Saturday, January 6, 2018

Pinyon Peak

Hike track link

Pinyon Peak eBird list

We don't get out much.  Or some days it just feels like we don't know a thing about where we live.  Yes, Pinyon Peak is another place close to home that we had never been to.  It even turns out that there is an old trail to the top, and a trailhead hidden in plain sight off of Highway 178.  We really should get out more often.

Pinyon Peak our destination for the day

A bit closer to Pinyon Peak

The South Fork Christmas Bird Count was the inspiration for this hike.  No one was covering any part of the Scodie Mountains, which is in the count circle, but hard to get to, so we decided to add a bit of bird data to the count.  We were hoping for Mountain Chickadees, but couldn't find any in the mostly dead pinyon pines.  We did though have a White-headed Woodpecker, which was very fun.

A forest of dead pinyons

This must be a really old sign

This hike starts on the Pinyon Jack trail, follows an obvious trail or road system all the way to the top.  There are a couple of turns you have to make, but we did the trail the day after others had been up, and it was easy to follow their tracks and trail markers.  We also had a gps track, so no chance of wandering off.

We made it to the top

Ten years ago this was probably a lovely walk through a fragrant pinyon forest.  Now most of the pinyons are dead from drought stress and beetles, so not quite so attractive.  The views from the actual peak are limited due to oaks, but just before the peak vistas are fine making for an enjoyable lunch spot.

Owen's Peak

The view to Walker's Pass

Panorama of the Sierra from Domeland Wilderness to Owens Peak and Mt. Jenkins (L-R)

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