I got out with my friend Victor on one of my longer hikes in quite awhile. We started out of Rose Valley, from the Piedra Blanca parking lot and followed the trail across a couple of easy stream crossings, to the T-junction. We took a left, as we were looking to go up towards Pine Mountain Lodge Camp today. We trekked another .4 miles or so to THE Piedra Blanca, which is basically a giant white sandstone formation protruding from the ground. It’s weird looking…but cool. I’ve got a bunch of pics on the other Piedra Blanca hike posts.
After chilling there for a little bit, we moved on, going behind the rock (north) and following the trail up and down some small hills. After about a mile or two, we arrived at Piedra Blanca Camp and, later, Twin Forks Camp. Both of these are primitive, desolate backpacking campgrounds with a few spots each. I plan on doing a couple overnighters out there in the future.
Onward, we went. After Twin Forks, the trail became steeper – probably a 500′ per mile grade – and somewhere at about the 4 mile mark from the original trailhead, we arrived at a nice little spring. This is a good marker, even though for some reason, I didn’t take a picture of it. We also saw a cool white flower here (see pic). Anyone know what kind of flower this is? After this spring, the trail got even steeper and a bit more slippery, as we entered a thicker chaparral microclimate. As we approached 4300′, we noticed Pine trees popping up. Cool. That’s always a rewarding site when you’re hiking to higher altitude. We pushed onward and reached a spot of about 5,000 feet or so. By my estimate, we were about 1000′ feet below and 1.5 miles away from Pine Mountain Lodge. I was a bit tired, but it just felt like a good turnaround point for the day. We turned around and enjoyed the sunset over Piedra Blanca on the return hike.
The trail was in good shape, but had some slippery parts and some overgrowth. I will be back out there soon enough.
Hike At A Glance
Distance: 11.25 miles
Elevation gain: 2629′
Calories Burned (est): 3,600
Food consumed: Half a King Size Payday Bar, 3 servings of Hammer Gel
Drinks consumed: 1L of water, 1L of zero calorie Powerade
Calories consumed: ~400
Weather: 50 and partly cloudy, windy
Gear used/recommended: Trekking poles, light trail runner shoes, 310xt GPS watch
Getting there: Take 33 north of Ojai 15 minutes or so to Rose Valley Road. Turn right and take that straight to where it ends. Put your Adventure Pass/American the Beautiful Pass on your windshield and follow the well laid trail!