This 7-mile loop hike is just off the 101 in Agoura Hills, making it easy access for everyone. Starting at the Cheeseboro Cyn Trailhead we'll begin with a mild ascent up the well-maintained Modelo Trail until it links up with the Palo Comado Canyon Trail, which is actually a fire road. Following a clockwise direction we'll go west past a horse ranch and north to the Ranch Center Connector Trail, which will link us over to the heavily wooded Cheeseboro Canyon Trail (also a fire road) and back south to the cars.
This is more of an intermediate-level hike, but only due to the distance. The elevation gain of perhaps 700' (?) comes in small doses and should not deter anyone. We will likely run out of daylight during the last 30 minutes or so, so please bring a flashlight. Click HERE (http://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/upload/Cheeseboro-PaloComado8-09.pdf) for a map of the trail, and you can follow the route I just described. Leashed dogs are welcome.
After the first couple miles, there will be a lot of shade on this hike, and the final 2.5 miles or so in Cheeseboro Cyn take us through what is practically an oak forest, either enchanted or haunted, depending on the people you are with. There are sections of this hike where, if you can get your comrades to stop talking, you will not hear anything other than the natural sounds of Mother Earth.
Known Dangers include (in decreasing order of probability) horse manure, bikers and rattlesnakes. By attending this hike you agree that you alone are responsible for your safety, though, should you need it, the rest of us will be there to help you (excluding the first danger just cited).
For those of us who can avoid these dangers, let's plan on a post-hike gathering at the nearby Wood Ranch Grill (http://www.woodranch.com/restaurants/AgouraHills). <-- Click it for location info.
Directions (read carefully): Take the 101 to the Chesebro Road Exit (yes, it is spelled differently than the Canyon). If you are coming from the city, there is no problem, but if you are traveling southward toward LA, then when you get to the bottom of the off-ramp, DO NOT TURN at that first cross street. Go straight and up past that. Turn left onto Palo Comado and take that a very short distance to Chesebro Road. Turn right (north) onto Chesebro and reset your trip odometer to zero. When it hits 0.7 miles (or when you see the sign on your right that says "Cheeseboro Canyon") TURN RIGHT. Don't miss the turn. Take this canyon entrance road as it winds and narrows all the way to the end, where there is lots of free parking.
There are restroom facilities at the trailhead. Here are some pictures I took when I scouted out this hike today (Sept 16):
Looking back on the Modelo Trail toward the parking:
Likely source of the primary danger:
This is the half-way point where I heard about a dozen coyotes howling away like...um...coyotes:
The last part of the hike looks like this: