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Cuyama Peak (LO)


Location: Santa Barbara County, about 25 miles north-northwest of Ojai, 170 miles from Los Angeles


Auto Club: Santa Barbara County
Forest Service: Los Padres National Forest: Mt Pinos, Ojai and Santa Barbara Ranger Districts
USGS Topo: Cuyama Peak 7½, Fox Mountain 7½, Rancho Nuevo Creek 7½
HPS: Route(s), waypoints and explanation of usage

Nearby Peaks: Lizard Head

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: None
Gain: None
Time: None
Rating: Drive-up

Original: Paul A. Lipsohn, 1972


  • Drive north on I-5 past the Grapevine to the SR 166 off-ramp. Turn left (west).
  • Head west 36.5 miles, passing through Maricopa, to the junction with SR 33 south. This junction may be reached by a slower route via SR 33 north from Ojai. (There is a junction with SR 33 north in Maricopa that you will pass in Maricopa.) Turn left (south).
  • Go 2.7 miles to Foothill Road on the right. Turn right (west).
  • Go 2.1 miles, crossing the Cuyama River, to the Santa Barbara Canyon Road (9N11) on the left. Turn left, note your odometer, and go as follows:
  • At 3.1 miles, junction with a dirt road on the left just past a ranch with a sign "Santa Barbara Canyon Road". Turn right on a paved road.
  • At 7.5 miles, fork with Santa Barbara Ranch visible ahead. Go right and cross a creek. The pavement ends.
  • At 9.5 miles, a cattle guard and gate.
  • At 10.0 miles, a hard to see dirt road on right. Keep straight. This is the turnoff for Fox Mountain #1.
  • At 10.8 miles, Dry Canyon Road on the left. Turn left.
  • At 16.6 miles an obscure gated road/trail on the right. Keep left This is the parking spot for Lizard Head.
  • Follow the road about 2 more miles up to the summit of Cuyama Peak.

If the Cuyama River is impassable, return to the junction of SR 166 and SR 33 and go as follows:

  • Go west on SR 166 for 4.7 miles to a bridge over the Cuyama River, and an immediate junction past the bridge, on your left. This is Kirschenmann Road (paved). Turn left.
  • Continue 2.4 miles to the end of Kirschenmann at Foothill Road. Turn left (east).
  • Drive 3 miles to Santa Barbara Canyon Road on the right (south). Turn right and continue as above.


  • The HPS register is sometimes located in a drawer or cupboard inside the lookout tower. There is a Forest Service register at the foot of the stairs.


Dry Canyon Road can be washed out in the early spring.

The road is sometimes not passable beyond the parking spot for Lizard Head. Hike up the road from here. This is 1200' gain and 4 1/2 miles round trip.

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 12 miles round trip on trail and cross country
Gain: 3600' total, 2900' out plus 700' on return
Time: 6 hours round trip
Rating: Class2, strenuous

Original: Peter Doggett, January 2009


  • Drive north on I-5 to the Frazier Park exit (about 45 miles from Sylmar).
  • Drive west on the Frazier Mtn. Park Road for 7 miles to Lake of the Woods.
  • Turn Left onto the Lockwood Valley Road.
  • Drive on this road for 27 miles until one meets SR-33.
  • Turn right and proceed 2.0 miles to a dirt road on the left marked by a sign indicating "Dick Smith Wilderness Access".
  • Turn left & reset odometer.
  • After about 0.2 mile, road crosses the Cuyama River (which could be flooded, high-clearance vehicles could be required).
  • After 0.8 mile, turn Right at junction of 7N04 and 7N04A.
  • At 2.6 miles, Tinta Campground. Park here. Ample parking.


  • From the parking area (elevation 3650'), hike west & northwest up a Forest Service trail for 3.5 miles to the junction with the Brubaker Canyon Road at 4199'.
  • Leave the trail at this saddle and proceed northwest along the top of a prominent ridge.
  • After 2.5 miles, one will arrive at the Cuyama Peak Lookout Tower.


Name of the peak is from Chumash ("clams"), and was first given to the Cuyama River to the north.

History of Summit Signature

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

Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
Published 15-May-2009
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