Wednesday, September 19, 2018

17th Annual Open House / Campout Saturday, October 13th, 2018

Hi Mountain Condor Lookout Project
17th Annual Open House / Campout
Saturday, October 13th, 2018

Bring your own lunch 11:00am 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 are highly recommended for the unpaved 6 mile drive from Pozo to Hi Mountain – there are stretches of rough road conditions along the way!

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

Schedule of open house activities at Hi Mountain Lookout:

Morning activity:
Bird watching field trip – 9:30am- 11:00am 
Hi Mountain Lookout (elev. 3,199 ft.), Santa Lucia Mountains, Los Padres National Forest. Carpooling drive from the lookout on the ridgeline of the Santa Lucia Mountains, towards Big Falls trailhead. Easy walking conditions. Meet 9:30am at Hi Mountain Lookout. Emphasis will be on identification of resident and migrant songbirds, raptors in flight, and birding by ear (what’s that sound?). Habitats: oak woodland & chaparral. Field trip leader: Steve Schubert, Morro Coast Audubon Society

Kids’ activities - 11:00am to 3pm, ongoing
-making plaster-of-paris animal tracks; condor biology and radio tracking demonstrations, and eco-scavenger hunt with prizes awarded for participation

Picnic lunch 11:00am -12:00pm (bring your own lunch and beverages)
-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 and Kevin Cooper, Wildlife Biologist, Los Padres National Forest
-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 student interns and condor staff. Note: Those interested in becoming volunteers staffing the lookout and conducting condor radio tracking are encouraged to notify our staff to arrange future training opportunities
-Lookout Project merchandise sales Lookout Project fundraiser conducted by Marcelle Bakula, Hi Mtn. Lookout Project Volunteer

Afternoon activities and field trips:
1:00pm 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, Wildlife Biologist, Los Padres National Forest

1:45pm Native plant identification and geology walk along the crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains, on Hi Mountain Lookout Road. Led by Dr. Dirk Walters and Dr. David Chipping, Professors Emeritus, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and board members of the San Luis Obispo Chapter, California Native Plant Society

3:30pm California Condor Recovery Program and Condor Nesting update

Co-speakers representing the Condor Recovery Program and the Lookout Project Potluck dinner and sunset watch 5:00 – 7:00pm Wine serving compliments of Nancy and Bill Greenough, owners of Saucelito Canyon Vineyard & Winery. Participants are encouraged to bring a potluck dish to share with their friends and guests. Gas stove and oven in the lookout facilities are available for cooking and heating food. 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 program beginning 7pm by the lookout deck (wear layered clothing). PowerPoint slide show presentations:

7:00pm -7:15pm The summer internship program and biological field research projects at Hi Mountain presented by Gio Espinosa and Marie Solis, 2018 Cal Poly student interns

7:15pm - 8:00pm Southern California Condor population and nesting updates presented by Vince Gerwe, Friends of California Condors Wild & Free

Astronomy observations- Telescopes will be set up for observations of the evening stars, planets, 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 to view the photo album of past open house events. Join us in 2018 for our 17th consecutive year open house event!