Leader: George Hubbard
Asst.: Al Campbell
Twenty-three hikers (including seven guests who were members of an Explorer Scout Post) met at the trailhead in Murietta Canyon for, what was for many, the first backpack of the year. After signing in we hiked up the canyon along a stream to Murietta Divide and had lunch shortly thereafter. There was water available along the trail (there were three stream crossings) with the last water being at a spring which is about one-half mile east of the Divide. Many trees were also down across the trail until we got to the Divide.
After lunch we proceeded up the road to the 5000 ft. level 1/2 mi. south of Old Man and made camp there. It was unseasonably warm and the view was tremendous (visibility was at least 30 mi.). The inconvenience of cold camp was offset by the fact that we arrived at 2:30 and had all afternoon to loaf in the sun.
Sunday at 6:30 we headed up the road and, after some bushwhacking on a not-too-often used trail, were on Old Man by 8:30. After signing in we bushwhacked our way down the other side of the mountain until we were finally on the road again. (Shorts are not recommended for this hike!). We then went up the road to Monte Arido and all were on the summit by about 10:00. We enjoyed a fine view of the Los Padres backcountry and had a snack before going back to camp.
The walk out was uneventful and all were back to the cars by 3:30.