Sunday, May 22, 2011

DAY 188: Above Lake Casitas (In Search of the Coyote Trail)

 DAY 188: Above Lake Casitas (In Search of the Coyote Trail)
Date: Saturday May 21, 2011
Miles: ~6.0
Elevation Gain: ~1200 Feet
Time: 2.5 Hours
Difficulty: Steady uphill on an easy to follow old dirt road
Reward: Views of Lake Casitas and Beyond!
Description: Very little shade and the temperature does get quite hot up here in the summer.  No water on the road.  This would be a good trail to mountain bike.
Where: Lake Casitas, CA
Directions:From the 101 Freeway in Ventura, take the 33 Freeway North.  Continue on 33 as it turns into a two-way road.  Pass Casitas Springs and Oakview.  A few more miles up there will be shopping on the right, including McDonalds and you will intersect the 150.  Turn left on the 150.  Lake Casitas is 3 miles up on your left, but keeping heading west on the 150.  2.7 miles further will be a Los Padres Sign on your right, keep going.  About 1.1 miles further, 6.8 miles total from the 33, pull off to the right and park: 
 Parking the bike; it's me and Alyssa today!

 The Trailhead

I snapped a picture of this map from the Fire Station, (at the Los Padres sign a mile before our trail).  I was researching the internet for trails around Lake Casitas and I really couldn't find anything.  I did find the "Coyote Trail", but the info on the trail was vauge at best.  Fortunately, my 50 year old brother-n-law told me that he remembered a trail off the 150.  He said turn in at the Los Padres sign and it's back there.  So, we did and a forest ranger working the area said there is no Coyote Trail.  He pointed to the signs in the driveway which read, "Private Drive".  He explained that all of this was private property and this map at the fire station must be old.  He pointed us down the road a mile and said we could hike the road (in the driving instructions above).  He said that you can take the road all the way to the top and hike for miles to see the ocean and everything...
 Leaving the bike behind, higher we go!

 With her blonde hair, she blends right in

As you hike higher into the mountain, you'll notice the Fire Station area to your right.  Based on the map, there is a trail back there and I am determined to find it.  However, the road that we are on will go for many many miles before ever reaching the ridge to cut back over.  It would be an all day event!  There may be another way to do this though.  I've hiked off Rice Road and it appears that the Willis Canyon Trail heads towards the ridge.  Also, I remember reading an article in the newspaper and I believe they are building a trail near the Ventura River from the 150 to Rice Canyon.  This is very nice open space and it's close to home.  Compared to what I did yesterday, this road was paradise.  Luckily for us, the air temperature was under control and the wind was chill.  A perfect day for hiking!

The life of the Los Padres National Forest was in sight.  I also got stung by a bee right here (it was a gentle sting, not like Hawaii).  Alyssa was tired and we decided this would be a good place to turn back.  Don't worry about the bees.  Stay on the road and you should be fine.  I decided to push through the thick to take a shot of the ledge, but the bee found me first.

Heading back down, Alyssa and I raced...

DAY 188 Bonus:
Ventura Summerfest

Earlier that morning, the whole family met up at Summerfest.  This park is located off the Stanley Road exit from the 33.  The kids rode in a bike rodeo, won tennis balls, had a free physical care of Kaiser, ate Jersey Mikes Subs, jumped on jolly jumps and so on...  All free, except the food.  This is just once a year so keep your eyes open next May...

Day 88 Total: 8 Miles +1250 Feet

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