Ascent of Figueroa Mountain on 2016-02-13

Climber: David Comerzan

Date:Saturday, February 13, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Figueroa Mountain
    Elevation:4528 ft / 1380 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a scheduled hike with Laura Franciosi, Ginny Heringer and Marlen Mertz were the leaders. Besides myself, joining this hike was Wayne Vollaire, Bill Faulkner and Pat (?). Our main objective was Cachuma, a Lower Peak. All of us met at the Cachuma Saddle taking the usual route of 154 out of Santa Barbara for about 22 miles to Armour Ranch Road. We turned right and go about 1.2 miles to Happy Canyon Road. It was a little over 13 miles on Happy Canyon to the saddle. It goes through some of the prettiest country around. It is all paved except for about a couple of miles.
We started up the road going east past a locked gate. In about a mile we came to a firebreak. This is a steep firebreak that meets the road again at the water tower. If you take this up and down, you would save about 2 miles. However, our group was not into steep so we continued on the road to the beginning of a use trail goes up the southeast side of Cachuma. Here we split up. Laura and Ginny decided they were going to do the more gentle easier slope that goes up the northeast side of the mountain. Marlen and I decided we need some steep so we went up the southeast side. And it was steep. We made it about 10 minutes before the rest of the group. And Marlen didn’t whine once.
It was a little windy on the top so we didn’t stay too long. Just long enough to enjoy the view from the top. We decided to all go down the northeast side. It was a lot easier. Although it is a little longer, I would recommend it for most folks. We continued on down the road to the point where the firebreak meets the road. Again Marlen and I needed steep, so we went down the firebreak. We saved about a mile but only arrived at the cars about 10 minutes before the rest of the folks.
The official hike was over. I decided I wanted to pick up a couple Peakbagger peaks and also, to take Figueroa Mountain Road over to 154. This is an alternate way to Cachuma Saddle in the event Happy Canyon is closed. Joining me was Marlen and Wayne. The first peak was Ranger. It was about 3.2 miles west from Cachuma Saddle on Figueroa Rd. There was a wide spot in the road on the right side for parking. There was a dirt road coming in from the right (north). We parked and crossed the road to the start of a use trail. There was an excellent use trail to the summit. It was a short distance, only about 2/10th of a mile and 200’ to the summit. There was no benchmark or register on the summit. The views was spectacular. Marlen wanted to add it to the Lower Peak list. If you are in the area, it is well worth the hike to the summit.
For Figueroa, we continued on the road about another 4 miles to a signed junction for the Lookout. We made a sharp right and went 2 miles up a good dirt road to the Lookout. The Lookout was all closed up and there was a fence around it. The view from the parking area was fantastic. This is very pretty country and well worth the long drive.
After Figueroa, we continue on down the road toward 154. We passed the famous Michael Jackson Neverland. You can’t see the house, just the locked and guarded gate. People had placed a number of Valentine greeting to Michael Jackson on the fence.
All and all, another great day in the mountains. Stats for Marlen and I were:
10:15 am Depart. 3100’
11:25 am Use trail on the southeast side. 4100’, 2.75 miles
12:00 pm Cachuma. 4696’
1:10 pm Use trail on the southeast.
1:50 PM Car. 5 miles round trip, 1796’ gain, 3 hours, 35 minutes
2:42 pm Depart. 4432’
2:52 pm Ranger Peak. 4656’
3:07 pm Car. 4/10th mile round trip, 224’ gain, 25 minutes.
3:30 pm Figueroa Mountain LO. 4528’ Drive up
Total for the day: 5.4 miles round trip, 2020’ gain, 4 hours.
Summary Total Data

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