Friday, February 08, 2008

Hiking Ventura County #44: Los Robles Trail - Part One

I have been taking my hikes from a list I found on the Ventura County Star website. Some of the hikes are one way hikes - You park a car at one end, get a lift to the trailhead, and then hike back to the car. This is fine and dandy when you have someone to give you a lift but, since I like to hike during the week and the Wife works, I don't have anyone to give me a lift. So, since I still want to do some of these hikes, and I am stubborn, and I want to hike during the week damn it, I came up with a solution - divide the hike in two.

The first hike that I tried this was the Los Robles trail. The whole trail is about 12 miles long one-way. I decided to split it into two 6 mile sections. Each section would then become a 12 mile There-And-Back hike.

The Hike has two parts. The first part of the hike starts at the intersection of Potrero Road and Wendy Road in Newbury Park. I've done a couple hikes in the region already. You take the Wendy trail for about 96 yards before taking a left onto the Los Robles Connector. The connector is a 0.6 mile trail that follows a wooded stream on the south and a green meadow on the north. Since Potrero is only 96 yards away there is some street noise on this part. The trail curves back to the road where you cross over to the Los Robles Trailhead. I'm not sure why the Star had you start on the Wendy Trail. There is plenty of parking at the Los Robles Trailhead. My only guess is that the gate hours are 9:00 to 4:00 so if you wanted to go earlier you would have to park at the Wendy Trailhead. I arrived here before 8:00 and the gate was open so I'm not sure there is a real reason to start at the Wendy Trailhead. Oh well.

From the Los Robles Trailhead you head up and over the top of a ridge. The trail follows the other side of the ridge. From the trail you have views of the conejo valley and the cities of Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks. While the views are impressive, I'm not much into urban sprawl and the view on tract homes and people's backyards. Unfortunately that was pretty much the entirety of this hike. The ridge parallels the 101 freeway and the trail follows the ridge. As you walk you are followed by the sound of traffic, and the occasional leaf blower and wood chipper - delightful. Every view I saw was interrupted by a roof line, a chimney, a fence (the wood fences were OK, the chain link not so much), or a rundown ranch building of some sort.

The trail along the ridge is not flat and goes up and down like a roller coaster. This makes it a real workout. Along the way I found 13 geocaches including three that were on the Rosewood trail that connected up with the Los Robles. I was tempted to do some more on the Rosewood trail but I noticed the trail was heading down more then I was willing to go back up. I went back to the Los Robles trail and continued east.

As I approached the 6 mile point the trail started to head down. About three quarters of the way down I decided to stop. My GPS said that I had walked about 6.04 miles. I should have gone a little further but the idea of having to go back up deterred me. I found a place to sit down that was out of the way of the speeding mountain bikers and ate my lunch and rested a bit. I was really tired which didn't bode well since I had five to six more miles to go to get back to the car. I marked my turn around point on my GPS for when I do part 2 of this trail.

The way back was uneventful. Yes I was tired but I just plodded on. The day turned out to be warmer than I expected and I was sweating a bit by the time I made it back to the car. The total distance was 10.97 miles and the total vertical was 787 feet. Not much vertical but the roller coaster nature of this hike made it a lot more - Up, Down, Up, Down ... The spurs I took for the geocaches caused me to miscalculate my turn around point. I should have gone another half mile.

You may have noticed that I haven't linked to any pictures. That is because, for the first time in the year since I started hiking, I took no pictures. There just wasn't anything along this trail that struck my fancy. A little disappointing. It wasn't all bad as I got some good exercise. I just don't like urban hikes and this one felt more urban than most.

Next week there will be no hikes as we have guests visiting. My next hike, in two weeks, is to Nordhoff Peak - nothing urban about this one at all. It will also be more challenging as there will be over 3,000 feet of vertical. I can't wait.

2 comments:

  1. 3,000 feet of vertical? You'll be heading up Half Dome in Yosemite in no time...

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  2. GH: My personal bes was about 3,350 feet on Mount Rainier. This next hike may match or possible even top that. Topa Topa will be over 4,400 feet. It's going to be a challenge.

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