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McPherson Peak, Peak Mountain, Cuyama Peak (LO), Lizard Head

15 October 1988

By: Patty Kline

Leaders: Patty Kline, Frank Dobos

Saturday morning, after spending the night at Aliso campground with some participants driving out that morning, we started about 9:00 AM.

Saturday we did McPherson Peak first via a ridge with a trail that had basically been overgrown by brush. The trail started at Aliso Campground. It was extremely hot. On top of McPherson we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Ruth Lee Brown.

Peak Mountain was a pleasant walk on a dirt road from McPherson where we ran into a Sierra Club group from the Bicycle Touring Committee on its weekend outing with their mountain bikes. It was about 5:00PM when we got back, taking the same route we used going up.

We had a nice happy hour in camp at one of the picnic tables with lots of chips and dips to share. For dinner there was a community salad prepared in a large fresh garbage bag.

On Sunday we drove up to Dry Canyon Road, and through the open gate at Cox Flat. This is the key to both of these peaks because otherwise the hike becomes too long on the roads to ever get these peaks. The gate at Cox Flat normally closes after the first rain in the Fall, and opens after the threat of rain is over in the Spring. Fire also will close the gate. If you have any questions about this, Don Trammell at the Mount Pinos Ranger Station District (805) 245-3731 was extremely helpful to me. Some of the other people at the ranger station think the gate is closed when it is open, or they are not sure of the location.

We drove almost all the way to Upper Tinta Campground where the locked gate was. It was so hot that people were soon thirsty. After having lunch on Lizard Head, we started back. My thermometer was registering well over 90° in my day pack. Some of us were finding meager shade from the bushes along the ridge on which we walked.

We got to the cars about 4:00PM and quenched our thirst. Then we went for the easy drive to Cuyama Peak and climbed its lookout tower.

A lot of us had dinner in Gorman. We ate in their "fancy" dining room and the management didn't seem to mind our casual dress. What can I say - Gorman is a casual town. I think they only have one restaurant.

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