Fremont Ridge Hike an Escape from Montecito Insanity
By Robert Bernstein
Wealthy property owners have been blocking the public right of way in Montecito for over a year, making it difficult to hike there now. I certainly hope that law and justice prevails. The Sierra Club encourages the public to speak up to support the County in this fight for the public interest.
Given this insanity, I am trying to find new places to hike. My friend and famed City College professor Spencer Sherman recently took me to Fremont Ridge on East Camino Cielo for a short hike. It was all new for me. Here are some of my photos.
The trail is a fire road, so don't be surprised if you see an occasional motor vehicle parked along the way. The hike begins about 1.5 miles east of Highway 154 at this nondescript gate with no markings.
Yuccas in bloom were one of the highlights.After about a mile you get a nice view into the Santa Ynez Valley. The trail keeps going down, but this was our turnaround point.Looking to the west you get a nice view of Lake Cachuma.
And looking to the east you get a nice view of what used to be Knapp's Castle.I believe this is a checkerspot butterfly.
Bush poppies.Pearly everlasting.Sticky monkeyflowers.This looks to me like a dandelion all ready to blow away!Indian paintbrush.Just before returning to the road, Spencer took us on a fork up into a pine forest.This whole area is scattered with beautiful rock formations. But hidden in the pine forest we came upon this especially interesting rock formation. Yes, it is unfortunate that it has been damaged by very stupid humans and paint. Still cool!This July 4th weekend, my wife and I went back on our own. At the turnaround point I discovered it is possible to get a unique view of the Cold Springs Arch Bridge with Lake Cachuma beyond.Here was the view as we ascended to the pine forest, looking back toward the main trail.On our way out via the pine forest we also were surprised to find a mariposa lily blooming late in the season!Here you can see the rest of my photos from this more recent hike at Fremont Ridge.