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Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 613: The Nothing Loop - Happy Valley - Santa Rosa - Hill Canyon


Happy Valley from the Nothing Trail - Camarillo?

Day #613 * Hike #722 * New Track #603
Friday July 20, 2012
The Nothing Loop - Camarillo, CA
Happy Valley - Santa Rosa Park - Hill Canyon
My Tripometer: 1.25 Hours * 3 Miles * +700 Feet

Trailhead

Directions:
From the 101 Freeway in Camarillo, exit the 101 at Santa Rosa and head east.  About 5 or so miles out, look for Hill Canyon Road.  It's a quick turnoff to the right marked by a sign.  About a half mile back you will pass Santa Rosa Park.  Continue another mile down the road and begin on the right where you see this gate.  There is a spot for car parking just before the gate.


A glance back over the road before we begin

I hiked the ridge in the picture above on Day 247: Santa Rosa Community Park - Lizard Rock.  This is the back way into Wildwood Park, from Camarillo.  Until now, this is the first time that I have trekked in from this side before.  I'm not sure what has taken me so long to get back here?!  Last time I parked at the park but where I parked today makes the most sense for what I'm about to do.  My goal is to reach the backside of Happy Valley and until now, I've always gone in from the Rancho Conejo Open Space.  Let me tell you, hiking in from Camarillo is WAYYYY EASIER!

 Easy river crossing - take the dam bridge :)

 Continue straight

Skip to the *** to continue forward with this trail, or read my excitement below...

By now, I know this area SO WELL!  It took getting lost a couple of times to say this with confidence.  Once you cross the river there will be an option to the right.  If you take that, it will lead you back to Santa Rosa Park.  I see that they built a new people walking bridge near the park so this trail would make for a nice viable alternative versus what I'm about to do.

Anyhow, stay straight and you will soon come to a crossing.  The path to the right will eventually meet up with the one along the river and will take you to the park.  The route to the left will lead you to Hill Canyon Water Treatment facility, but it's not that easy.  You have to look to the right and follow the trail up to the main road which descends from Rancho Conejo Road.  Then when you are at the main dirt road, turn left and this will lead you to the hidden ponds back there.

About ten feet after the intersection on the trail that we are hiking today, there will be another trail option to the left.  See how this can get confusing?  The trail leads you through the canyon toward the 400 Year Old Oak Tree and abandoned car.  This area really is amazing!

*** Basically, from the parking, cross the river and go straight.  Keep going straight and begin climbing the hill...

 Looking back at Hill Canyon Water Treatment

 The green trees lead to the hidden 400 Year Old Oak and Abandoned Car

 Trailheads to the right!

After climbing the hill, maybe a half mile from the trailhead, you will notice these two options on the right. My goal today was to head up this hill away from Happy Valley.  Here's the problem.  I first saw this vague trail on the right before realizing the marked trail on the left side of this picture.  I actually took this pic on my way back down.  Anyhow, I began my pursuit to the right up and through the field.  The tractor impressions make it easy to follow...

 Up to the top, it becomes steep and it's hot!

I thought the trail would take me up and to the right but it took me up and to the left.  It then joins a more obvious trail...

 Neat, higher than Newbury Park and I started in Camarillo

 Overlooking Santa Rosa

 This is Happy Valley - Please dont develop this!

 Mount Conejo in the distance

My goal is to Hike Mt. Conejo but the "Nothing Trail Loop" that I was on began to head lower.  It did reach a fork which appears to head to the Conejo Peak but I will save that one for my next visit.

The Nothing Loop Connector

Nearly at the bottom, I came down from the left and see the proper way up to the right.  This is a neat little loop but it goes no where, really.  However, I did discover this trail today and I will be back to take the easier way up in hopes to reach the top of Mt. Conejo.  For now, it's a mad dash back down and to the bike.  Thanks for playing...

Quick Rewind: Day 612 (Thursday) Arroyo Verde.  **I just discovered a way to make my backyard more interesting.  I will share next time I do it...

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