USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
Location: Ventura County, about 15 miles south of Gorman, 85 miles from Los Angeles
- Auto Club: Ventura County
- Forest Service: Los Padres National Forest: Mt Pinos, Ojai and Santa Barbara Ranger Districts
- USGS Topo: Cobblestone Mtn 7½, Black Mountain 7½, Alamo Mountain 7½
explanation of usage
Nearby Peaks: Alamo Mountain, McDonald Peak, Sewart Mountain, Snowy Peak, Black Mountain #2, White Mountain #2
(USFS Adventure Pass required)
- Distance: 14 miles round trip on road, trail, and steep loose
- Gain: 5200' total, 2700' out plus 2500' on return
- Time: 8-10 hours round trip
- Rating: Class 2, very strenuous
- Navigation: Difficult
- Leader Rating: "I", normal conditions
Original: Warren E. von Pertz, January 1974
DRIVING ROUTE 1
- Go north on I-5 to the town of Gorman. Get off on the signed Gorman
- Turn left at the bottom of the off-ramp and go under the freeway.
- Go 0.1 mile to Peace Valley Road. Turn right.
- Go 1 mile to the entrance to Hungry Valley Recreation Area on your
left (paved). Turn left. Note your odometer and go as follows:
- At 0.2 miles, entrance station. If manned, you can
avoid payment of the fee by telling the State Park employee that you are
passing through to Alamo Mountain.
- At 5.2 miles, intersection. Turn right (west) toward "Piru Creek",
- At 11.2 miles, improved car camping area on right, with toilets.
Often used as a meeting point.
- At 11.4 miles, Piru Creek crossing. There is a seasonal gate just
before this stream crossing.
- At 13.4 miles, the pavement ends.
- At 17.8 miles, fork to the left. Keep right.
- At 17.9 miles, junction with the Alamo Mountain Road.
Turn left. (To the right
leads to Twin Pines Campground and Alamo Mountain
Route 2.) Note your odometer again and go as follows:
- At 3.3 miles, fork immediately beyond a small road cut through the
ridge. To the right leads to Alamo Mountain
Route 1. Turn left.
- At 4.0 miles, the road continues east at the Little Mutau trailhead.
Past this point the road can sometimes be poor but is usually passable.
- At 6.3 miles, the parking spot for McDonald Peak.
- At 7.2 miles, a dirt berm, a sign indicating no further motor vehicle
and a large parking area, suitable
for car camping. Park here.
HIKING ROUTE 1
- From the parking area (6500'), pass the gate and hike east on the old
road for 1 mile to the obvious high point of the road. This is the
summit area of Sewart Mountain.
- Continue downhill
on the old road for about 0.5 mile to a fork with an obscure road on
the right, signed "Sespe Wilderness". Turn right onto this road
(continuing straight leads to Snowy Peak and
Black Mountain #2).
- Follow this overgrown road as
it first descends steeply south to a saddle, turns east over bump 6043',
then proceeds downhill in roller-coaster fashion.
- After about 2.5
miles the overgrown road turns to trail. Follow the trail eastward onto
the northern slopes of a forested ridge, looking for a side trail coming
steeply in from the right, possibly signed "Cobblestone Trail".
- Turn right on this side trail, which is very deteriorated and should be
considered cross-country travel.
- Take this old trail as it goes southeast
up a ridge. After a long 1/2 mile it comes to a fork in a shallow saddle
with the remains of a sign (5840'+). Continuing straight along the ridge
goes to White Mountain #2. Cobblestone Mountain can
be seen directly to the south.
- Take the right fork and follow an
overgrown, rough trail down through a saddle (5300'). Beyond the saddle
the trail is primitive, with occasional ducks, and is essentially
cross-country. It passes first through a break in the large buttress south
of the saddle, then ascends steeply to and then through a series of loose
steps composed of conglomerate rocks that give the peak its name, and
finally exits onto forested slopes near the summit. The summit has a very
fancy register box.