Homer's Travels: Hiking Ventura County #16: Chumash Trail

Friday, May 11, 2007

Hiking Ventura County #16: Chumash Trail

The Chumash Trail is a cool trail. The trail is an Up-Down There-N-Back - Emphasis on the Up. The trailhead is at 1,330 ft and the turnaround point at the Rocky Peak Fire Road is at 2,500 ft - a climb of 1,170 ft over about 2.6 miles. This is the most elevation gain in my latest series of hikes. In glacier I hiked the scenic point hike that had an elevation gain of 2,200 ft. - my personal record. This record should be broken later this year.

I had some difficulty at the beginning of the hike. The trail starts heading up from the start and does not let up until it gets to the turnaround point. I was concerned that I wouldn't make it. I expect I was trying to go up too fast and eventually my body got in sync with my walking and I started feeling a lot better. This happened at the Cozy Dell hike as well. I hit a wall and I feel like I'm going to collapse and then ... the feeling passes and I feel great the remainder of the hike.

I liked this hike. The trail zig-zags up through the rocky hills. There were a lot of wildflowers that added to the usual California brown. The trail wasn't very crowded and it gave me a good workout. The sky was clear and it was quite hot when I got back to the car - in the 90s I would guess.

I did four geocaches on the way to the turn around point. The fourth cache actually was at the turn around point where the Chumash Trail intersects the Rocky Peak Fire Road. After this cache I sat down, enjoyed the cool breeze, rested, and downed a bottle of water and a protein bar. The views from the top were pretty impressive with sweeping panoramas of the city of Simi Valley and the surrounding mountains. The caches I did were: "Bed Rock" (I found a snake skin near this one - no snake in it though), "A BUGS LIFE" (I left The Zoo's Loose!! TB in this cache), "Kokopelli's Simi View" (This cache had a lot of Kool stuff in it but I didn't trade anything), and "Crossroads Overlook".

There were a lot of lizards along the trail. I didn't see any Rabid Rabbits though. I was walking on a section when I heard what sound like a rattle - turned out to be a snake - not a rattle snake - that was slithering through the dry grass. I almost jumped out of my skin when I heard the sound. There are rattlesnake warnings posted at the trailhead but I did not see or hear any 'real' rattlesnakes.

The trip down was much quicker then the assent (1 hour vs 2 hours). There-N-Back trails have the disadvantage of having to walk through the same area twice but there is also an advantage. As you hike you tend to look ahead, to the left and to the right but you rarely look behind. Sometimes the best view is behind you. The way back on a There-N-Back trail gives you an opportunity to see what was behind you on the way up.

The total distance on this trail was 5.66 Miles. Back near the trailhead I found a cool tire swing hanging from an Oak tree. It looked like fun but I didn't have the guts to try it. Here are some pictures. To my delight, this hike was Tick free.


  1. At first I thought you were talking about this Chumash Trail ( http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/MuguPeak_4472.asp ). The first part of this trail is a real cardiac churner. Then it backs off a little, climbs a little more. Finally it drops into a great bowl of a valley. It feels like a trip back into a distant history.

  2. The La Jolla Canyon hike is on my list. Looking at my tentative hiking schedule I will be doing that one in August.