Summer Solstice Nature Hike on Pine Mountain

June 23, 2019 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Maricopa Plaza for carpool
1207 Maricopa Hwy
Ojai, CA 93023
$25/adults, $20/seniors 62-up and $15/students 13-17. Kids 5-12 can attend free, one per adult., pending request and approval.
Rondia at the trailhead

Celebrate the Summer Solstice with a 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 carpool 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.

Lanny examines the needles of a White Fir sapling on the Reyes Peak Trail.

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: 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.

There is no prepayment required, just your promise to notify me in a timely fashion if your plans change. You will receive a confirmation email several days before with all necessary info. After the hike you will receive an email with a complete list of all the plants and wildlife identified, including common and scientific names.

The cost is $25 for adults, $20 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.

Carpool: If possible, please be prepared to either take a few passengers or share in the gas cost as a passenger. There is no obligation to participate in the carpool but parking is limited at the trailhead and we like to cut down on our group’s gas consumption and exhaust emissions when we can.

View of the Channel Islands looking south from Pine Mountain. Photo by Erika Klohe.
View north of the Cuyama Valley from Pine Mountain

2 thoughts on “Summer Solstice Nature Hike on Pine Mountain

  1. I belive I will be able to attend this event. It has been a couple of years since I did this hike . Looking forward.

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