Four majestic 8,000+ foot peaks are strung out in a row in the Los Padres: Mount Able, Grouse Mountain, Sawmill Mountain, and Mt. Pinos. Despite their heights, none of these is a particularly difficult climb. Both Mt. Pinos and Sawmill have caches on them, so I have added this cache on Grouse to enhance your caching experience.
Climb through the wildflowers in the Chumash Wilderness on the west side of Mt. Pinos.
You can start at Mt. Able, parking on the road's edge about half a mile from the top of Cerronoroeste Road. There is a lovely camp at the top of this road, if you want to make an overnighter out of this one, but I did the walk from this direction to Mt. Pinos and back in one 6-hour trip. Or you can start from the huge parking lot near Mt. Pinos, climb to the top, and head down the western side of the mountain towards Mt. Able. This would make the trip slightly shorter and spare you the gruelling last half-mile climb up Able.
The cache is in a cluster of rocks and requires no bushwhacking. Its altitude is 8367 feet, even though it is only along the side of Grouse. Covered in pine needles for much of the way, this trail is mostly shaded and well-maintained. You will be hard pressed to find a prettier, quieter, and less crowded trail so close to Los Angeles. Enjoy!
Directions for this hike from either direction can be found in Day Hiker's Guide to Southern California. In brief, take the I-5 to Frazier Park exit & go west on Frazier Mtn Rd, then bear right on Cuddy Valley Rd. Pass through Lake of the Woods, then go about 5 miles & bear right (to get to the Mt. Able trailhead) & go 8 miles on Mil Potrero Rd. to Cerronoroeste Rd. Go left and follow approximately 7 miles to the trailhead, posted on your right, half a mile below the summit. If you are at the camp, you've gone too far.
To reach the Mt. Pinos parking lot, bear left 5 miles after Lake of the Woods, and go 9 miles to the Chula Vista picnic area. From there, it's another mile on dirt to get to the trailhead for Mt. Pinos.
This cache was developed
by a member
and a canine affiliate
of the Southern California Geocachers.