** Use at Your Own Risk **
See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.
Location: Santa Barbara County, about 13 miles north of Summerland, 120 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: Hildreth Peak 7½, Old Man Mountain 7½
explanation of usage
Printable version of this route
(USFS Adventure Pass required)
- Distance: 16 miles round trip on trail, cross-country, and road
- Gain: 4700' total, 3900' out plus 800' on return
- Time: 10-11 hours round trip
- Rating: Class 1, strenuous
- Navigation: Intermediate
- Leader Rating: "I", normal conditions
Original: Howland Bailey, February 1968
DRIVING ROUTE 1
- Take US 101 to Santa Barbara. Exit at Salinas Street.
- Go 0.75 mile to a traffic circle at Sycamore Canyon Road (SR 144).
- Go 1.1 miles to Stanwood Drive (SR 192). Turn left.
- Go 1.1 miles to El Cielito Road. Turn right.
- In 0.3 mile, 4-way stop. Drive straight on El Cielito.
- Go 0.2 mile to Gibraltar Road. Turn right.
- Go 6.3 miles to Camino Cielo (unsigned). Turn right.
- Go 6.7 miles to Romero Saddle.
- Continue on this road, staying on the main road at any forks, as it
goes down along the north side of the ridge, 5.3 miles to Juncal
Campground. Immediately after crossing a shallow stream, turn left
(northwest) at a fork.
- Go 3 miles to the Pendola Guard Station. Turn right.
- Go 2.7 miles to Caliente Hot Spring (Agua Caliente Spring). Park
HIKING ROUTE 1
- From the parking area (1950'), hike up the trail on the left side of
the stream. It crosses the stream in about 0.25 mile and comes back
along the other side and goes up past a concrete dam.
- Follow the trail up
Agua Caliente Canyon, crossing a stream a number of times. Do not go up
Diablo Canyon by mistake! After crossing the main stream 10 times, there
will be a small campsite on the left side with a picnic table.
crossing the main stream 4 more times, and just before the 5th, leave the
trail to the left.
Go northwest up the ridge that starts there, following an old roadbed
and then use trails, to the prominently visible bump 3511'.
- Continue down the ridge on use trails, staying on the southwest
side, over a brushy plateau at 3480'.
Meet a jeep road in the shallow saddle at 3350' just
west of bump 3511'.
- Turn right on this undulating road and follow it to where it
comes out on the ridge just past (east) of the peak (4950').
- Turn left off the road here (there may be a duck) and
go west along the north
side of the ridge and up over some rocks to the summit.
The dirt road is seasonal. It is sometimes closed a short distance before
the hot springs adding several miles to the hiking distance.
the hot springs can be very noisy late into the night. There are several
good campsites prior to the hot springs.
Caliente Hot Springs is about a
1.5 hour drive from US 101 in Santa Barbara.
The number of stream crossings counted in the hiking directions may
be subject to change.
Printable version of this route
(Special Permit and
USFS Adventure Pass required)
- Distance: 14 miles round trip on road and cross-country
- Gain: 5000' total, 2500' out plus 2500' on return
- Time: 7-8 hours round trip
- Rating: Class 1, strenuous
Original: John Backus, September 1985
DRIVING ROUTE 2
- Take US 101 and SR 33 to the town of Ojai.
- From the intersection of SR 150 and SR 33 in Ojai, go north on
SR 33 for 32 miles to Reyes Summit. Turn left on a gated and locked
dirt road. This is the Potrero Seco Road (see notes below). Go through
the gate, note your odometer and go as follows:
- Go 3.4 miles, keeping right at all forks to a cattle guard. Continue straight.
- At 4.9 miles, Don Victor trail on the right. Continue straight.
- At 7.3 miles, fork. Go right.
- At 8.1 miles, a big gendarme. Park just before it. Ample parking.
HIKING ROUTE 2
- From the parking area, a dirt road starts and goes west. Follow this
road along a ridge with many ups and downs to a saddle just east of
- Proceed as in Route 1. The summit of Hildreth is visible for
most of this route.
The Potrero Seco Road is open under permit, depending on conditions.
Permits and the combination to the lock may be obtained at the Ojai Ranger
Station. At least one day advance notice is required. There is a permit
pick-up box in front of the ranger station.
One permit is good for one vehicle with a maximum of four people. There
is a limit of one permit per person. The vehicle
license number is required on the permit. A permit will not be
granted whenever the road might be wet.
Hikers have had trouble with obtaining the correct gate combination.
Below are some suggestions made by Sandy Sperling, Byron Prinzmetal and the
- First of all you need to call ahead of time or visit the Ojai Ranger
Station ahead of your planned hike date to obtain your permit and the gate
combination. You can not, as of this writing, obtain the permit and gate
combination by visiting the ranger station the day you want the permit.
- Call or visit the ranger station in Ojai Monday-Friday during business
hours as close to your hiking date as possible to verify and re-verify the
- Make sure the combination(s) you are given are for the gate you intend
to go through and not some other gate.
- Be aware that rain closes the gate entirely, and that the lock
combinations will change more frequently in the case of rain.
- Ask for the previous and next combinations as the combination changes
- You may be fortunate if given the wrong combination to have someone
let you in, but you will need to find someone with the correct combination
who is willing to give it to you so you can get out.
- When you pick up your permit, check all the other permits and permit
copies in the pickup box for other combinations. Write these down in case
yours doesn't work.
Please report any corrections or changes to the
Mountain Records Chair.
Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
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