• Sulphur Mountain, Casita Springs, Ventura County

    ****** RAIN FALLING CONTINUOUSLY IN HIKE AREA CANCELS HIKE ****** Saturday February 16, 2019 - Sulphur Mountain, Casita Springs, Ventura County TAKE NOTE OF TIMES Carpool: Meet in SCV, 6:45AM, details below. Trail head: Meet at 8:15AM, details below. Mileage: 10 Miles RT (out and back) Gain: 2200’ (tough first 2 mls with 1500' gain, but then fairly gradual on the rest of the way out/ and then of course down hill all the way back) Rated: Moderate +++ (for good distance and very respectable gain) Hiking time: ~ 4.5 hours Description: This was popular the first time we did it in 2017. It is the ultimate Social Winter hike!! The trail is one long wide curving dirt service road accommodating a ton of hikers (6 abreast - yacking and joking for 5 miles). No chance to get lost but we will watch for bikers. We are hiking this in winter because there are many stretches with minimal shade but exceptional views in all directions. The hike starts with a cardio work out, climbing rapidly from the trailhead up through shady oak woodlands. After a mile or so, we break into open space, rolling hills and oak dotted ranch land with views of the Conejo Valley. The trail continues around many curves with ever changing views, always ascending and moving through alternating patches of trees and ranch land. At about 5 miles, we reach the highest point in the hike where we can enjoy great views of Ventura and the ocean and hopefully two of the Channel islands beyond. Near here we stop for a snack in a very pleasant leafy grove of oaks (hopefully they were not burned in the Thomas fire) , with views of the Ojai area far below and Lake Casitas in the distance. Then it is back the same way downhill to the trailhead. Lunch after (optional): If interested, after the hike some of you may like to go for lunch at a local diner - J&M Café, 490 Ventura Ave, Oak View, CA[masked]https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g32807-d860475-Reviews-J_M_Cafe-Oak_View_California.html If not planning to do lunch after the hike, then, before you leave SCV, check your carpool's plans......you may need to pick a different car/ drive yourself. Bring/ Wear: Boots with good tread and poles. Trail may be muddy so bring spare shoes in bag, micro spikes if you have them. Camera, snack, LOTS of water/ electrolytes (2 - 3 Liters), hat and sunscreen. Pack an extra layer in case there is a small shower or it is chilly first thing in AM, or in case it is windy when we stop. NOTE: No bathrooms at the trailhead or along the trail! I did not see anything between Ventura and trailhead on Hwy 33, therefore, if you have a call from Nature, I recommend you stay on Hwy 33 and go just beyond the Sulphur Mountain Road turnoff to find facilities in the nearby tolwn of Oakview. Adventure Pass: Not required Dogs: OK, if on leash and well behaved around dogs, people with poles, bikers, and horses. Bear in mind the distance, as dogs can get tired. If you bring a dog, please drive yourself. Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley to the trail head: Meet at the Southwest corner of the WALMART parking lot (27931 Kelly Johnson Pkwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91355). The store is on the corner of the intersection of Copper Hill and Newhall Ranch Road. Meet at 6:45 AM for a 7:00 AM SHARP departure to the trailhead. We prefer that you carpool / caravan due to the distance and, finding the trailhead may be difficult for some. Please be respectful of your driver's support by contributing something reasonable at the end of your 110 ml RT carpool to help defray the cost of gas - THX Directions to Trail head: From LA / Valencia - Take the I-5 North to the 126 West (Direction = Ventura). Continue all the way to Ventura, (~ 1 hour) eventually merging into the Hwy 101, heading North. Continue on the 101 North toward Santa Barbara but staying in the right lane. Exit on to Hwy 33 to Ojai. Go 7.5 miles, just passing through Casita Springs, until you see the small green "Sulphur Mountain Road" sign on the right. If you reach downtown Oakview, ...OOOPS, you have gone too far! Continue up Sulphur Mountain Road about 0.7 miles until it deadends and you see the trailhead / white gate. Read and obey the various parking signs! Trailhead: 155 Sulphur Mountain Road, Ventura, CA 93001 Meet your leader at the Sulphur Mountain Trail head at 8:15 AM for an 8:30AM SHARP departure up the trail. Leader: Steve l.

