The views of Pico Blanco and the ocean from Skinner Ridge are at their best in the winter, when the black oaks (Quercus kelloggii) are leafless.
Skinner ridge madroño (Arbutus menziesii)
The Turner Creek Trail junction, at the foot of Devil’s Peak.
What’s in a name? We used to consider this section of trail to be part of the Ventana Double Cone Trail. Now, we understand, the Forest Service calls it the Skinner Ridge Trail. Yet there apparently was a time when the Forest Service, or at least the employee responsible for making signs, thought it should be added to the Big Pines Trail.
It seems like bush poppies (Dendromecon rigida) are always blooming on the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak.
Call it what you will … this is one of the best trails in the Ventana Wilderness.
Looking down on Long Ridge from Devil’s Peak. The Rocky Creek drainage on the right, the Turner Creek/Mill Creek/Bixby Creek drainage on the left.
An informal trail sign at the Mt. Carmel junction.
Baby blue-eyes (Nemophila menziesii)
The black oak grove on the summit of Devil’s Peak.
Black oak acorns and leaves
By mountaineering standards, the high point of Devil’s Peak isn’t particularly dramatic …
But the view from its shoulders (in this case of Skinner Ridge and Pico Blanco) is.
The heart of the northern Santa Lucia …
And the trail that waits to take you there.