5 Hi Mountain to Caldwell Mesa.
This section is almost entirely within wilderness. The trail climbs to Hi Mountain lookout, currently a condor observatory. From there it descends to Hi Valley and Hi Valley Creek, the first water since the spring behind the water tank at Little Falls (water here cannot be depended on). Hi Valley is a scenic oak and grassland the trail travels through it, and then across a brushy hill to the Hi Mountain road and trailhead. We descend the road to the north reaching Trout Creek which usually has water. Our trail follows down this creek to a poorly marked left turn ascending to a campsite at Buckeye (there are no buckeyes here), but there is water.

Just past this the lateral trail from the Salinas River and American Canyon joins us. We continue to Stony Creek. Stoney Creek usually has water. Our trail ascends to the broad tableland meadow of Caldwell Mesa. There is a stock pond here which usually has water. This is a great camp site with nighttime views of the lights of Arroyo Grande and the South Country far off and far below.

Hi Mt                                                                                                Caldwell Mesa


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