Ascent of Junipero Serra Peak on 2013-06-07

Climber: Patrick Bergeron

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, June 7, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Junipero Serra Peak
    Elevation:5862 ft / 1786 m

Ascent Trip Report

Three years living in California and I still hadn't driven much of the PCH. And I had never been remotely close to Big Sur. Therefore, following a 2-day trip to Bay Area to apartment search, I opted to do some of the scenic PCH route back to LA with a short half day hike that would give a sample of what the area has to offer.

Directions: From PCH I took the winding forest road Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd east into Fort Hunter Liggett and then took Del Venturi Rd northwest, which becomes Forest Rte 19S09/Indians Rd. The actual trailhead is off of Del Venturi Rd at 36.116912, -121.463270: Turn northeast onto what looks like a wide dirt trail/path, and the parking area is just around the bend.

I arrived at the Santa Lucia Memorial Park Campground (often referred to as just "Memorial Park") at midnight. The campground had at least one toilet that I could see and several fire rings. One group of locals was already setup around a fire, drinking and having a good time. After the tiring drive from South Bay, I did the lazier option and just slept in the car.

Alarm went off at 630 - 5 hours of restless sleep. I left the car in the shade of Memorial Park and walked to the proper trailhead a little ways south. The temperature read 55F at 7am with clear skies. Perfect conditions to be on the trail...for the time being.

True to the descriptions both on here and SummitPost, the trail is not maintained and covered with overgrowth ranging from grass to small trees to shrubs and bushes. Also came across a couple ticks clinging to my clothing, so I highly recommend pants, long sleeves, and periodic pauses to stop and check your person for them.

The overgrowth and sun exposure made the trip a bit strenuous. Other than that, it felt like any other 5-6k peak one would find down in SoCal. The watchtower at the top was cool, I guess.

Ended up doing a side trip to Peak 5642 after tagging JS. (That brief cross-country scramble was much more interesting than the 6mi trip up to Juniper Serra.)

The hike back down to the car was brutally hot and void of any breeze. Temperature at the trailhead was 94F in the shade, around 103F in the sun. Yea. Really damn hot.

(PersonalNote)onsumed 3L water, 1L powerade, 1 protein bar, dried apples, handful of gorp(/PersonalNote)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4153 ft / 1264 m
    Extra Gain:180 ft / 54 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Route:Santa Lucia Trail
    Trailhead:Santa Lucia Memorial Park Campground  2069 ft / 630 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Clear
Clear skies. 55F at the trailhead 7am. 102F at 12pm.
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 38 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Junipero & 5642

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Junipero Serra Peak2013-06-074153 ft / 1266 m
2Peak 56422013-06-07291 ft / 89 m
Total Trip Gain: 4444 ft / 1355 m    Total Trip Loss: 4444 ft / 1355 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Patrick Bergeron
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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