Summer Solstice Nature Hike on Pine Mountain
June 20 @ 8:30 am - 3:30 pm$30
Photo: Erika Klohe
PLEASE NOTE: I am hopeful that COVID-19 response guidelines will allow for this event to go on with some changes. I will limit participants to 10 and we will caravan instead of the usual carpool. Also, all participants must be symptom-free, wear a face covering, and maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
Join our annual Summer Solstice Nature Hike on Pine Mountain. We’ll visit some of the most spectacular scenery and habitat that Ventura County has to offer just when many late spring wildflowers are blooming up there at an elevation of 7000 feet. 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.”
The outing will start at 8:30 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 high clearance can also make the drive.
We will start walking into the Sespe Wilderness from the trailhead (where there is a restroom) at about 10:00 a.m., stop for lunch (not provided) in the forest, and return to the trailhead at 2:30 p.m., arriving back at the Maricopa Plaza by 3:30 p.m. We will hike on a well-used trail through Yellow Pine 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: Due to the elevation, those with respiratory or circulatory issues possibly affected by altitude should consult with a physician before attempting this hike.
Weather and marine layer permitting, we will have panoramic views of the Cuyama Valley to the north and the Channel Islands to the south. 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 they 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 $30 for adults, $25 for seniors 62 and older, and $15 for full-time students 13-17. 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. Click on the REGISTER button at top or bottom of this page and be sure to indicate the date you would like to attend. You will receive instructions for securing your space with a PayPal payment or personal check.