Tours from the Center of the World to the San Andreas Fault

Reported by Bonnie Kane and Joel Robinson

Three tours to exciting Mountain Community spots will take you to the highest and the lowest elevations here—from the top of the 8,847 foot summit of Mount Pinos to the rifts in the earth caused by the infamous San Andreas earthquake fault—and back into time.

Naturalist for You and the Ridge Route Communities Museum will be your tour guides Sunday, Sept. 12 and Saturday, Sept. 25.

Historical Tour Up Frazier Mountain

First, you are invited on a historical journey up Frazier Mountain’s East End Drive in Frazier Park. Meet at the Ridge Route Museum and experience the colorful history of the Frazier Mountain area. Artifacts and photographs tell compelling stories about the Chumash, El Camino Viejo (The Old Road), Tejon Pass, the Old Ridge Route (prior to the Interstate 5 Freeway) and the Mountain Communities.

Carpool from the museum to the trailhead. Ascend the slope of Frazier Mountain past fragrant sagebrush scrub, gnarly canyon live oak woodlands and majestic coniferous forest.

See colorful lichen displays on jagged boulders. As pinon pines give way to white fir, enjoy panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountain ranges. Search for wildlife signs and fall bloomers. Come across an overflowing spring supporting willows and maple. There is a possibility of observing massive ladybug clusters.

Afterward, enjoy a delicious lunch and freshly baked dessert at the Coffee Cantina.

Who: Tweens and up (minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian).

Where: Meet at the Ridge Route Communities Museum, 3515 Park Dr., Frazier Park, 661-245-7747

When: Sunday, Sep. 12, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous (4-5 miles round-trip, dirt truck trail, some rough terrain, 1,000 feet of elevation gain).

RSVP: Email or call 714-649-9084. See Donation appreciated.

Sunset Chumash Journey to the Center of the World: Mount Pinos

At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, meet at the intersection of Mil Potrero Highway and Mt. Pinos Road to carpool to the trailhead.

Follow a professional naturalist and journey to the top of Mount Pinos. Known as Iwihinmu in the Chumashan language, Mount Pinos was considered by the Chumash people to be the center of the world or Liyikshup, “the point where everything is in balance.”

The summit is the highest in the area and near the center of the traditional lands of the Chumash.

Wander in astonishment past ancient pines, which bulge and twist into the fantastical shapes of mythical creatures (reminiscent of the Ents from Lord of the Rings).

Admire giant lichen encrusted boulders jutting out of the decomposed granite soil. Identify the diverse plant species that occur along the way. Understand the profound significance of this sacred place to the Chumash culture.

When: Sunday, Sept. 12 6:30- 8:30 p.m.

Where: Meet at Mil Potrero Hwy and Mt. Pinos Road just west of Cuddy Valley (at the ‘Y’ parking area between the road to Pine Mountain and the road to Mount Pinos).

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

RSVP: Email or call 714-649-9084. See Donation appreciated.

San Andreas Fault Tour

The museum is offering a tour on Saturday, Sept. 25 of the San Andreas Fault from the Mil Potrero “Y” at the top of Cuddy Valley to Quail Lake. This is primarily a driving tour with a minimal amount of walking. Discussions and evidence of past earthquakes will be covered, as will thoughts on what the future holds.

Assisting local historian Bonnie Kane will be geologist Tim Elam of the Buena Vista Museum in Bakersfield.

The number of vehicles will be limited, so call the museum to reserve a place.

When: Saturday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. -1 p.m.

Where: Mil Potrero “Y” at the top of Cuddy Valley

Reserve: Call the museum at 661-245-7747 to reserve a place and for info about meeting place.

Difficulty: Easy

This is part of the September 10, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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