27 September 2013

Reyes Peak

Los Padres National Forest

Locate the trail head.

The 28th is National Public Lands Day, which comes with free entry to the National Parks and free parking in the local forests and quite a lot of trail projects. Finding out about the trail projects is a little hit or miss, but I gather it will likely get better in the near future. I decided to join one that was planning on working Boulder Trail, ending up with groups working a little more trail and removing tamarisk in the badlands.

I head up Friday to camp out at Pine Mountain before the work and hit it a little early to give time to see the sights. The newly paved road feels narrower, but does make travel a lot easier. At the end of Reyes Peak Campground, the tar road ends and it is back to the familiar for the rest of the way. The sign at the end has gone missing and there is plenty of parking around the loop at the end of the road. I note the trail head kiosk is repaired as I start along what is left of the ancient paving that has been preserved behind it. As the road drops and the Reyes Peak Trail breaks off to the north of the peak, I start up the old trail to the peak. At least I try to follow the old tread instead of the use trail that cuts a path up the edge, but fail along the thick layer of pine needles that are worse for walking than shown. After the initial steep climb, the trail settles down as it more faithfully follows the old tread.

a bit of the ridge
Rocks and trees along the top of the ridge.

the same trees as always
They're still there.

The trail leaves the old tread again toward the top of the peak. I decide to delay topping the peak for a moment to visit the ice can stove just past it. Was there an official camp here? Was it unthinkable to a ranger distributing them that this location shouldn't have one? Did some hiker, a few decades ago when they were actually used, grab it from one of the lower camps one day and haul it up? The ice can doesn't say how it got there, it simply is.

ice can stove with a view
Ice can stove at the top of Reyes Peak.

I climb up the last few feet past the twisted cot frame from the old lookout and up to the top. The view is expansive as ever, although a little broken up by the trees. The register is completely missing.

top of Reyes Peak with bits of old lookout twisted and left in the rock
A few metal bolts sticking out of the rock and a single wooden beam are left from the wooden lookout that was once atop Reyes Peak.

Haddock Peak, down the ridge line
Haddock Peak, the destination of a good walk.

unchanged dirt road
The route in.

looking down the south side of the mountain
Below, the end of the road, or thereabouts, can be seen. When starting, it occurred to me that I'd never actually bothered to go down it to the end.

After a while, I return by the same route.

same tree, more view
Another look at the ridge with the Cuyama River below.

road around the front of the mountain
A bit of road heads around to the front of the mountain.

Then I make the mistake of heading over to say "hello" to the other campers and never quite get to visiting Raspberry Spring before having to leave again.

©2013 Valerie Norton
Posted 30 September 2013

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