On Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 the Doggetts led a group of 7 sturdy HPS hikers
to Hildreth Peak from the Agua Caliente Hot Springs.
Even though this route is listed as Route #1 in the HPS Peak Guides, very few
hikers use this route. The drive from the 101 hwy in Santa Barbara to our
trailhead took almost 2 hours.
We started walking at 9:40am and reached the summit at 2:22pm. After a very
short break on the top, we started back at 2:30pm and reached the trailhead at
The hike was about 8.5 miles (each way). The total gain was around 5,200' and
except for a mile of steep ridge, most of the route had modest inclines.
The entire hike took 9 hours and for the last hour we used our headlamps. On
this night we had about a 60% full moon, but our headlamps proved to be very
helpful in finding the trail.
On the first four miles of the hike we had to cross the Agua Caliente Creek
about 10 times. These crossings presented us with little difficulty in the
morning. We hiked at a slower pace during
our last hour (which was dark). We found that crossing the stream in the dark
took more time; and in a couple of spots, it was more difficult to find the
trail exiting the stream bed.
Some of the hiking trail and the jeep trail was overgrown with waist-high dried
grasses and sharp thistle bushes. This part of the hike was rather unpleasant.
But the views of the surrounding hillsides were amazing. Although this hike is
strenuous, requires good route finding skills & not for beginners; it is a
We would like to thank: John Cederberg, Larry Campbell, Christine Soskins, Mary
Varalyay & Mark Butski for joining our outing. - - Peter & Ignacia Doggett