Tequepis Trail – Broadcast Peak – Santa Ynez Peak

14 1/2 miles in Santa Barbara – a long, tough day.  This hike begins very near another recent hike, Lake Cachuma, and travels up to West Camino Cielo, where I hiked Lizard’s Mouth on the same day as Cachuma.  I didn’t see a single person all day long.

1     2   The turn-off for the parking is off the 154 and a half mile away from the turn-off for Cachuma Lake.  A narrow road dead ends in 1.3 miles at Circle V Ranch.  I parked outside in the big dirt lot and walked through the ranch, staying on the road.  There are signs pointing the way.  I walked past these cabins to the main trail.

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As far as following the trail is concerned, this is a mostly stress-free hike.  There are three trail junctions that you need to be aware of, all within the first mile.  At the first junction, stay straight/right, do not take the road that curves sharply to the left.  At the second junction, stay to the left.  Do not take the road that goes to the right past a rusty metal gate.  The third junction I will discuss later.

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Photo 1 – This metal sign appears by the side of the trail at 0.8 miles in, marking an old oil claim.  Photo 2 – At 0.9 miles is the third junction.  As you can see the main trail runs to the left and is clearly marked.  The spur trail to the right goes to the creek.  I decided to explore this short trail here at the beginning of my hike while I was still fresh.

8     9   The spur trail began to climb a bit.  It’s not in the best of shape.  After crawling over a few rocks I turned around.  The trail jumps up a couple of feet and was at chest level when I took Photo 2.  After last week’s hike in Santa Paula Canyon I wanted a break from this jungle gym type hiking.

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I love this type of tree.  Seems like this would be ideal for two lovers to stand together inside.  I touched the tree where the bark had peeled away.  It felt smooth and cold like stone.

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18   After the spur trail I returned to the main trail.  It’s 3 miles to the top – moderately steep with numerous switchbacks.  For the first couple of miles it was totally socked in.  I knew the Lake was right below but couldn’t see anything through the soup.  Finally the cloud cover started to lift.  I could see something on top of the ridgeline to the right.

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Photo 1 – Those antennae seen on the left mark Santa Ynez Peak.  Photo 2 – Santa Ynez Peak on zoom

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Photo 2 – As I continued to climb, Broadcast Peak and it’s red and white antenna came into view.

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25   The cloud cover seemed to burn away in a matter of minutes.  Now I could see Lake Cachuma.  I also spotted the highest Peak in the Santa Barabra Front Country, the one I hiked to on New Year’s Day of this year, La Cumbre Peak.  It’s the high point with the trees on top in the middle of photo 2Photo 3 – After 4 miles I made it to the ridgeline.  Broadcast Peak is to the right.  It looks so close but it’s a mile and a half hike to get there.  First I had to find the dirt section of West Camino Cielo Road, which you can see running along the side of the mountain under Broadcast Peak.  I followed the trail to the left toward a pile of rocks and it took me right down to the road.  Just one other thing, there is a shooting range close by so you may hear gunshots.  I don’t know what they were using the day I was here but it sounded like a cannon.

26     27     28   From West Camino Cielo I could now see the other side down to the ocean.  After one mile of walking down the road I came to an obvious turn-off for Broadcast Peak.  You can’t miss it.  I walked up the road a half mile and was at the top.

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Lake Cachuma from Broadcast Peak

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Photo 2 – Santa Ynez Peak from Broadcast Peak.  After eating lunch I started toward Santa Ynez Peak.  It’s very much the same type of hike as the one that took me to Broadcast Peak – a mile along the main road and a half mile up a short road to get to the top.

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Photo 1 – The turn-off to Santa Ynez Peak  Photo 3 – Looking back at Broadcast Peak from Santa Ynez Peak  Photo 4 – Another smaller antenna down the road a bit on a lower peak

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Lake Cachuma from Santa Ynez Peak

40     41     42   I headed for my car.  It was getting late.  Photo 3 – The earth dam at Lake Cachuma.  I made it to my car about 10 minutes before sunset.  Tough hike.

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