The Deal and Rancho Nuevo Trails are situated along the edge of the isolated Dick Smith Wilderness (DSW) of the Los Padres National Forest. These trails provide the most accessible routes into the DSW, and are located just southwest of Highway 33 and the ranger station at Ozena. The trails are along the northwest flank of the Pine Mountain Ridge-the enormous, majestic, and pine-mantled sandstone ridge that rises to well over 7,000 feet. Although easily accessible the trails seem remote with few visitors, deep sandstone-walled canyons, and here and there signs of black bear. The Deal Trail name and multiple trail choices provide us with an entre to the "Monty Hall probability problem" made widely known from the popular Let's Make a Deal game show-so we can chat about betting and odds along the trail too. For more information and photos:
From our start at the Rancho Nuevo trailhead to Highway 33 the trail is 8.1 miles and about 1200 ft elevation gain. Along the hike we will be near the Big Pine fault, a major strike-slip fault of southern California, and cross through deep marine sandstone of Eocene age. I will bring a map and say a few words here and there about the geology in addition to betting.
We meet in Ojai. Car shuttle to the intersection of the Deal Connector Trail and Highway 33, and leave a vehicle(s). Load up again and drive to the Rancho Nuevo trailhead at the Rancho Nuevo Campground, park, and begin the hike. From there to the Deal Junction campground is 2.4 miles; from Deal Junction to the Deal Connector trail is 4.8 miles with several stream crossings along Deal Creek; it is 0.9 miles more to Highway 33 along the Deal Connector trail. On the Deal Connector Trail we may make a one mile round trip visit to the Mine Campground and the old prospector's camp. Following the hike and recovering our vehicles we will stop in the often mentioned Reyes Creek Tavern for beers and burgers.
NOTE: THIS IS A MODERATE LEVEL HIKE, BUT BEGINNERS MIGHT FIND IT DIFFICULT.
Bring plenty of water and snacks. I recommend boots, long pants and long sleeve shirts due to brush, yucca, and other things that poke you. It can be sunny and warm so a hat and sunblock are helpful. Bring a sweater too-this area can get windy and cool.
Please be prompt for the meet-up point. We do not wait.
PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS
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WEEKDAY TRAILBLAZERS DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. Please treat this meet-up as hiking with a group of friends. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions.
If you choose to sign up for this or any Weekday Trailblazers Meetup event, you are releasing the Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.