24 January 2016

Twin Peaks

Ojai front country

After just over five miles of hiking, I was not quite ready to say I was done. It is only 2PM. Anyway, I had a plan for finishing early: check out trails on the western side of the main trail.

Horn Canyon sign
Back so soon? Heading out along Horn Canyon again.

Quickly, there is an unmarked trail to the left that shows quite a lot of use. This crosses the creek and wiggles up first unused, then used road. I was not looking for a road, so when L. Moore promises to parallel the lower trail up the canyon, I go for it. From it, there is a trail marked Twin Peaks. I am not really looking for something all the way up to the local peaks, so keep on going. L. Moore tops out at a spot marked "Parkers Corner" then clearly heads back down into the canyon. Well, there was a sign for it down there, so that makes sense. This is not what I want either, so back to the last trail and start climbing.

bottom of Twin Peaks Trail
If you want a trail, here is a trail.

tiny bit of grass
Getting climbing past a tiny meadow.

The climb is not bad. It comes to another junction, surrounded by high growth, where only the A.S. Thacher sign remains. By now, I am determined to see out this "Twin Peaks" thing and this does not look like it. The trail to the left goes down, so I go right. There are no hoof prints on this one and only one set of boot prints. Around the corner, there is a small circle of peaks and a stretch of trail can be seen toward the right of them. It is easy to pick out the likely destination, one with a thick crest of rock that can be seen in the first picture of the day behind the observatory. It is not so far away. A whole lot of up, but not far away.

brush covered slopes
Picking out the likely destination ahead.

switchback on the hillside
The switchbacks headed up to The Pines across the canyon.

south to Upper Ojai Valley
To the south, the high point of the earlier loop can be seen cresting the hills below.

The trail gets quite steep as it climbs. The body protests at first, asking for food, as I take on the slopes. Once given some food, it is quite willing. The next mile passes quickly as I keep comparing my height to The Pines across the way. For a while, they seem above, but there is one last particularly steep push to the top and looking down on them. Finally taking in a little more of my surroundings, I look for Chief Peak. It sits where I expect, connected to this peak by a high ridge line.

end of Twin Peaks Trail
There is not all that much room at the top.

The Pines and Topatopa
The tuft of pine trees that is The Pines now sits below and Topatopa Bluff peeks out.

Chief Peak
Chief Peak is further up this same ridge line.

Turning away from the rest of the mountains, there is a spectacular view over the Ojai Valley. Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Catalina Islands are all on show today. I am feeling pretty good as I stand at the top.

Senior Canyon Reservoir, Lake Casitas, and the Pacific Ocean all glisten in the afternoon sun.

more peaks
Just high enough to see more peaks to the backside. Nordhoff Peak is on the far left.

I take some time at the peak before turning back down the steep trail. At the junction, the temptation to find another way back to the car is too much and I take the other trail. It drops and climbs through a couple little valleys and I can see it ahead continuing more upward than downward. As I get ever closer to Senior Canyon rather than the school below, I decide to turn back and take the trail I know. It is a little late for exploring another canyon.

little meadow
Back to the same little meadow for the flare of sunset colors.

©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 28 Jan 2016

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