Grass Mountain in Los Olivos. 5.2 miles / 2,411' elevation gain. Ending elevation: 3,655'.
Yeah, we didn't finish this.
A good example of 'don't underestimate what you are seeing!'
A slightly longer than 5 mile (round trip) hike up to the top of Grass Mountain (named for the obvious reason.) Yeah, looks reality benign and moderate, but looks can be deceiving. Firstly, the elevation gain is 2,411'. That's roughly 1,000' elevation gain per mile, which is pretty steep. Secondly, some of the trail climbs up in spurts at a 45º angle on rough gravel and loose dirt. Thirdly, the last part of the mountain is a direct line up. Lastly, we started this hike around 2:00 in the afternoon.
So with all those things considered, we didn't make it (although, if I was doing this solo, I probably would have, haha!) DEFINITELY a leg and thigh burner. And the views of the surrounding Sn Rafael wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest, just south of Santa Maria, is sublime. In fact, pretty darn epic. The views were astounding.