Little Pine Mountain and 19 Oaks
[out of 5]
|For:||Long, relentless uphill in the sun, if you do the whole thing. Otherwise, 19 oaks rates about 2.5.|
This trail has been burned up by the Rey Fire. I don't know when it will be open again.
Little Pine, at 4506 ft. is a challenging hike to a prominent, pine tree-covered ridge along the Santa Cruz Trail. 19 Oaks is an easy hike along the creek bed.
The hike begins in the Upper Oso campground off Paradise Rd., first following an OHV road, then joining the Santa Cruz Trail. The hike to Little Pine is 10.5 miles round trip, and very strenuous and steep. Especially towards the top. The views of the Santa Ynez Valley are spectacular at the top.
For a shorter hike, you can stop at 19 Oaks at the 2 mile mark, a short overnight destination for backpacking.
For a much longer backpack, continue along the trail that heads toward the summit, then go down into the canyon behind Little Pine Mountain to Santa Cruz Camp. Santa Cruz Camp features a Forest Service cabin, which is locked. You can camp out behind it where there are picnic tables and a fire ring The valley is shaded and beautiful, with a flowing creek and wildflowers in the spring.
You will need an Adventure PassPass to park.