Flores Peak Sierra Club Hike

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By Robert Bernstein

We had a small group for our latest Flores Peak Sierra Club hike, but everyone was in a good mood and we took it at a leisurely pace. Plenty of stops to enjoy the views and a nice long snack break at the top. We finished at the usual time because we skipped climbing Gibraltar Rock afterwards.

Here are all my photos and quite an interesting video!

We started near Gibraltar Rock along Gibraltar Road. You can see someone standing on Gibraltar Rock here:

That first section is quite steep through the manzanita. Here Dee leads the way through that first section:

The view out to the Channel Islands was exceptionally clear. Here you can see the chain of islands that makes up Anacapa Island:

Not a lot of flowers in this season, but I think this is buckwheat:

Here three of us posed at the summit. The final section is as steep as the first section, but it is also quite slippery.

But the most notable part of the hike this time: The largest number of paragliders and hang gliders that I have ever seen in the air at once! At times there were as many as twenty or so at once!

The air was perfectly still. Even so, there clearly were some powerful thermals (updrafts) that took this one from below us to above us quite rapidly. One after another the others repeated this feat.

But the most spectacular scene for us was to watch these two hang gliders circle each other over and over right in front of us.

On our way down we encountered a Geocache along a lower ridge. I have been up there quite a few times in recent years, but I had never ventured to that particular spot before.

Inside was a log book placed in January 2006, almost 14 years ago. Some of the original goodies in the inventory were still in there, including this amusing character on a tricycle.

During our final descent we saw a couple of dozen people streaming toward a couple of vans parked on Gibraltar Road. Probably out for a UCSB geology field trip

Be sure to check here for all of our upcoming Sierra Club hikes!

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EastBeach Nov 29, 2019 03:36 PM
Flores Peak Sierra Club Hike

I didn't know about Flores Peak - thanks for putting it on my radar! Nice photo of Anacapa. Had I known about the Geology Dept's fields trips I would have taken a few classes as an elective. I've heard they used to do fun fields trips out to Death Valley, etc.

Flicka Nov 29, 2019 05:38 PM
Flores Peak Sierra Club Hike

Robert, thanks for the beautiful photos. When I was in 4-H we rode our horses up to Flores Flats for an overnight (before the Brotherhood of the Sun took it over). What is happening at the Flats now? The video is delightful, the gliding is the closest to becoming a bird. One of my daughters is a geologist, she started at City Collage which had a fantastic Geology department. Never having taken a geology class she was invited by the professor on a trip to Death Valley. On that 5 day trip she found her passion for geology.

a-1575143294 Nov 30, 2019 11:48 AM
Flores Peak Sierra Club Hike

Hi Robert, thanks for the great photos and story, as always! I recognize a few of the paragliders' wings :)

sbrobert Dec 04, 2019 12:36 PM
Flores Peak Sierra Club Hike

Flores Peak is high above Flores Flats. The No Trespassing signs at Flores Flats always kept me from going in, even though I do know one person who lives there. Thank you for the kind words and good memories. Way cool that you recognized some of the paragliders' wings. Some of them were quite beautifully decorated.

Longing2bhome Dec 09, 2019 08:53 AM
Flores Peak Sierra Club Hike

So BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you.

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