Chivo Canyon 8-13-2005
We had some hike this morning. Since the hike wasn’t explained very well, we stumbled around trying to find Chivo Canyon. We first headed up a very steep hill. After reaching the top, we could see where we wanted to go and had to come all the way back down, then head up the canyon. We saw a couple of oil seeps, lots of vegetation, and even some fossils. We also had to cross some dicey areas where the old road bed was washed out. It was an adventure.
Danielson Ranch Pt. Mugu State Park 7-23-2005
Jalama Beach 7-16-2005
Sheep Camp 7-2-2005
Ten trailblazers hiked to Sheep Camp and back today. It was perfect hiking weather, reaching only into the mid-seventies in the afternoon.
Lily Meadows 6-25-2005
Four people enjoyed a beautiful hike in the Las Padres Forest. We started at the Three Falls Boy Scout Camp in Lockwood Valley, hiked to the waterfall and then continued up to Lily Meadows in the Chumash Wilderness area. The weather was nice and we observed many flowers in bloom along the way.
Santa Cruz Island 6-18-2005
Seventeen hikers boarded an Island Packers boat heading to Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island this morning. The trip to the Island took about an hour. The weather could not have been better. The previous day was cloudy and rainy. Temperatures we in the mid-seventies with a gentle breeze keep to us cool. Most of us took the 4 mike hike to Smuggler’s Cove, where we ate lunch and enjoyed exploring the beach and the nearby tide pools.
Strawberry Meadows 6-11-2005
Yosemite National Park Trip 5-25-2005
Six Trailblazers spent five memorable days camping in the Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley. With the campground as our base camp, we hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls, the Mirror Lake loop up into Snow Creek Canyon, and got very wet hiking up to Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail. We all took the trails to the Tuolumne and Merced groves of Giant Sequoias and then continued on a few miles outside the Park, heading towards the town of Foresta. Some of us also traveled the John Muir Trail to the Panorama Trail and then on to Illouette Falls and finally to Glacier Point, then the Inspiration Point trail to Stanford Point, where the trip abruptly ended when the snow obliterated the path. Those of us that stayed until the very end had a relaxing day riding our bicycles around the Valley floor.
The waterfalls were at full capacity. The snowfall from last winter was 180% of normal, so many of the trails were still closed. The Tioga Pass Road was closed four miles past Crane Flat on Highway 120, and no opening date was announced. So, we could not get to Tuolumne Meadows. Half Dome Trail was scheduled to open two weeks later, when the cables were to be installed. Many of the meadows in the Valley floor were still flooded. The Merced River level was so high it came right up to the bottom of Sentinel Bridge. Temperatures were high at the beginning of the trip, reaching 90 degrees on the second day. As is always the case, when it was time to go home, daytime highs were in the low seventies and it was cold enough to see your breath in the early morning hours.
Highlights of the trip were the sightings of over two dozen Mule deer, a Red-Headed Skink, two Mountain King Snakes, and a California Black Bear. The Sierra wildflowers were in bloom everywhere, adding some very bright colors to the Park. We saw several flowers we have yet to identify.
It was a great time, and it was very difficult to leave the Park and head home. Let’s do it again next year!
Sespe – Bear Creek Backpack 5-25-2005
Ten backpackers had an enjoyable 3-day backpack trip in the Sespe Wild & Scenic River Area in the Las Padres National Forest on May 20-22. The 10 who participated were: Arlene Altshuler, Phil Ankrom, Caroline Carroll, Caroline’s son Nick and daughter Emily and two of their friends, Bill Cespedes, Gary Cremeans, and John Sabol. We met Friday morning and headed up the 118 to the 101 and then off on the 33 to Ojai where we stopped at the Ojai Ranger Station to sign for our fire permit.
After a winding drive up Route 33 to Rose Valley, we parked just before a locked gate near the Middle Lion Campground turnoff (Lion’s Camp is closed to camping). We then took the new trail down into Lion’s Camp. Two thirds of the way down the trail, there is a new, two unit restroom building and a picnic table.
Lion’s Camp has changed since we were there 2 years ago. All of the campground restrooms, barbecue pits and campsites are gone. Everything has been removed. Also plastic fencing has been put up along the trail in some areas to keep people on the trail.
We made several stream crossings after Lion’s Camp and river sandals were needed on some of them. After the stream crossings, we headed out for a 3.5-mile pack into camp. The morning was clear and warm as we made our way towards our Bear Creek Campground. Everything was green and wildflowers were everywhere.
There were just a few other campers in Bear Creek Campground when we arrived so there was plenty of room for campsites. Everyone pitched tents and set up camp. We then filtered water, swam in the Sespe and just sat around enjoying the scenery until it was time to go to sleep..
