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Friday, June 8, 2012

Days 560 - 564: Hidden Pond Trail - Point Mugu State Park - Ranch Center Road - Danielson

Hidden Pond

Day #563 * Hike #646 * New Track #554
Thursday May 31, 2012
Hidden Pond Trail - Pt. Mugu State Park - Newbury Park, CA
Ranch Center Road
My Tripometer: 2.5 Hours * 10.75 Miles * +1275 Feet

**To search deeper into the wilderness, I pumped up my tires and pedaled out to a trailhead out of hikers reach... 

 Portion of the Map

Directions:
From the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, exit on Wendy Drive and head South.  A few miles up, turn right on Lynn and then look for the brown Santa Monica National Park Sign.  Turn left into the parking area and pull all the way to the back and park. 

Begin following the dirt trail for 0.3 miles to the main paved bike path.  Straight ahead of you will be the bridge to Chumash Village.  Stop by for a visit if you'd like, but I was on my bike and began pedaling up the hill.

 Bridge to Chumash Village with Boney Mountain in the distance

 Begin coasting downhill (this is why I took the bike)

At the bottom of the near mile long hill which loses over 400 feet of elevation you'll cross a bridge and there will be trails off to the left and right.  On the right is the Hidden Pond Trail.  I first discovered this trail many months ago when I was hiking through the Potrero Open Space.  I rounded some non plotted trails on the map and ended up on this trail which ended at this road.  From here you could hike the long trail to the "Hidden Pond" but my agenda today was to pedal out even further along the paved road to rejoin the Hidden Pond Trail on the far side.

 Trail Junction

After pedaling another 0.8 miles and finally making it to the "portion map" as indicated a couple pictures above, I turned right to follow the green highlighted route.  The main paved road continued straight but the road to the right was also paved, perfect for my cheap-old Target bike!

 Ranch Center Road - Cross the bridge and begin the slow incline

 Sin Nombre Trailhead to the left

Just before this trail on the left was an unmarked trail across a grassy plain to the right.  I began to hike on it and then said, nah...  Good call because I was looking for the next entrance of the Hidden Pond Trail and discovered this across from the Sin Nombre.  However, rather than hiking to the Hidden Pond from here, I continued pedaling up the road.  The steep gradual incline was too much for me so I had to walk a good portion of the paved road...

 Sage Trailhead

At this point I was able to jump back on my bike and continue pedaling along the paved road.  The elevation was overall relatively flat and a few minutes later I reached the next major intersection.

 Ranch Center Fire Road - Dirt Road on the left
(I actually walk my bike up this long road tomorrow)

 Coyote Trailhead - This looks like a creepy trail

 Ah, the west end beginning to the Hidden Pond Trail

I ditched my bike here because there was no way I was getting up this beast on that bike.  This was a narrow, dirt-rocky single trek trail, yet I saw tire markings on it.  Based on the map, I figured that I would be hiking in about 1 mile to the pond.  I can't wait!

 Views!  It was a hot day, no shade, tough climb!

 The trail begins to level out

 The Hidden Pond!

The map excited me because it looks like there could be water.  However, no water.  I continued further to search for the trail wrapping around the pond but I couldn't find it.  To the left was a fence and I saw an old dilapidated sign, something about a bull?  It looks like the hidden pond has some moisture still and I bet in the winter it fills up a little but the grass was tall and I didn't want to tramp across it.  You know, snakes and all...

 Interesting rocks lying around

 The valley below - Ranch Center Road down there

 Heck, at this point I should just hike all the way through
(oops, my bike.  Turn around and hike all the way back)

 Snake!

 Green Birds - I found these all the way back by the Sin Nombre

 Boney Mountain!

The hardest part of this whole day was the very end.  Walking my heavy bike up the long paved hill.  I absolutely hated it.  First, I don't like walking on pavement and to be lugging up a dumb bike with sweat dripping into my mouth, ugh!  What's worse, real bikers was pedaling right past me like the hill was no challenge!


Day #564 * Hike #645 * New Track #555
Friday June 1, 2012
Pt. Mugu State Park - Newbury Park, CA
Ranch Center Fire Road - Danielson
My Tripometer: 2 Hours * 8.5 Miles * +975 Feet

 Welcome back to Pt. Mugu State Park

 Today we'll go straight on the paved road
(follow the pink highlighted map)

 Fork, I remained on the paved road

 Danielson?

I heard a baby crying.  What's going on here.  We are in the middle of Pt. Mugu State Park.  Where do these come in from?  I suppose the Malibu side?

 Turn right and cross the field

The signage here is null, but based on the map, my plan was to take the Ranch Center Fire Road.  I thought it was going to be paved but turns out it was dirt-rocky the entire time!

 Confirmed, I am on the Fire Road

 The other end of the Sage Trail from yesterday

 I walked up the entire dirt hill.  It took a good 30 minutes!

 Ranch Center straight ahead
Hidden Pond Trail to the right - did that yesterday

Today my goal was to go down to the Ranch Center to see whats up with that however I opted out because that hill made me to darn tired.  Instead, I followed the easy paved road all the way back.  Of course, I had to walk my bike again up the mile long steep hill.  How is that possible?  I hiked up to long hills today! 

Domino!

Days 560 - 562 were duplicates.  All at Arroyo Verde.  Monday was Memorial Day and after escorting my sister on the long nonsense adventure through Red Rock, I kept things simple with a barbecue at home and an early evening casual walk around the trails of my back yard.  Tuesday and Wednesday were much the same averaging about 2.5 miles a day and +350 feet of elevation gain...

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