The Chorro Grande Trail is for fairly hard-core peak baggers. It climbs the entire 5.1 miles along the south slope of Pine Mountain in the Los Padres National Forest. This hike entails a steep, 3,000-foot climb on a pine-dotted slope, unless you are able to arrange a shuttle to do it as a one-way descent out of Reyes Peak Campground (an option that is not available during winter months when the campground is closed.) The hike back down the slope is also difficult (very hard on the knees). Bugs are often an issue on this trail so you might want to bring insect repellant and/or a bug head net.
Directions to the trailhead: Take Highway 33 north from Ojai (in Ventura County) and drive 25.8 miles to Chorro Grande Trail sign at mile marker 36.60. You do not need a Forest Adventure Pass to park at the Chorro Grande Trailhead.
Trail Information: Hike 1.7 miles to Oak Camp, where there is year-round water. It is another 2.6 miles to reach Chorro Springs Camp (also known as Chorro Grande Camp). The camp is shaded by large black oaks. When it is flowing, Chorro Spring flows from beneath a large group of boulders. The trail ends on Pine Mountain Ridge at the Reyes Peak Campground after another .8 miles. As you near the Ridge, you will have an aerial view of Rose Valley and the famous Piedra Blanca sandstone formations as well as Nordhoff Ridge farther south. On clear days, you can also see some of the Channel Islands and the Matilija Wilderness from the Ridge.
Distance: It is 5.1 miles or 10.2 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderately Difficult/Difficult
Caution: Weather and road conditions can change in an instant. Always check with the managing agency before embarking on a trip. Always hike with a friend and carry a cell phone for emergencies. Bring plenty of drinking water, food, and clothing for changing weather conditions. Let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back. Remember, California’s wild places are beautiful but they can also be dangerous to the unprepared and unwary. The California Wilderness Coalition assumes no liability if you intend to visit any of the wild places featured in our materials.