Distance – .25 miles to start of the trail; 1.25 to old chrome mine; 1.25 miles from mine to Sunset Valley; .75 miles up Sunset Valley to Cachuma Saddle; 3 miles back up to your car
Elevation Gain – 1,600′ to Sunset Valley Road; same elevation gain on the return trip
Trail Conditions – Presently, the trail has several very overgrown sections in fire damaged areas. Check web site to see if the trail has been re-cut
Difficulty – Moderately strenuous with some Level 2 single track
Topo – Figueroa Mountain
The trail begins a quarter mile down the East Pinery, leading down to the right and along another pine-covered ridge to an old chrome mine, with much of its equipment still in place. The beautiful white rock formation nearby is worthy of exploration though it isn’t as easy to get to as you might wish. The trail leads to Sunset Valley Road, a half mile below Cachuma Saddle.
From Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, take Figueroa Mountain Road 16.0 miles to the start of trail. The East Pinery turnoff is 3 miles beyond Figueroa Mountain Campground. Park in the open dirt area located at the saddle on the back side of Ranger Peak. Look for the dirt road leading west.
White Rock Trail is named after the outcroppings of brilliant white sandstone a mile down the trail and just south of the historic chrome mine. This trail is the remnant of an old jeepway which once serviced the mine, though it is now overgrown enough to seem just a trail. It provides an enjoyable way to traverse from Ranger Peak to Sunset Valley Road below.
From the saddle near Ranger Peak follow East Pinery for .25 mile to the trailhead. Look carefully-it is easy to miss because it turns sharply back to the right. The route drops steeply downhill through loose Monterey Shale, across a pine-covered knoll, and then downhill again for a mile to a point where serpentine outcroppings mark the beginning of the mine tailings. There are several sections of the trail which have almost been covered over by down trees and re-growth after the Marre Fire, but a number of us plan to re-cut the upper part of the trail. It should be in good shape by the time you read this. Check the web site to make sure.
At the mine, which still has original wooden structures and camp remnants in place, the trail leads left for several hundred yards to a saddle marking the intersection of the Munch/Whiterock Connector Trail. It is overgrown and you will have a tough time using it to get down into Munch Canyon.
Whiterock Trail turns sharply right and drops into Whiterock Canyon. A mile down the canyon, the trail crosses the creek goes over a saddle and continues down into a small unnamed creek for another .25 mile to its end at Sunset Valley Road. From there it is .75 mile to Cachuma Saddle and 3.3 miles of steady uphill back to Ranger Saddle.