Unfortunately not everyone slept well. There were two or three bullfrogs who kept up a chorus all night. These are North American Bullfrogs. In the past, they were only found east of the Rocky Mountains but were introduced into California. This was my first time hearing one bellow (not croak but bellow). I thought someone had released an alligator into the Sespe. It is unbelievable that a creature 8 inches in diameter can make that much noise. Mosquitoes and sand fleas were also a problem.
Saturday morning, everyone was up early and had the stoves heating water for cereal and coffee. The morning was warming up fast and after breakfast 8 of us packed our gear for a 12-mile round trip hike downstream to Willett Hot Springs. We only had to make 3 stream crossings to get there, thanks to a trail crew who had done an outstanding job cutting a new trail on the south side of the Sespe. This new section eliminated two river crossings which involved a lot of boulder hopping and crossings that were a little dicey. Again wildflowers were in profusion. We also saw Horned Toads (which are actually Spiny Lizards) and numerous, fence and alligator lizards. There was some Poison Oak but it was easily avoided.
After visiting the hot spring, we ate lunch and headed back to camp. Unfortunately on the way back the temperature continued to rise. It was a rough trip back in the extreme heat. Most cooled off at the river crossings and we drank a lot of water.
Back in camp, after a long day of hiking we rejoined the rest of the group. They had spent part of the day swimming, reading and napping. Again we ate and enjoyed talking.
Sunday morning, we ate, took down tents, packed gear and prepared to leave. We left in groups of 2 and 3 and made our way up the trail and out of the canyon. Again the weather was very hot. We reached the cars and headed back to Ojai. Everyone had a great time. You should have been with us!!!
Sage Ranch 5-14-2005
Six hikers were on the Sage Ranch hike today. We were treated to lots of wildflowers, great sandstone formations and scenic views of Simi Valley. This short loop trail through chaparral, grassland and oak woodlands makes this a very pleasant hike. We even met a very cool dog!
Trail Canyon 5-7-2005
Six adventurous souls were treated to beautiful scenery, a bounty of wildflowers, and the tranquil sound of rushing water on the Trail Canyon hike today. It’s hard to believe this hike is so close to home. Although there was a good many stream crossings this early in the season, the inevitable wet pants and boots were worth the effort.
Long Canyon 5-3-2005
Pictures from the Long Canyon tuesday evening hike. Thank you Fred & John!
Santa Rosa Trail Loop 4-16-2005
Seven humans and two canines met at Wildwood Park for a hike on the Santa Rosa Trail loop. The wildflowers were abundant on the north side of the ridge. Views from the top were spectacular as promised. The king snake was safely released only minutes after his capture.
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve 4-16-2005
Low temperatures and a bit of wind was not about to stop six intrepid Trailblazers on our trip to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve today. The dusting of snow in the high mountains only added to the beauty of the area. In almost no time, the memory cards in our cameras were full!
Simi Peak 4-2-2005
Owl’s Clover was most everywhere on our 9 mike hike to Simi Peak today. Seven of us enjoyed the warmest hiking day so far this year. Evidenced by carpets of wildflowers, Spring is most certainly here!
Los Robles Trail 3-26-2005
Six of us took the Los Robles Trail to the East, until we got within about two miles from Triunfo Park. We then hiked back along the Los Padres trail. The pace was slow, it was a beautiful day and the flowers were a plenty. The pond was overflowing into the trail and there were lots of tadpoles.
Simi Peak 3-12-2005
Nine hikers had a great hike in the Santa Monica Mountains. We started out on the Mishe Mokwa Trail, past Echo Point and Balanced Rock and across a stream to a rest area at Split Rock. Then up past Skull Rock, past several fields of Shooting Star wildflowers and looping around to the base of Sandstone Peak. Most of us climbed Sandstone Peak (Mt. Allen), the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains at 3111 feet, where we found great views of fog filled valley and ocean.
Mailbu Creek State Park 3-5-2005
We hiked 8.4 scenic miles in Malibu Creek State Park today. Starting out on the Yearling Trail, we took the Deer Leg Trail down to Malibu Creek. We followed the Crags Road Trail to the old M*A*S*H site and then on to Malibu Lake Dam. Next, we followed the Forest Trail to Century Lake and then on the visitor center (old Reagan Ranch House). We took a break at the picturesque Rock Pool and then took the Yearling trail back to our cars. You should have been there!
Lang Ranch Loop 2-26-2005
Seeing these rare Indian Warrior flowers was one of the highlights of the Lang Ranch Loop hike.