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The Center of the Universe

Peak SummitedMount Pinos
TrailheadMt. Pinos Nordic Base
GroupHappy Hikers SCV

Tips from your ambassador:
1. This peak is off in Frazier Park so you might consider staying near Santa Clarita or Castaic or at the campgrounds overnight if you are coming from far away. Most people camp out here for star gazing.
2. It is about 20 degrees cooler here than most of LA and it does snow in this area so make sure you check the weather before you hit the trail.
3. The peak is only 1.5 miles from the parking lot so you should consider doing Sawmill Mountain or Grouse Mountain if you are looking for a good intermediate hike.
4. Adventure pass is required for parking.

When Jeff asked the ambassadors for alternate peaks because of the fire closures of the original 6 peaks this year, I quickly suggested Mt. Pinos because it’s an hour from where I live, it’s a beautiful hike, and it is a good beginning hike for people who want to start with an easy peak. So, when it was officially part of the pack, I knew I would have to hike it this year.

We started early around 8 am and even though it was around 50 degrees, we got warm by hiking through a beautiful fall foliage until we saw the radio tower where Mt. Pinos peak is. We took pictures of the sign and marker.

The Chumash Indians believed that Mt. Pinos was the center of their universe and you feel that looking out towards the Los Padres, Sespe, and Chumash Wilderness around the peak, that you are on top of the world. It’s amazing to see such green lush forests surrounding you on all sides.

Since, we wanted a longer hike, we decided to go to Sawmill Mountain, which continuing on the trail from the peak, you reach the Vincent Tumamait Trail, named in dedication to the famous Chumash leader. The trail quickly descends downhill along a rocky path and make sure you bring hiking poles for this section. About 2 miles down and up the trail from Mt. Pinos, you are on top of the ridge that looks over Pine Mountain and you see a pile of rocks or a stone cairn with a wooden sign for Sawmill Mountain. We took more pictures and there is a register to sign.

It was a crisp fall day to do 7 mile total hike to one of my favorite areas to hike and the highest points in Ventura/Kern counties! Thanks for adding this to the challenge!

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