A new trail up Elliot Mountain was built May 2015. We were last there February 2015 when there was only a use trail. Let's go back and check it out. The mountain, a bench and the trail are named after Burt Elliot who was very active with Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency. Burt died of cancer in the Spring of 2014. He was the go-to guy for all things Conejo Open Space.
For some pics our Feb 2015 hike see http://www.meetup.com/localhikers/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=25919744 . We'll do it a little differently this time. Here is a view of Elliot Mountain back then:
We began exploring this area in 2008 when we were the original "The Weekday Hikers.". At that time there was a system of old use trails known mainly only to a few local equestrians. It soon became a favorite and regular hiking location for us. From 2008 to 2011 Hill Canyon was the location of our unofficial club house.
A few years later, open space agencies and other trail-builders literally followed in our footsteps and began converting the use trails to official "new" trails, erected trail signs and built bridges. This photo is from February 2012 when we attended the bridge opening. See more (http://www.meetup.com/localhikers/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=5956072)
Before the bridge was built this is how we crossed the creek. Here we are on a hot September day in 2009:
We'll do 8-10 miles with plenty of elevation gain.
Update: I am adding another hill -- Adventist Hill. Looking back, we haven't done this hill since November 2010. Back in those days, when I lived in the area, Adventist Hill was part of our evening "Mini Conditioning Hikes" series. Here is the last one: http://www.meetup.com/localhikers/events/15287267 /. There is a 750' gain in 0.7 miles
Post hike lunch
The Natural Cafe - Directions from trailhead: http://tinyurl.com/conejo-natcafe
1714 Newbury Rd, Newbury Park, CA 91320
Hill Canyon is part of a system of deeply eroded canyons, plateaus and ridgelines now known as the Conejo Canyons Open Space. On clear days, trails in this area afford dramatic views of Ventura and the coastline, as well as inland to the Topa Topa mountains north of Ojai. This area also conserves a variety of habitats, including coast live oak woodlands, riparian habitats, interior sage scrub/chaparral, and coastal sage scrub. The hike will be about 8 miles with moderate elevation gain.
Prior to 2000 plans for high end homes were made to be built on the Western Plateau above Hill Canyon. There were a couple of problems. An access road would be a very expensive addition to the cost of the properties. Fire access requires a separate emergency access which was not feasible without access through city property. A bordering golf course would add to the property values and if done right would provide the emergency access at little cost. A win-win for the developer. No problem. He got city officials to spend about $2.6 million to plan a golf course with the emergency access.
But then Audubon members and other environmentalists showed pictures of the flood plain under water after a big rain. The club house would have to be up on the ridge above to be feasible. Golfers would have to be driven down to tee off. The golf course plans got canceled and a land trade was worked out by the same city officials who caused the $2.6 million to be wasted.
Hill Canyon and the Western Plateau is now the Conejo Canyons Open Space.
Who is that guy up there?
Peruse the Pics from some previous hikes:
Directions to trailhead
From the 101 Freeway/TO
• Take exit for Rancho Conejo Blvd
• Continue North on Rancho Conejo Blvd 2.0 mi
• Turn Left on Conejo Center Dr 0.1 mi
• Park in dirt lot on right
See also http://tinyurl.com/conejo-natcafe
Note: The dirt lot will probably be too small for all of us and there is no street parking there. You can also park toward the cul de sack on Rancho Conejo Blvd. We'll meet on the corner. See
Bring 2 Qt water, lugsoles, snacks, sunscreen, hat
“If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late…don’t bother showing up”