Monday, March 22, 2010

03-13-2010 Piedra Blanca

Piedra Blanca is always a nice place to go for a short day hike. You can climb the rocks or go searching for hidden caves.

Frank, Heidi and I decided we would hike to Piedra Blanca Camp and take a look at the Chumash Rock art that is along the trail. It's no secret that there's Chumash pictography here. The Forest Service has a big display at he trailhead that shows one of the paintings in it's former glory. I won't say specifically where this site is, but it's not that hard to find. We started the hike by wading across the Sespe.

It's a short 30 minute hike to the Piedra Blanca rock formations. We spent a little time there wandering around. Then we headed up the Gene Marshall-Piedra Blanca National Recreation Trail. According to what I could find Gene Marshall was,"... a leading advocate of wilderness designation for the Sespe who played a key role in the development of the Los Padres Condor Range and River Protection Act." The trail itself is pleasant enough. It meanders alongside Piedra Blanca Creek for a couple of easy miles until you hit Piedra Blanca Camp. This is a pretty nice camp. It has plenty of spots for tents. There are a couple of fire pits. And there are a few big old Oak trees to provide ample shade and places to hang your pack. A few minutes further upcreek and you come to Twin Forks camp. This looks like a nice camp as well. There were some people camping there, so I just took a quick look, but didn't snap any pictures. The hike back to the trailhead was easy-breezy. So somewhere along this trail there is a boulder with some badly damaged Chumash Rock paintings. They look like very typical Chumash pictographs. There's a bird-like figure that I interpret as a Condor. There's a human type figure drawn with the distinct bend in the arms and legs that seems so common with Chumash art.

All in all it was a nice little day-hike. How about next week we try something a little more challenging?

Photos: Frank Jones

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