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.
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.
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.
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.
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