Using Google map driving directions, I found a route to the trailhead that took me up through the Russel Ranch Oil Field and Morales Canyon from CA State Highway 166 on the south side of the range. Problem #1 - There was an unlocked gate at the entrance to the Russel Ranch Oil Field that stated the road was private, one uses it at his/her own risk and permission to use it can be revoked at any time. I remembered seeing such signs in the past and proceeded at my own risk, being courteous to close the gate behind me. I went 3 miles to the mouth of Morales Canyon where I found a locked gate. Beyond the gate was a well-graded gravel road that got to the trailhead in nine miles with a little over 2500 feet of elevation gain. Problem solved by riding/walking my mountain bike that extra nine miles.
Riding/walking that extra 9 miles plus riding /walking the next 6.25 miles after the trailhead took 3 hours and 15 minutes. After that, I stashed the bike and walked the remaining 2.25 miles to the top and then 2.25 miles back to the bike. That took an hour and 45 minutes including the time spent on the summit signing the register and taking in the views. The summit shelter is now a flattened pile of wood.
The 15.25 miles back to the bottom of Morales Canyon took well under 2 hours including the time during which I laid the bike down on a curve near the bottom of Morales Canyon and took time to assess my injuries (road rash on my lower leg, hip and elbow on my right side).
Problem #2 - On the way out the gate at the entrance to the Russel Ranch Oil Field was locked which prevented me from being able to access the highway and get back to my motel room in Maricopa. I found an 'In case of emergency' phone number to call on one of the signs at the entrance and after three tries was able to complete one partial conversation and one complete conversation with 2 different answering service operators about my predicament. This resulted in me receiving 3 separate return phone calls from 3 different employees of the Oil field company wanting to know my location. One of those 3 callers got rather angry and said he was sending an officer from the sheriff's office to escort me from the property. Another caller who was more calm said not to worry and he would send someone from the company to let me out. The sheriff's deputy arrived first to let me out and so I called the calm person back and he let the person he was sending know I was out already and didn't need to be let out. The sheriff's deputy was friendly and professional, asked me if I wanted first aid treatment for my road rash injuries and explained that I should have called first to obtain explicit permission from the property owner. Problem solved.
On the drive down to San Diego, made the long detour to this hidden section of California. Was able to get my sad 2WD up to the ridge which made for a fairly easy hike, RT of about 5:45.
Bad year for wildflowers in Carrizo, so enjoyed an easter weekend hike to the peak instead of photography.
We mountain biked from the ridge trailhead to about 1.2 miles from the summit, then stashed bikes and hiked the rest.
Gorgeous weather, wildflowers on the trail and alongside. 5 hours RT leisurely, including 1/2 hour on the summit.
Great day... longer than expected though
Remote and relatively low, this county highpoint actually has great views from the top. The only group on the mountain that day, conditions were perfect. Stopped by Soda Lake and learned about Carrizo NM on the way back.
With Wildcat friends. Did Mt. Boardman the previous Saturday and Table Mountain (Kings County) two nights previous. Was a great week.
Rode bike to very near the top which made for a pretty quick ascent and descent. Nice views the whole way along the ridge and an enjoyable day. Drove up to Peak & McPherson across the Cuyama valley afterwards and then finished off with a hike up Antimony Peak for a long day with lots of driving.
Hiked this with my wife Caren and two dogs on a beautiful but windy day.
Pretty easy 17 mile hike with flat terrain and no routefinding difficulties, even on the drive. That said, it's well worth doing.
The whole thing reminded me a little bit of hiking Telescope Peak, on a smaller scale.
I can confirm as well; the summit shack fell down.
Hiked up on a windy day, but had clear views and gazillions of great spring wildflower blooming all around. And the silence is amazing; this defiantely has to be one of the most remote places in the State. Yes, the hut has collapsed. The whole Carrizo Plain is a beautiful area to explore in spring.
Plan for bikes fell through, so we went ahead and hiked this one and bailed on Santa Barbara County the next day. Was still a nice trip.
Great 17 mile trek to see this peak. The wildflowers were pretty much out in force, and made for a nice view during the day. Got a bit cool and windy with a front moving in.
Great views on a beautiful winter day. I got a late start, about 11:00 AM, but returned by 5:45 PM.
Nice clear day after a storm, I could see the snow capped sierra's off in the distance.
Second COHP for the trip. Previously tagged Big Pine; today Caliente. Mountain biked up to the top. Very fun.
February 2003 - hiked up on a nice clear day while returning from a desert trip.
Suprisingly warm for early January and refreshingly green after all the recent rains.
Great views of the snowcaps to the east, but otherwise a rather unremarkable trail.
Trip pics are here
Stop 1 of 3 on a LONNNNGGGG highpoint bagging day that included Mount Pinos of Ventura County and Sawmill Mountain of Kern County. Drove down from Monterey area and arrived around 2pm (got a late start). Mountain biked all the way to the top (yes, I had the bike on the summit with me!) and rode it all the way down. The downhills were fun! Was back at my car by 6pm, and was able to bag other highpoints by flashlight.
It was really warm and the Carrizo Plain was looking especially bleak and Death Valleyish.
Great hike for the winter. The weather was cool, beautiful day.