Sequoia Revealed

Montecito
  |  Gorp.com
Page 3 of 3   |  

In the middle of this village of wooden lodges and rustic cabins, a well-stocked ski shop has everything you need for the day. When business is slow, you might find it locked and empty. Just walk back to the main lodge and they'll call someone to help you. If this is your first time skiing, you'll probably want a quick lesson—just a few basic pointers will make the difference between a great workout in a beautiful setting and an incredibly frustrating day spent carrying your skis over trails.

The Chimney Rock Loop Trail can be accessed from just outside the ski shop. You'll start off with a flat, groomed warmup section before heading uphill toward Baldy Ridge. A detour at the upper end of Little Meadow takes you along an ungroomed path to the ridge, leading all the way up to King Canyon's Baldy Peak. At 8,211 feet, the views are pretty impressive. So is the drop-off at the top—don't stand too close to the edge.

After looping back around to a downhill that could be a challenge for wary beginners, your climb back up toward the ski shop begins, winding through pine and fir forests with occasional clearings that provide perfect opportunities to rest and take in your surroundings.

How best to end the six-mile loop? With a steaming cup of hot chocolate and a nap in a cozy armchair by the fireplace in the lodge. Chilly blasts of air cool you off whenever someone opens the front door. You can hear children playing ping-pong in the next room. The living room smells like summer camp—pine smoke and slightly burnt toast, sun-warmed wooden floors. It's easy to doze off in a place like this. Later, you'll drive back to your cabin and doze some more.


Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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