Sulphur Mountain Road (SMR) is a great early evening hike. Sunset is at 6:55p.m. Full moon is expected to rise at 6:22p.m.(experience shows that we can expect the rise over our mountains 20 minutes later 6:45ish). This will be a night hike, so, please bring a flashlight. Although SMR goes on for just over 10 miles, we will only hike the first 3.5 miles making this hike 7 miles round trip. The bottom section goes through an oak forest and higher up in the grazing land there are still groves of oak trees from time to time. From some points you get a good view of Lake Casitas to the west. The road goes through ranch land so please stay on the designated trail/road. Also be aware that this is a popular mountain biking trail, the trail is quite wide and there is plenty of room for hiking and biking. If you love wildlife and hike the trail at dusk you're likely to see deer and coyotes in the meadow areas.
The Hike: The trail starts just past the gate and over a grate. The tree-shrouded trail starts climbing right away for the first 1.3 miles and then levels off into an open area of meadows and hilltops. At this point the trail offers some fantastic views of the west end of Ventura, Lake Casitas and island views if it's a clear day. This is a good spot for a breather. The trail flattens out for the next 1.5 miles until a gate just before the three-mile marker. We'll keep going for another 100 yards or so past the gate for a fantastic view of the Ojai Valley off to the left. At this point we will turn around and return the way we came. Here is a link to the photos from a previous hike up here http://alturl.com/prox9
The Directions: Take Highway 33 east past the point where it turns into a two-lane road. Drive through Casitas Springs, past the right-hand turn for Nye Road, and look for the sign for Sulphur Mountain Road. (If you've ever seen Vern the chainsaw sculpture guy plying his trade in that little dirt lot on 33, it's the first right after Vern.) Drive to the end of this short narrow road and park along the road before the gate. This is where we will meet. Bring hiking essentials, a FLASHLIGHT, camera, an appropriate jacket for the weather (it gets really got chilly after the sun sets.) ==========================================================
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