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See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.

04I

Mount Pinos

8831'

Location: Ventura County, about 14 miles west of Frazier Park, 90 miles from Los Angeles

Maps

Auto Club: Ventura County
Forest Service: Los Padres National Forest: Mt Pinos, Ojai and Santa Barbara Ranger Districts
USGS Topo: Sawmill Mountain 7½
HPS: Route(s) using National Geographic Topo! software
JPG version (approximately 1.8 megs)

Nearby Peaks: Sawmill Mountain, Grouse Mountain, Cerro Noroeste

Printable version of this route

ROUTE 1

(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 3 miles round trip on road
Gain: 600'
Time: 1.5 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, easy
Navigation: Easy

Original: Warren E. von Pertz

DRIVING ROUTE 1

  • Drive north on I-5 to the Frazier Park exit. Turn left (west). Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 7.2 miles, Lake of the Woods. Here, the Lockwood Valley Road forks left and the Cuddy Valley Road goes straight. Keep straight.
  • At 12.4 miles, junction with Mount Pinos Road (straight) and the Mil Potrero Road (right). Go straight on the Mount Pinos Road.
  • At 22.5 miles, a large paved parking area and a dirt road with a gate on the west (left) side. Park here.

If the gate is open (normally it is not), high clearance vehicles can continue driving 1.5 miles farther to the summit of Mount Pinos. If the gate is open, Mount Pinos is essentially a drive up peak.

HIKING ROUTE 1

  • Hike up the dirt road from the parking lot (8340') to the summit of Mount Pinos (a large electronic site). The register is normally atop a rock pile just southeast of the radio facility. It may be found elsewhere in the summit area.

Printable version of this route

ROUTE 2

(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 16 miles round trip on road and trail
Gain: 3000' total, 2850' out plus 50' on return
Time: 7 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, strenuous
Navigation: Moderate

Original: Peter Doggett, July 2011

DRIVING ROUTE 2

  • Drive north on I-5 to the Frazier Park exit. Turn left (west). Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 7.2 miles the Lockwood Valley Road forks left and the Cuddy Valley Road goes straight. Keep straight.
  • At 12.4 miles, junction with Mil Potero Road. Keep straight.
  • At 12.9 miles, McGill Trail on right. Park here.

HIKING ROUTE 2

  • From the trailhead (6100'), hike up the shady McGill trail through a pine forest.
  • After 3.1 miles, a nature trail enters on the left. Keep straight.
  • After 3.3 miles, you'll reach a major trail junction (by some red "CAUTION" markers). The left fork goes to the McGill Campground. Turn right.
  • After 3.5 miles, you'll reach the paved Mt. Pinos Road. Turn right.
  • Walk about 50 yards up the road to the Southridge Trail on the left.
  • Follow the Southridge Trail for about 1.3 miles to the Mount Pinos Campground.
  • Hike up the driveway until once again you meet the Mt. Pinos Road. Turn left.
  • Walk about 200 yards on the Mt. Pinos Road to a dirt road on the right. Turn right.
  • Follow this dirt road towards the Nordic Base Ski Center, taking the right fork after about ¼ miles.
  • Keep straight as you pass the Chula Vista Campground (about 1.3 miles after leaving pavement.)
  • The Nordic Base Ski Center is about 0.2 mile beyond the Chula Vista Campground.
  • Once at the Nordic Base, cross the parking lot and go west to another dirt road. (This is the parking area for Route 1.) Turn right.
  • Follow this dirt road for about 0.1 mile past a gate, and turn left almost immediately at a road fork.
  • Stay on this dirt road (ignoring all other minor routes) until in about another 1.4 miles you reach the summit which is adjacent to some solar cells and tall radio equipment towers.

NOTE

A fine view can be found by walking 4 minutes west to an overlook and the Vincent Tumamait trailhead.

The McGill trail is very popular with mountain bikers. On weekends, many mountain bikes ride down the trail and hikers need to be alert for cyclists who are rounding the trail bends.


ALTERNATE ROUTES

Mount Pinos, Sawmill Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Cerro Noroeste (Mt. Abel) are often combined as an out and back trip from either end point. They are also hiked via car shuttle trip from Mount Pinos to Cerro Noroeste or the reverse (25 miles driving between trailheads in each direction).


NOTES

"Pinos" is the Spanish word for "pines" and should be pronounced like the word "pinyon".

Mount Pinos is the high point of Ventura county.

History of Summit Signature

Climbing Archives

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.


Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
Published 30-September-2011
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