Lanny Kaufer, author and native plant educator, will lead a nature hike June 18 on Pine Mountain near Ojai.
The hike will visit some of the most spectacular scenery and habitat in Ventura County at a time when many late spring wildflowers are blooming at an elevation of 7,000 feet.
The outing will start at 9 a.m. with a vehicle caravan of about 35 miles up State Route 33 from the Maricopa Plaza, (1207 Maricopa Highway, Ojai) 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 SUVs are preferred for the last stretch, but most passenger cars with high clearance can also make the drive, according to a news release from Mr. Kaufer.
Mr. Kaufer will start walking into the Sespe Wilderness from the trailhead (where there is a restroom) at about 10:30 a.m., stop for lunch (not provided) in the forest, returning to the trailhead at 3:30 p.m., and arrive back at the Maricopa Plaza by 4 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, Mr. Kaufer said.
Weather and marine layer permitting, hikers will have panoramic views of the Cuyama Valley to the north and the Channel Islands to the south, Mr. Kaufer said.
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.
Mr. Kaufer will have copies of his new book, “Medicinal Herbs of California,” with him for sale and signing before and after the hike.
Mr. Kaufer asked that no one brings dogs and that no one smokes during the hike.
The hike won’t be canceled in case of light rain, but will be canceled if the rain is heavy or if there’s a chance of thunderstorms.
Cost for the hike is $45 per person. Senior, student and child discounts are available by request.
Paid registrants will receive a confirmation email a few days prior to the event with all necessary information, including what to bring, weather forecast and directions to the trailhead. Afterward, they will receive a follow-up email with a list of all plants and wildlife seen.
To register, go to www.herbwalks.com or call 805-646-6281.