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Fall Equinox Nature Hike on Pine Mountain

September 25 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

$45

Mixed conifer forest at sunset near Reyes Peak. Photo: Bryant Baker

PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this hike is now closed.

Please be sure to use the REGISTER link below before clicking on the PayPal button to complete payment and secure your space. Note: Online payment includes a PayPal fee. To avoid that, you may mail a check. When you register you will receive mailing instructions.

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Sugar pine cones (Pinus lambertiana). Photo: Lanny Kaufer

On Saturday, September 25, 2021, I will lead my 9th annual Fall Equinox Nature Hike in the peaceful Mixed Conifer Forest on the “sky island” known as Pine Mountain (elevation: 7000 feet). I promise that first time visitors to this area will be surprised and delighted to find a thick forest of pines, fir and incense-cedar so close to the Ventura coast. If we’re lucky, pine nuts will be falling as we walk.

According to Craig Carey, author of Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara and Ventura, the Reyes Peak Trail along the northern slope of the peak is “quite simply one of the most beautiful stretches in the southern Los Padres.”

Biogeographers include Pine Mountain in a select group of “sky islands,” defined as isolated mountains surrounded by radically different lowland environments. We can expect to see several high altitude plants and trees like White Fir and Sugar Pine more commonly found in the Southern Sierra Nevada mountains. Weather and marine layer permitting, we will have panoramic views of the Cuyama Valley to the north and the Channel Islands to the south.

Rondia and friends enjoying lunch. Photo: Chris Kudelka

The outing will start at 9:00 a.m. with a car caravan of about 35 miles up Highway 33 from the Maricopa Plaza, (1207 Maricopa Highway, Ojai, CA 93023) to the Reyes Peak trailhead. The final 5.5 miles are on a narrow, winding paved road and the very last half-mile is dirt. Trucks or SUV’s are preferred for the last stretch but most passenger cars with higher clearance can make the drive.

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Lanny examines the needles of a White Fir sapling on the Reyes Peak Trail. Photo: John Griffith

We will start walking into the Sespe Wilderness from the trailhead (where there is a restroom) at about 10:30 a.m., stop for lunch (not provided) in the forest, and return to the trailhead by about 3:30 p.m., arriving back at the Maricopa Plaza by about 4:00 p.m. We will hike on a well-used trail through mixed conifer forest habitat, stopping often to identify and discuss native plants, birds and wildlife.

This intermediate level hike is suitable for moderately experienced hikers or physically fit beginners. There will be some elevation gain and loss skirting the north side of Reyes Peak, sometimes traversing hillsides on a narrow trail. The total hiking distance will be about 3 miles. PLEASE NOTE: Those with respiratory or circulatory issues possibly affected by altitude should consult with a physician before attempting this hike.

View of the Channel Islands from Reyes Peak. Photo: Erika Klohe

This hike is another in a series of backcountry walks and hikes under an Operating Permit from the Ojai Ranger District Office of the U.S. Forest Service designed for guides who provide recreational and interpretive services to the public. After the hike participants will receive a detailed follow-up email including a list of all plants identified.

PLEASE NOTE: Light rain will not cancel. Heavy rain or thunderstorms will. Once you register you will receive weather updates.

The cost is $45. Senior and student discounts available upon request. Kids 5-12 can go free, one per adult, pending request and approval. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. No dogs or smoking, please.

Please be sure to use the REGISTER link below before clicking on the PayPal button to complete payment and secure your space. Note: Online payment includes a PayPal fee. To avoid that, you may mail a check. When you register you will receive mailing instructions.

If the event sells out, PayPal will not accept your payment. You will see a message that says this event “is not available at this time” and you will be returned to this page. If that happens, be sure to click on the REGISTER button below to sign up for the waiting list. If spaces become available they will be filled based on date and time of registration.

REGISTER

 

View north of the Cuyama Valley from Pine Mountain
Photo: Enrique Villaseñor

Details

Date:
September 25
Time:
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Cost:
$45

Organizer

Lanny Kaufer
Phone:
8056466281
Email:
register@herbwalks.com
View Organizer Website

Venue

Maricopa Plaza for caravan to trailhead
1207 Maricopa Hwy.
Ojai, CA 93023 United States
+ Google Map

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