Friday, June 3, 2016
Haven’t hike the Pino Trail in a few years, so decided it was time to hike it again… this time to shoot some video. The trail was just as I remembered it — long, with great views, and a lot of climbing! 🙂 If you want to see some still pics of the Pino Trail from the hike I did a few years ago, search this blog for “Pino Trail”.
Access to the Pino Trail (trail #140) is from the Elena Gallegos Open Space area. Go east on Simms Park Road, off Tramway Blvd. to the guard shack. Entrance to the park is $1 per vehicle during the week and $2 per vehicle on the weekend. Turn right and follow the loop a little over halfway around. Parking for the Pino Trail is in the fourth parking area, or the second parking area on the right. For a visual reference, click the map (below), use the menu in the upper-right corner of the screen to change the view from “CalTopo” to “Aerial Google Hybrid,” and zoom in on the loop road.
Elevation at the trailhead is 6,518 feet. From the trailhead, just follow the Pino Trail signs. First part of the hike is over open, flat terrain, so if you are hiking this in the summer, get an early start if you want to avoid the early morning heat. Nothing you can do about the heat on the way back, though! As you make your way up the approach trail, you will pass through a few gates. At around 0.8 miles, you will come to, what I call, the official trailhead for the Pino Trail.
From the “official trailhead,” you will begin making your way up the mountain. The Pino Trail is well traveled, very easy to follow, and mostly under tree canopy. Once you pass the “official trailhead,” the trail is mostly packed dirt, but there are still a number of “scree” sections that can cause you to slip and fall if you aren’t paying attention, especially on the way down. One of those scree sections caught my hiking buddy off guard and he took a minor tumble on the way back down!
The initial average grade from the parking area to the crest is 10.5%, but the average grades become steeper the farther up you go. Average grades for the last half of the hike are between 13-14%, but near the top, there are a few short sections with grades in the 15-16% range.
The Pino Trail ends where it meets the Crest Trail, around 4.7 miles from the parking lot. From here, the Crest Trail runs north and south. The Cienega Trail comes up from the east and also ends where it meets the Crest Trail, which is only a few yards south of the Pino Trail. Elevation at the crest is 9,249 feet. Total climbing for this hike was just shy of 2,800 feet. It took us three hours to get to the crest, actual hiking time was a little over two hours. Total time for this hike, round-trip, was 5 hours, and covered 9.4 miles.
Trivia: This part of the Crest Trail, in fact, the Crest Trail all the way south from where it meets the La Luz Trail, as well as the La Luz Trail, itself, are sometimes referred to as the Grand Enchantment Trail (GET). The GET is a trekking route that runs 770 miles, all the way from the La Luz Trailhead to Pheonix, Arizona.
Click the map and elevation profile for a larger view. Then click the icons on the map for more information. If the icon notes come up empty, you will have to reload the map.
To view the video full-screen, click to play, then click the 4-cornered square at the bottom-right of the player.