2 Peaks in a Day! Sawmill and Pinos

Peak Summited2019 Mount Pinos
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadVincent Tumamait Trail
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were not too bad
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Beautiful but tough!! I did not know which trailhead to use.  The main trail listed on AllTrails is 3.6 miles round trip with a 515 foot gain.  Since I am training for Whitney I needed a conditioning type trail.  One was the McGill trail, but this is 15.4  miles and I didn't have enough time.  I chose the Vincent Tumamait Trail, named for a Chumash conservationist and storyteller.  This trail was 8.1 miles roundtrip with an ascent of 2,421 feet.  In actuality it was more like a descent of 500 feet, followed by an ascent of 1000 feet, followed by another descent of 500 feet, and a final 1000.  After the first ascent, which is straight up (no switchbacks), you pass Sawmill peak which at 8819ft is the highest point in Kern County. Pt Pinos is the highest in Ventura county so if you want to hike every county high point in California, you can bag 2 on this trail.  I am not going to lie, this trail was tough, primarily because the grade seemed to average around 25-30%.  Furthermore, you have to make that 500 foot ascent at the very end of the hike when you are completely spent.  The wildflowers on this day were spectacular, especially Indian Paintbrush which one of my photos shows.  It's a little buggy the first mile but not bad.  You hike thru a lot of Ponderosa and Jeffery Pine forest, so shade is plentiful.  The weather was near perfect!  The last thing is the parking for this trailhead.  It is just a small dirt turnout on the right (east) side of Cerro Noroeste Rd, about 6.8 miles up from the turn off  Mil Portero Hwy.  You will see the national forest trail sign.


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