  • Mentryville+Cyn, an EASY 4 mls or continue up Pico Peak - MODERATE 7.5 ml total

    Saturday, February 23, 2019 - Local Hike with 2 Choices - Short or Longer Meet at Trail head: 7:15AM, details below. Hike Option 1: Mentryville and Pico Canyon Hike Option 2: Mentryville and Pico Canyon, then continue up from the back of the canyon to the Pico Peak for the view Option 1: Rating/ Distance (Round Trip)/ Total Gain: Easy /~4 miles total (out and back style) / 200ft Gain ~2 hours Description: The first 2 miles of the hike starts in the old oil town of Mentryville, followed by a gradual climb on a paved road (no traffic though), until we reach Oil Well #4 at the back of the canyon. The well was owned by California Star Oil, later to become Standard Oil of California. Along the way we will talk a little as we go about Mentryville, the history of Pico Canyon and the early oil industry in Santa Clarita Valley. This shorter hike ends after the 2 miles at the end of the canyon. Anyone who does not wish to continue up to the Peak with Steve can return along the asphalt service road to the parking lot the same way we came in. This will give you a nice Easy 4 miles! Option 2: Rating/ Distance (Round Trip)/ Total Gain: Moderate + / ~7.5 miles total (out and back style) / 1200ft Total Gain ~3.5 hours with snack break Description: After Well #4 at the back of the canyon, we continue and start to climb the service road for another 2 miles, adding another 1000 ft. in gain giving us 1200 ft total gain getting to the peak. At the top there is a picnic table where we can have a snack, and relax for a bit. The views from here are some of the best in Santa Clarita Valley (see above)! On our return, about 2/3 the way back, we will take a detour down a different and more challenging but shorter trail back to Pico Canyon. We will pass interesting rock formations to arrive in Johnson Park. We also pass a mock- up of an oil well (see photo below), an old saloon bar, and a dancing / recreation area used by the oil workers in the 1930's. From there, we walk back down the canyon rejoining the road we came in on and return to our vehicles in the parking lot. Meet: Be at the parking area in Mentryville at 7:15 AM, for a 7:30 SHARP departure up the trail. There is a portapotty restroom at the trailhead (that hopefully will be unlocked). Bring: 2L water and 1L Gatorade, snacks, a camera, a hat and sunscreen. If going all the way to the top on the longer hike, you will need boots with good thread, as the trail is sandy and the return hike is down a narrow, steep trail. Poles will be very helpful for this portion of the longer hike, if you have them. NOTE: BRING a $5 bill for SELF-SERVE PARKING using an envelope at the Trailhead! If you park in the lot but do not pay or clearly display the envelope, expect a $75 ticket, guaranteed! Directions/ Parking: From Los Angeles, drive North toward Santa Clarita on the 5 Highway. From Antelope Valley, etc. Follow the 14 Hwy South to where it intersects with Interstate 5. Be ready in right lane and turn North on the 5 (a big curved flyover), direction Santa Clarita/ Sacramento etc. Both - A few miles North of the 5/14 interchange, look for lots of fast food/ gas signs etc. and exit on Lyons Avenue WEST ramp, turning left and go over the 5 Highway. Keep going West through several lights, until it becomes Pico Canyon (maybe 2 miles). Continue on Pico Canyon as it narrows, twists and turns ending at a green gate in front of the old town of Mentryville. Go over the bridge on the left and park close to the big pepper tree by the rest room, where we will meet. You must pay the MRCA parking fee ($5 bill in their envelope) to park here. If you wish to avoid the parking fee, there may still be space outside Mentryville (back at a "Y" / turnout that you pass about 3/4 mile up the road). You then have to walk in to meet us (you get extra hiking credit!). NOTE: If doing this, allow an additional 20 minutes for the walk in, we will leave Mentryville going West up the canyon road at 7:30 AM SHARP!!! Leader: Steve I.