Wednesday, September 14, 2016

15th Annual Open House/Campout Event - Sat, Oct 1st 2016

Please RSVP if you are planning to attend the event and the number of people in your group by contacting Steve Schubert at or phone # (805) 440-9390

Bring your own lunch 11:00a.m to noon. The open house event at Hi Mountain Lookout formally begins at 12 noon, with introductions, condor program updates, lookout tours, and guided field trips. In the evening there will be a potluck dinner, evening program presentations, star gazing, and an optional overnight campout.

Visitors will find parking available close to the lookout throughout the day. Attendees are responsible for their own transportation. Note: high clearance vehicles such as trucks and vehicles with 4-wheel drive are highly recommended for the unpaved 6 mile drive from Pozo to Hi Mountain – there are stretches of rough road conditions along the way!

Schedule of open house activities at Hi Mountain Lookout

Morning activity:

Bird watching field trip – 10:00am -11:00am

Hi Mountain Lookout (elev. 3,199 ft.), Santa Lucia Mountains, Los Padres National Forest Meet 10:00 am at Hi Mountain Lookout. Emphasis will be on identification of resident and migrant songbirds and raptors in flight, and birding by ear (what’s that sound?). Habitats: oak woodland & chaparral Field trip leader: Steve Schubert, Morro Coast Audubon Society Easy walking conditions, about ½ mile along the lookout road.

Kids’ activities - 11:00am to 2pm, ongoing

-making plaster-of-paris animal tracks; condor biology, and radio tracking demonstrations
Picnic lunch 11:00am -12:00pm (bring your own lunch)

-tour the Hi Mountain Lookout facilities and Interpretive Center

- sign the guest register

Welcoming comments 12:00pm

Introductions of Hi Mountain Lookout staff, volunteers, and college student interns
by Steve Schubert, Volunteer Coordinator, Hi Mountain Lookout Project & Dr. Francis Villablanca, Professor, Cal Poly Biological Sciences Department

Morning birding field trip report by trip leader
by Steve Schubert

Updates on the California Condor Recovery Program
by Condor staff

Condor radio tracking demonstration
by Hi Mountain Lookout volunteers and staff Note: Those interested in becoming volunteers for the lookout project are encouraged to meet with our staff to arrange future training for condor radiotelemetry, facilities use, and scheduling

Auction of donated items and merchandise sales 1:00pm

Lookout Project fundraising conducted by Carolina Van Stone, Hi Mtn. Lookout Project Volunteer

Afternoon activities and field trips:
Geographical landmarks - a 360 degree view from the Pacific Coast to the Sierra Nevada - and demonstration of the original Hi Mountain Lookout firefinder

Led by Kevin Cooper, Zone Wildlife Biologist, Los Padres National Forest
2:15 pm

Native plant identification and geology walk along the crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains, along Hi Mountain Lookout Road
Led by Dr. Dirk Walters and Dr. David Chipping, Professors Emeritus, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and San Luis Obispo Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Potluck dinner and sunset watch 5:00 – 7:00pm Wine serving compliments of Nancy and Bill Greenough, owners Saucelito Canyon Vineyard & Winery

Gas stove and oven in the lookout facilities are available for cooking and heating food.

Participants are encouraged to bring a potluck dish to share with their friends and guests.

Partake of Jim Duff’s famous pineapple upside down cake for dessert, an annual tradition!

Note: no open campfires, camping or backpacking stoves are permitted for cooking dinner or during the overnight campout.

Evening programs beginning 7pm by the lookout deck (wear layered clothing)

PowerPoint slide show presentations:

7:00 p.m. -7:15 p.m.
The summer internship program and biological field research projects at Hi Mountain, presented by the 2016 Cal Poly student interns

7:15 p.m. – 7:45 pm Big Sur and Pinnacles National Park condor population update by Richard Neidhardt, Volunteer, Pinnacles Condor Fund

7:45 -8:30pm Southern California condor population update by Vince Gerwe, Friends of California Condors Wild & Free and Estelle Sandhaus, Director of Conservation and Research, Santa Barbara Zoo

Astronomy observations
Telescopes will be set up for observations of the evening stars and constellations

Optional Hi Mountain campout
Camping sites are available Saturday night at ‘Cypress Hill’ near the lookout or at the USFS Hi Mountain Campground one mile down the road. Bring your own potable water. No open campfires, camping or backpacking stoves permitted – extreme fire hazard!

Visit the lookout project’s facebook page at
and view the photo album of past open house events. Join is in our 15th consecutive year open house event!