Flores Peak Post Thomas Fire Sierra Club Hike

By Robert Bernstein

Once again I led a Sierra Club hike from Gibraltar Rock to Flores Peak!

Here are all my photos!

This was the third time leading this hike for me and for the Sierra Club! The Wednesday night hikers do this as part of a strenuous hike starting at the Rattlesnake trailhead.

Here you can see the Rattlesnake Trail Meadow below us

We made it easier and more pleasant. We car pooled to Gibraltar Rock, above the Rattlesnake Trail. We then hiked a steep, primitive, little-known trail to Flores Peak. The Wednesday hikers sometimes call this “The Medicine Circle”. Elevation gain is about 700 feet in only a half mile! Short but very steep!

We had an energetic group of ten people. Visiting UCSB Geography professor Danlu could not make it, but she sent her parents who were visiting from China! They did very well!

We were fortunate to have many flowers blooming all along the way!
Starting with this Lupine right along Gibraltar Road!

Here Indian Pink made its own natural bouquet, mixed in with Deerweed

Plus plenty of Indian Pink on its own

The best thing about Sticky Monkey Flowers is the name!

There were Bush Poppies

And some flowers whose names I have forgotten!

Here Janice shows how to pull yourself up on a steep trail, holding on to fallen branches

Manzanita is my favorite chaparral tree with its lusciously smooth skin!

Here it grows right out of the rock!

Here are some actual Manzanita fruits

Here Janice uses the Manzanita as a hand hold going down as well

The trail is quite steep and rugged, but that makes for some spectacular hiker photos!

And there were some excellent group photo opportunities, too!

Coastal fog made for some ethereal views

Most notable on this Flores Peak hike: This was the first time I had been up there since the Thomas Fire. The fire fighters had cleared brush along the ridges, making for rather bare areas

But you could also see why this was necessary. Multiple fire breaks were cut. Yet it was clear that the fire crossed some before being stopped by others.

In places, the fire came right to the Flores Peak Ridge. If it had not been stopped there, it could have swept down into Santa Barbara

These flowers are often seen after a fire

We rested along the rocky ridge

We could see the famous Round House below

We carefully made our way back down the steep, slippery trails

The lower sections again offered brush to hold onto

We saw hang gliders preparing to launch along Gibraltar Road

And then we saw them soaring higher than where they launched from!

After the Flores Peak hike, we took a short break on Gibraltar Rock! Notice the burned area behind us! That was an isolated yet rather large patch that must have burned from embers carried by the wind.

We could see cyclists on Gibraltar Road

Before making our way back down, with Linda leading the way behind me

We saw this one final beautiful patch of flowers at a house along Gibraltar Road

Remember, the Sierra Club has at least four hikes each week! Here you can find one that is right for you!


Written by sbrobert

What do you think?


0 Comments deleted by Administrator

Leave a Review or Comment


  1. Great photos. A correction, Indian Paintbrush, not Indian Pink, and some IDs. Photo #4: the yellow flowers are Common Sun Rose (Helianthemum scoparium), #11: Wooly Bluecurls (Trichostema lanatum), #12 & again further on: Short Lobed Phacelia (Phacelia brachyloba), #13: Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum).

Summer Solstice Through the Eyes of Children

Man Stabbed at Transient Camp Near Railroad Tracks