August 27, 2006
|Our first view of Jordan Peak from the trail
Yesterday Todd and I hiked one of my favorite local hikes... Jordan Peak. I'd hiked this
trail twice before, once by myself and once with my Dad, but it's a good one and I
wanted to share it with Todd. The hike is 3/4 mile and climbs about 500 feet to the
summit of Jordan Peak, 9115 feet. At the top is one of 8 manned fire lookouts on the
forest. Fire lookouts always have the best views ;) From the top of Jordan Peak you
can see northwards towards Dennison Peak, Moses Mountain, Maggie Mountain, and the
peaks that form the boundary between Sequoia National Forest & Sequoia National
Park (Vandever, etc.) To the east you can see all the way to Olancha Peak on the Sierra
Crest. To the south you can see Slate Mountain and Mule Peak and down the mighty
Kern Canyon. To the west you can look down the Tule Canyon to the central valley and
on a clear day you can see all the way to the California Coast Range. But to me the most
special thing about Jordan Peak are the "nearby" views. You can see at least 8 sequoia
groves from the top!
As the bird flies the peak is just a few miles from where I live. It takes a full hour
and a half to drive to the trailhead, though. But the drive is very scenic and worth it.
The trail switchbacks up through a shady red fir forest and only when you are steps
from the top do you emerge onto the wild rocky peak. This peak has the distinction of
quite possibly being the oldest lookout site on the Sequoia National Forest. The
current lookout building was constructed in 1934 and all of the materials were hauled
in by horses and mules. The 20 foot steel tower originally had open bracing to support
it, but in 1970, the tower was enclosed with metal siding.
Todd and I had a great time visiting with the fire lookout. She told us some great
stories of what it's like living in a place without plumbing, about the 5 Golden Eagles
that fly around the lookout and the Peregrine Falcon that dive bombs her, and about
the intense lightning and thunderstorms she has weathered. We then had a leisurely
walk back down again.
|I think there needs to be a new trailhead sign!
|My Subaru parked at the trailhead parking area,
Olancha Peak can be seen in the distance
|Those mountains form the boundary between Sequoia
National Park and Sequoia National Forest
|Mule Peak is just left of center behind Slate Mountain
|Olancha Peak to the far east