Peak 5,482ft P300
Peak 5,940ft P300
Peak 4,020ft P500

Tue, Apr 12, 2022
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX Profiles: 1 2

I was on my way south to San Diego for Easter with my mother-in-law and for another Tom Becht list finish. I left San Jose mid-week to give me a few days for some peakbagging along the way. I had gotten an early start so that I would have half a day in the eastern Los Padres National Forest around Frasier Park. I had hoped to visit a few unnamed peaks near the HPS summits of Eagle Rest and Antimony, but found the Forest Road leading to the TH still locked for the season, and didn't feel like walking the extra 3mi each way. Instead, I found some short, easier peaks in the area to keep me busy for the afternoon.

Peak 5,482ft

This summit lies within the private Pine Mountain Club, though there are no homesteads on the hill (as yet) in the northeast corner of the property. A sign warns of private property along the roadway, but doesn't forbid parking. I pulled over at a very small turnout off the pavement where the road goes over a saddle on the southwest side of the peak. There are some animal trails that help with the cross-country that is steep but not very brushy, thanks to the forest canopy. The distance is short and I reached the summit in less than 20min. There are only partial views from the wooded summit, including northeast to Teyuca Ridge, south and west to yet higher points around Mt. Pinos. There was a light dusting of snow at the higher elevations of the latter from a small storm that had just passed through the area. I left a register here before descending via the same route.

Peak 5,940ft

This summit lies on USFS lands between Cuddy Valley and Lake of the Woods. Access is limited to the north and northeast sides from Cuddy Valley Rd, due to private property blocking other directions. I parked at a turnout north of the peak where there is a signed trailhead access. The better starting point might be to the northeast where a gated road starts. This would avoid having to go up and over an intermediate ridge as I did at the start. The satellite view depicts an old logging road winding its way up to the summit, not shown on the topo map. After going over the brushy ridge (where I picked up a few ticks) and crossing a small, grassy valley (still used for grazing), I went up a steep slope to gain the old road and followed that to the summit, about an hour from the start. Unfortunately the summit isn't attractive - quite flat up there and no views. On the way back, I cut off most of the road travel with an adventurous cross-country descent off the north side that worked quite nicely, but would be tedious on the ascent, due to loose terrain. Then back up and over the intermediate ridge via a slightly different route that proved no better than the outbound route.

Peak 4,020ft

This last summit lies further south, on the west side of Interstate 5, roughly between Pyramid Lake and Lake Piru. Access is via the Templin Hwy exit and the old Golden State Hwy that still runs for a stretch on the west side of the Interstate. I chose to start at the Whitaker Peak Rd, gated at the pavement. This made for a longish hike at almost 3.5mi to the summit along Forest Roads, not the best way to do it unless including Whitaker Peak (which I did in 2010). There are much shorter routes that I found on the way down. The summit is along the spur road going along the ridge. To the west is a lower point with a survey monument that I visited in turn. I also made a short visit to what turned out to be a game guzzler on the south side of the ridgeline. I had passed by a picnic bench with a trash can on my way to the summit that turns out to be located at the end of a trail originating near the Oak Flat Campground to the northeast. The trail is shown on the topo map and my GPSr, both of which I somehow ignored when picking my route. I decided to go down that way and found out that there is an even shorter (and steeper) trail going more directly down to the old highway, and it was this branch that I followed. Starting from there would have been just over a mile to the summit. I got to walk the last stretch back to the jeep along the old highway, but still quite a bit faster and shorter than my ascent route.

Finishing up around 4:20p, I was due at my sister's place in Santa Clarita around 5p, so that was all for the day. After dinner and a short visit with sis and her family, I left Santa Clarita that evening after traffic died down for a drive to the south side of the San Gabriel Mtns around Azusa. I found a place to camp off SR39 in the Angeles NF that wasn't as quiet as I might have hoped - seems the road is used by car enthusiasts as a racecourse during the nighttime hours...


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