Trail Talks: Exploring Mount Pinos and the Chumash Wilderness with James Wapotich

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With an elevation of 8,847 feet, Mount Pinos is the highest mountain in our local area, and is the easternmost summit in a series of four mountains. Created in 1992, the surrounding Chumash Wilderness encompasses 38,150 acres. At the lower elevations on San Emigdio Mesa and the surrounding Cuyama Badlands is pinyon-juniper woodland, that transitions to mixed conifers at the higher elevations, giving the mountains a distinctly Sky Island feel. Snow-covered in the winter, these mountains provide year round recreation opportunities.

Join local author James Wapotich as he provides an overview of the natural history of this unique area, and shares images and stories about its hiking, backpacking, and camping opportunities.

About James

James is a trail guide, Volunteer Wilderness Ranger with Los Padres National Forest, and author of the Santa Barbara News-Press hiking column, Trail Quest. He leads classes on backpacking, wilderness awareness skills, and mindfulness in nature.

About Trail Talks

Trail Talks is a monthly series of public education talks about exploring the natural world for outdoor enthusiasts organized by Santa Barbara Public Library with support from James Wapotich. In addition to discussion of trails near and far, we feature speakers on the ecology, geology, and history for naturalists of all types.


Participants in this event may be photographed by Library staff. These photos may be used in promotional or educational publications, including in print, social media, and presentations. Please see staff if you do not consent to having your photo taken. Staff will obtain individual, signed photo releases of photographs that contain only an individual as opposed to a group.