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.

Survey marker no. 1. Survey marker no. 2.
I found two survey markers at the top, set in 1941. They confirm I have found Reyes Peak.

This being a peak, you've got to look around. Although there may have been some sketching and eating as well.

Looking out in a northwesterly direction.
Looking out from the highest point near the second survey marker off to the northwest. I sat here and sketched a bit.

Looking west to the road home.
Looking west shows the road home and below that the trail home.

Looking east southeast over the valleys.
Looking east southeast over the Sespe.

Looking east northeast toward a nearby mountain.
Looking east northeast to another mountain peak. Could be San Guillermo Mountain at 6569ft.

Some growth at the peak.
The top of the mountain does have a few plants struggling in the rocks at the very top.

I climbed down off the rocks again, leaving the mountain top to the birds and insects again. I remembered to take more photos on the way down.

Mummified snow flower patch.
Backpackers met on the way down at the good campsite asked if there was snow at the top. Okay, so it was a joke and probably teasing the couple who had just been complaining it was "up". They would have to content themselves with a few of these mummified snow flowers that popped up along the path from time to time.

The trail mostly stayed to the south side of the ridge. It got close to the true ridge for a moment of view of Lockwood Valley and beyond a few times.

A few pines struggling to survive close enough to the ridge to have a view to both sides.
A few pines along the ridge so high up they could see a great view to either side if they had eyes. The camera eye can only see north past Lockwood Valley since that's the way it is pointed. All of the pine trees that were tall enough grew up with their branches getting closer and closer together until there was just a massive tangle of limbs at the top. The ones lower down got taller before getting tangled, but they still ended up in a sort of nest. This set has later been sketched.

And then the trail was finished again.

Nicely framed photo of Lockwood Valley.
One last look into Lockwood Valley to the north and a bit east.

©2008 Valerie Norton
Posted 2 September 2008
Updated 6 September 2008

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