Pinyon Ridge hike, July 1, 2016

I decided to do a short hike after work today.  The HPS section lists this as a 2 mile round trip hike to the high point of the Ridge.  Getting to the trail head is via a long round about via Hwy 14 to Big Pines Hwy. 

The trail starts at the YMCA camp; you are not supposed to walk through the camp itself, but staying to the right of the buildings.  Not being able to find a way  up, I did walk into the camp, but was quickly followed by a young lady, asking what I was doing there.  I explained that I was trying to find the trail to the fire road up the hill, and she told me that because there are a lot of children in the camp, she would accompany me to the start of the trail at the end of the camp  She also mentioned that the trail is actually on the left side of the camp.  Once we past an old water tank, my "guide" left me alone, and I started up the very steep gully which led to a dirt road.  I turned right on this road to a fork, where I noticed a trail coming up from the ridge.  I assumed this was the original trail on the HPS map.  Once I passed the top of the ridgeline, I started looking for the high point of the ridge, which is supposed to be about 40 yards north of the road.  My first search resulted in a pile of rocks, but no sign that I was in the right spot.  I than got the brilliant idea to pull out my GAIA gps, which showed me that I had gone too far on the road.  The gps directed me dead center to the correct spot, which had a tall metal stake, but no register.

After a short while, it was time to return back down the road.  I decided to try the HPS trail going down the ridge, but after only a few hundred yards the trail disappeared.  So, I hiked back up to the road, and returned the same way I had come up.  Going down the gully was quick work, and no one bothered me when I walked through the YMCA camp back to my car.

I started driving downhill, thinking that was the way to I15, but after about 20 minutes, figured I went the wrong way, and back tracked to where I started, having wasted at least a half hour.  After I made a left onto Hwy 2, I was back on familiar ground and found my way to home.  All in all, it was a very long drive for such a short hike, "just because it is on the LIST".