It was still gorgeous, we had just taken the mountain bike road and there is a trail sign where we should have taken the less-obvious smaller trail at the sign, but there were no arrows showing where to go, just a sign. I looked up descriptions of the hike as well online, and there wasn't any explanation of this. So if you end up hiking this, know to take the small trail at the trail sign (about 3/4 mi into the hike) and NOT continue on the main path.
We still ended up hiking about 5 miles up and 5 miles back down, so it was a good 10-mi prep hike for training... We are training to hike Mount Whitney at the end of the summer (if we can get permits). It is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states at 14,505 ft. with a 6000+ ft elevation gain (and 22 miles round trip). So we'll definitely have to work hard for this one.
Alas, here are some pictures from Santa Barbara's Little Pine Mountain hike:
(The first few were just cell phone pics...)
This neat-looking cloud below looked like something had been erased from the sky:
Berries?! Berries and what else...
The mountains were emanating light! It was breath-taking:
And now, some better-quality photos:
Throughout the hike, we saw these green patches of soil/rock. Apparently it is serpentine:
Lots of yucca plants: