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Location: Santa Barbara County, about 20 miles north of Santa Barbara, 145 miles from Los Angeles
- Auto Club: Santa Barbara County
- Forest Service: Los Padres National Forest: Mt Pinos, Ojai and Santa Barbara Ranger Districts
- Topo: Big Pine Mtn 7½, Madulce Peak 7½, Fox Mountain 7½, Salisbury Potrero 7½
Nearby Peaks: West Big Pine, Samon Peak, Madulce Peak
(USFS Adventure Pass Required)
- Distance: 31 miles r.t. on dirt road
- Gain: 4,200'
- Time: 18-20 hours r.t. (2 days)
- Rating: Class 1, Very Strenuous
- Navigation: Easy
Original: John Backus - May 1981
DRIVING ROUTE 1
- Drive north on I-5 past the Grapevine to the SR 166 off-ramp. Turn
- Head west 36.5 miles, passing through Maricopa, to the junction with
SR 33 south. This junction may be reached by a slower route via SR 33
south from Ojai. (There is a junction with SR 33 north in Maricopa that
you will pass in Maricopa.)
- Continue west on SR 166 for 4.7 miles to a bridge over the Cuyama
River, and an immediate junction past the bridge, on your left. This is
Kirschenmann Road (paved). Turn left.
- Continue 2.4 miles to the end of Kirschenmann at Foothill Road. Turn
left (east) on Foothill Road.
- Drive 3 miles to Santa Barbara
Canyon Road on the right (south). Turn right (south) on Santa Barbara
Canyon road, note your odometer, and go as follows:
- At 3.1 miles, just past a ranch house, junction with a dirt road on
the left and a paved road on the right with a sign "Santa Barbara
Canyon Road". Turn right and continue on Santa Barbara Canyon Road.
- At 7.5 miles, fork with Santa Barbara Ranch visible ahead. Go right
and cross a creek. The pavement ends.
- At 9.5 miles, a cattle guard and gate.
- At 10.0 miles, a hard to see dirt road on right. This is the turn off
point for Fox Mountain #1. Keep straight.
- At 10.8 miles, fork with Dry Canyon Road on the left. This is the
turn off point for Lizard Head and
Cuyama Peak (LO). Keep straight.
- At 12.6 miles, a locked gate. Park here.
HIKING ROUTE 1
- From the parking area (3,440'), hike through the small gate and continue
up the road. At 4 miles there are the posts of a second gate; off the road
to the right is a flat area suitable for camping.
- Continue up the road,
keeping left at a fork with Sierra Madre Road about 0.5 mile farther, and
go about 5 miles farther to Chokecherry Spring, at elevation 5,500',
marked by a water trough and a large water tank. This is the take-off
point for Samon Peak.
- Continue south up the road
about 1.7 miles (700 feet of gain) to a saddle where the road starts
downhill. About 30 yards past the saddle, a trail starts off to the left,
visible from the saddle. This is the take-off point for Madulce
- Continue on the road about 1.2 miles to a fork. The left fork
leads a short distance to the old Alamar station site. This is an
excellent dry campsite.
- Take the right fork and continue 2 miles to where
a jeep road goes up the slope to the left.
- Continuing on the main road
leads to West Big Pine. Instead, turn left and
ascend the jeep road, which becomes a use trail near the broad flat
summit. The register is located on a rock outcrop at the apparent high
The road that goes past Chokecherry Spring separates Dick Smith
Wilderness, on the east, from San Rafael Wilderness, on the west. The road
itself is not wilderness, and is suitable for mountain bikes.
water at Chokecherry Spring. If you camp at Alamar, you must carry
overnight water 3 miles and about 1,000' gain from Chokecherry Spring.
Bears frequent the area, so it is advisable to bear-proof foodstuffs and
other consumables when leaving your campsite.
Big Pine Mountain is
generally climbed with Madulce Peak,
West Big Pine and Samon Peak
on a 3-day backpack trip called, "The Big Four". For all four
peaks, the distance is 45 miles, the gain is about 8,000', and the whole
experience is very strenuous.
Big Pine Mountain is the high point of Santa
Please report any corrections or changes to the
Mountain Records Chair.
Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
© 1998-2002 - All Rights Reserved
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