This is a difficult hike that takes between one and two hours to complete mostly through chaparral. The hike starts at the lowest elevation of the loop and basically has three sections. If you hike the loop clockwise, the first one third will almost all uphill continuously on a single track. This is the most difficult part of the hike. The second third is an easy fire road section that descends slowly. The last third is moderately steep downhill single track at first, then flattens out through a dry creek. When you transition from the fire road to the last section, you can see the pacific ocean to your left.
If you hike the loop clockwise, you actually have three option to complete the hard uphill portion.
Turn left here to start uphill section
The first option is the most popular and has you going uphill as soon as you cross the dry creek. It is almost all uphill. This option has a drainage
Drainage rut in the first uphill section
rut running through middle of the narrow path so you sometimes has to switch from the left side to the right side of the path. Sometimes you can straddle the rut. If you pass that path on your right, you can continue about 200 yards to the next uphill option on your right. This path has no drainage rut but the path is cut into the side of the hill so it is mostly slanted. This path also goes downhill in short sections. There is one section that is very steep and you will need to grab onto tree branches to make it up. About halfway up this section, it joins with the third option and you can hike on the fall line uphill, rather than a slant. The third option starts about 200 yards past the second at the bottom.
The start of the best option up and right
This is probably the most scenic and also isn't on a slant. Half way up there is a nice view to the left of lake Encino.
Go north on Reseda Boulevard 2 miles past Ventura and park curbside for free.
Start of hike at curb on Resida Boulevard
Chaparral with some nice valley views. Wildflowers in spring. Can get very hot. Not crowded. There are rattlesnakes and cayotes.
It might look shady but be prepared for hot sun
Water. Dog. Water for dog.
If you get injured there is a nearby hospital or click here