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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 615: Ventura River Preserve - Old Baldwin Road - Willis Canyon - Oso Ridge Trails

The Los Padres rises above!

Day #615 * Hike #725 * New Track #605
Sunday July 22, 2012
Ventura River Preserve - Baldwin Road Trailhead - Ojai, CA
Willis Canyon, Rice, Osos Ridge & Chaparral Crest Trails
My Tripometer: 1.5 Hours * 3.5 Miles * +175 Feet

 Old Baldwin Road Trailhead

 Ventura River Preserve Trail Map

Directions:
From the 101 in Ventura, take the 33 North towards Ojai.  Drive past Oakview and just after you pass the fast food restaurants on the right, turn left on Baldwin Road (the 150).  Drive about a quarter mile passing La Luna and Rice.  Look for Old Baldwin Road on your right and turn down it.  At the end, you will see the trailhead.  This is a relatively new Trailhead and is handicap accessible for the first quarter mile.

 End of the paved route, but the dirt trail is easy with no elevation gain

 Ayden searching for a GeoCache

We came up empty!  As most of you know, I was recently in the Acorn and a local reader turned me on to http://www.geocaching.com/.  According to the site, there are 14 caches in this area.  Since I do not have a smart phone with gps tracking, I punched the coordinates in on Google and I tried my best to convert them into real time.  However, this was no easy task and I came up empty on all my finds.  Quite frustrating!

 Bahhhh!

 Ayden found a rope swing

 Oso Ridge Trail Junction

There are many possible trail junctions to take prior to this point.  You can hike a 1/2 mile loop if you like or you can extend it further like we did.  The neighborhood off Rice Road was to our right the entire hike up to this point.  A bit further to the north from here you will intersect the Rice Road Trailhead which I hiked on Day 21: Chaparral Crest & Wills Canyon.  I came back to the area last year on Day 288: Riverview Trail.  I was eye to eye with a very large snake that day.

 The river is completely dry; expected for this time of year

 in the rainy season, deep pools of water can be found out here

 Sammi and Ziggy digging for water - It was 95 degrees HOT!!!

 We began climbing Oso Ridge
Sammi and Ziggy hide in the brush from the sun

Easy Climbing

We reached the first top but turned back because we were nearly out of water.  This area is very pleasant when it's cool but dreadful under these harsh conditions.  In the rainy season you will often find inviting water pools.  I'm nearly certain that there is water further North, even this time of year, but it's cut off by a dam which prevents a drip from trickling down here under the sun. 

So, we looped back and took an alternative trail to the car.  I'm going to need to revisit this area in the winter months...

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