.

We completed packing up in blissful silence. We got the lunch stuff ready for a picnic and headed to Raspberry Spring on the other side of the ridge. It took a little looking to find the spring instead of just the campground, but we managed. We had our lunch and hiked back up.

I wanted to go to the end of the road and maybe up to the actual peak that they road may or may not get to. The rest didn't really want to and since they were all going back to Pasadena and I was headed up to Santa Barbara for another day afterward, we parted. I got to the end of the road and found it did not actually go to the top, so had to hike the rest of to way to Reyes Peak.

Then it was on up to Santa Barbara to see my uncle while he was still in town.

©2008 Valerie Norton
Posted 2 September 2008