Monday, July 30, 2007

Hiking Ventura County #26: The Old Cabin Trail

I went out early on Sunday to do my weekly hike. I arrived at the trailhead around 7:30 and headed out to the Old Cabin Site. The clouds were thick and low but they burned off relatively quickly.

The trail goes through a couple of landscapes varying from meadows to wooded forests to canyons and valleys. The hike starts in a meadow along the Wendy and Satwiwa Trails, drops down a little before climbing up to the top of a wooded canyon. Along the way you see an old windmill. At the top of the canyon you meet up with the Boney Mountain trail/Danielson Fire road from which you will have views of Boney Mountain.

The trail drops down and enters the Point Mugu State park. At the bottom of the canyon you cross a riverbed – it was dry this year and so was the river bed – before heading back up the other side of the canyon. At the bottom of the canyon I took a spur trail to a waterfall site. This year, being so dry, it is more of a watertrickle. The rock formations were impressive and I can imagine that it would be spectacular with running water after a good rain. I looked, but did not find, the “Fern Gully 2 ” geocache located past the top of the falls. After e-mailing the hider, I think I was looking in the wrong spot. I will have a chance to search again in November when I do the Old Boney Trail hike.

After leaving the falls area I headed up the side of the canyon. Trees offered a lot of shade which made the climb bearable. The views of the canyon from this trail are beautiful.

At the high point of the hike you can either continue on the Boney Trail or follow the Old Cabin Trail spur. I followed the Old Cabin Spur until I reached the remains of the Old Cabin – a stone chimney. Not as impressive as Knapp's Castle but nice enough. Nearby is a monument to Richard Ely Danielson who donated the ranch to the National Park Service. Mr. Danielson is buried under the monument. The monument is made of stone and there is a metal arch over it that reads “Peace Love Joy.” I can see why he built the cabin in this valley. The setting is beautiful and tranquil.

As I was looking for a cache in the area (“Rancho Sierra Vista - Old Cabin Site” where I dropped The Commander's Caches Movers Geocoin #6 geocoin and picked up the chaosmanor's Torn Yellow Mailer #3 geocoin) I came across a trail leading up. The cache wasn’t there so I headed back down to the memorial where I found a fellow hiker. He said that he saw me going up the other trail and said that it was a very difficult hike up that trail to Old Boney. I explained that I wasn’t planning to take the trail and that I knew my limitations. He smiled at that and we chatted awhile while I ate some lunch. For this hike I packed a sandwich and apple – much better then those nasty protein bars.

As I left the Old Cabin site I passed quite a few hikers who were walking the trail today (There were a dozen cars at the trailhead when I arrived). The rest of the hike was going back the way that I came. At the top of the canyon I headed across a meadow to the Satwiwa Indian cultural center. I was tired and dirty so I didn’t go in. I did dump some trash that I picked up on the trail. I will have a chance to visit it next time I’m in the area.

Along the trail I found four more caches: “Fill In The Blanks”, “Boundary”, “Boney Hairpin”, and “Peace, Love and Joy”. I had 16 caches programmed into my GPS but most of them were on other nearby trails that I will get some other hike.

The total distance hikes was only 6.69 miles – less then the 7 miles that it was supposed to be. Also the elevation gain that was advertised as 1,200 feet turned out to be only 764 feet. This made the whole hike feel easy. The lack of challenge was made up for by the views along the trail. Some pictures can be found here. My next hike is to Sandstone Peak where I hope to see Old Boney from another angle.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I took that trail from the cabin site up to Boney Ridge earlier this year. It's a real mother, completely washed out in places, overgrown in others.

    ReplyDelete