Distance – 4 miles on trail to Happy Canyon Road; 4 miles on road to Cachuma Saddle; 3 miles from Saddle to East Pinery; .75 miles from Pinery back to your car
Elevation – 200′ elevation gain to top of saddle; 2,115′ loss on trail to Happy Canyon Road; 800′ gain to Cachuma Saddle; 1,350′ gain from Saddle to East Pinery; 250′ loss from East Pinery back to your car
Difficulty – Rocky riding on rough dirt road; some technical riding but in general no more difficult than Level 1 single track; some route finding skills needed. Bring topo
Topo – Figueroa Mountain
The front face of Ranger Peak is composed almost entirely of steep grassy hills which soften to rolling grass-covered hills further down. The riding leads through these open fields and in the spring is beautiful. Great downhill though followed by more than 2,000′ of climbing on the last half of the ride. There are spectacular views and neat rock formations along the way.
From Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, take Figueroa Mountain Road 14.3 miles to the start of trail. It is 2.6 miles beyond Figueroa Mountain Campground. Park in the open dirt area located just before the road heads steeply up the back side of Ranger Peak.
The ride begins almost immediately beyond a metal pole fence. Most likely you will need to push this first section which climbs very steeply up to a high saddle. The surrounding country is open grassland and it is beautiful in the springtime.
Once you’ve reached the top of the saddle, a gain of 200′, you’ll be able to ride the rest of the Ranger Peak Trail. The trail is rocky but manageable and the views are incredible. The route leads from the saddle in an easterly direction along the ridgeline. In the first .75 miles the downhill is gentle and you will lose about 250′ to the top of a large outcropping which is a very nice spot to stop for awhile.
Once you are beyond this knoll the trail begins to drop much more rapidly and over the next several miles until you intersect with Happy Canyon Road you will lose almost 2,000′. The pace is fast and furious and before you know it you will be down at the paved road.
Once you hit the pavement, unless you’ve dropped a shuttle car off, there is a lot of uphill ahead of you. It is 4 miles and an 800′ gain to Cachuma Saddle; and 3 miles to Ranger Peak, with 1,350′ of additional gain. This is time for getting into a low gear and checking into your all-day pace. It is a long ride but the country is beautiful and the views spacious.