Summer Solstice Nature Hike on Pine Mountain Sunday June 23

Celebrate the Summer Solstice on Sunday, June 23, with a Nature Hike on Pine Mountain led by native plant educator Lanny Kaufer. He’ll visit some of the most spectacular scenery and habitat that Ventura County has to offer just when many late spring wildflowers are blooming at an elevation of 7000 feet.  According to Craig Carey, author of Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara and Ventura, the Reyes Peak Trail along the northern slope of the peak is “quite simply one of the most beautiful stretches in the southern Los Padres.”

The outing will start at 8:30 a.m. with a carpool caravan of about 35 miles up Highway 33 from the Maricopa Plaza, (1207 Maricopa Highway, Ojai, CA 93023) to the Reyes Peak trailhead. The final 5.5 miles are on a narrow, winding paved road and the very last half-mile is dirt. Trucks or SUV’s are preferred for the last stretch but most passenger cars with high clearance can also make the drive.

Kaufer will start walking into the Sespe Wilderness from the trailhead (where there is a restroom) at about 10:00 a.m., stop for lunch (not provided) in the forest, and return to the trailhead at 2:30 p.m., arriving back at the Maricopa Plaza by 3:30 p.m. The group will hike on a well-used trail through Mixed Conifer Forest habitat, stopping often to identify and discuss native plants, birds and wildlife. There will be some elevation gain and loss skirting the north side of Reyes Peak, sometimes traversing hillsides on a narrow trail. The total hiking distance will be about 3 miles.

This intermediate level hike is suitable for moderately experienced hikers or physically fit beginners. Weather and marine layer permitting, hikers will have panoramic views of the Cuyama Valley to the north and the Channel Islands to the south.  This hike is another in a series of backcountry walks and hikes under an Operating Permit from the Ojai Ranger District Office of the U.S. Forest Service designed for guides who provide recreational and interpretive services to the public.

There is no prepayment required, just a promise to notify Kaufer in a timely fashion if plans change. Registrants will receive a confirmation email several days before with all necessary info. After the hike they will receive an email with a complete list of all the plants and wildlife identified, including common and scientific names.

The cost is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62 and older, and $15 for full-time students 13-17. Kids 5-12 can go free, one per adult, pending request and approval. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. No dogs or smoking, please.

For registration and information visit HerbWalks.com or call 805-646-6281.


ABOUT LANNY KAUFER | Lanny Kaufer has been leading interpretive native plant walks and hikes in the Ojai-Ventura-Santa Barbara area since 1976 for groups of all ages. He is regarded as a local expert on the edible and medicinal uses of indigenous and naturalized plants. Lanny acquired much of his knowledge in field study with well-known herbalists and ethnobotanists. He studied with the late William LeSassier and has co-led workshops and expeditions with noted herbalists such as the late Chumash plant expert Juanita Centeno, the late Michael Moore, Michael Tierra, Amanda McQuade Crawford, Dr. Fred Siciliano, Professor James Adams, and Chumash educator Julie Tumamait-Stenslie.

Lanny graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1974 with a degree in Biology. While there, under the supervision of his Biology professor, he did extensive independent studies in the field of naturopathic medicine and worked in the university’s arboretum. With a California Teaching Credential, he has taught science, health and natural history for many schools and environmental education programs.


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