Montecito Peak – My Volcano

I have a fine view of Montecito Peak from my east-facing windows. Perched at the south end of the Santa Ynez mountains, Montecito Peak is shaped like a cone, while the rest of the range, with its sheer cliffs and rock outcroppings, has an undulating profile against the sky.

Put a fragment of cloud on the top of the peak and it’s easy to believe that an eruption is imminent. Magma, which heats the Montecito Hot Springs, is nearby, but a geologist friend assures me that the range, including Montecito Peak, is composed mostly of sandstone that is full of marine fossils from the time when the land was covered by a warm sea.

Montecito Peak with its 3,214-foot summit is definitely worth the climb as you have an uninterrupted view of the coastline from Oxnard to Refugio once you reach the top. Though not a climber, I depend on whether Montecito Peak is visible or not to tell me what kind of a day to expect.

Karin Shelton is a Santa Barbara painter and this image is from one of her note cards. Some of her paintings are on display in the Life Center at the Samarkand.

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