26 June 2014

La Cumbre Peak

Los Padres National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

Had a plan to continue to the boulders on the west side of the pass, but managed to realize that the beach was also a target for my visitor so just went for one last quick spot so there would be enough time to hit the beach while it was still warm enough to stick our toes in the cold surf. The little loop of old campground road up to the lookout at La Cumbre Peak is a very quick stroll with the plus of having facilities at the top. A number of picnic tables are scattered in the old campground sites around the loop. We follow the arrows on the paved road and take the left at the fork to stay a little more in the shade on the minor climb, then turn the corner and there it is.

lookout built 1945 and going to ruin
Unfortunately, the lookout on top of La Cumbre Peak is also a ruin.

There are a number of benchmarks on the peak. The easiest to find is the lookout itself. More ordinary disks are scattered around the area as well, with one right by the road.

LACUMBRE station mark
LACUMBRE station mark, set in 1941 is just north of the road on a rock about 5 feet high. One reference is just south of the road on a much shorter rock. The other reference was in the platform at the bottom of the partly removed stairway.

After the lookout, we continue around the loop for the views, passing a hiker who looks to have come up via Cathedral Peak, a class 2 trail. The views are grand today.

Santa Barbara Harbor and Santa Barbara below
Looking out over the city of Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz Island.

Cathedral Peak
Cathedral Peak (near needle) and Arlington Peak (behind and larger) and a little bit of the trail that comes up over them.

Santa Ynez Mountains
Looking along the coastal mountain range from La Cumbre Peak to the west.

With a few turns, we find ourselves back at Camino Cielo again. Time for the beach.

©2014 Valerie Norton
Posted 29 June 2014

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