*911* Need Southern California Hiking Info for June 3rd!

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Bubba Suess

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*911* Need Southern California Hiking Info for June 3rd!

by Bubba Suess » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:33 am

My wife and I are leaving tomorrow morning to drive down to Camarillo for a wedding. We had initially planned on having our 2.5 year old son with us, but he has come down with a case of the Chicken Pox. His grandmother is graciously taking him off our hands for the duration of the trip. That means we have a mostly free day to check out the sights and heights of southern California. While I have spent some time in LA visiting friends, my wife has hardly been down there at all. Neither of us have done anything in any of the mountains south of Santa Maria.

We would like to explore the mountains a bit (can't do much more than a bit in a day, obviously). I was thinking San Gabriels...but where? Here is the catch, my wife is 5.5 months pregnant and while she can hike, she is entering the uncomfortable stage and we learned what happens when she pushes herself to hard when she was carrying our son. So, we are looking for a fun hike but nothing super long or strenuous. Any ideas are much appreciated. I am keen on hitting the San Gabriels so suggestions for that are especially helpful but we are open to hitting other areas too. We are willing to put in a couple hours of driving as needed. A place to camp nearby is also a nice bonus, but not essential.

Also, any ideas for unique or memorable eateries are welcome. We are coming down on I-5 and then heading over to Thousand Oaks on 101 tomorrow night, so anything along that area would be handy.

Thanks in advance for the input!
Last edited by Bubba Suess on Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: *911* Need Southern California Hiking Info for June 3rd!

by Fletch » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:18 am

What about Channel Islands National Park? Just take the boat over from Santa Barbara for the day. Super fun (and easy) hikes with awesome beauty.

San Gabs are fun too, but I'll let a San Gabriel Mountain afficionado chime in on that...

Have fun and congrats on your next child.

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Re: *911* Need Southern California Hiking Info for June 3rd!

by LionIndex » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:34 am

There's some interesting stuff in the mountains around Ojai, and right in Thousand Oaks is Wildwood, which has a decent trail network and an impressive (especially for SoCal) waterfall, along with a trail up some craggy hills.

Rattlers will be out.

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Re: *911* Need Southern California Hiking Info for June 3rd!

by Osterizer » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:18 pm

I would recommend going to Rancho Sierra Vista SP in the SAMO. It is only a few minutes drive from Thousand Oaks. There are lots of short hikes or you can hike to the top of Boney Mountain. The wildflowers should be nice right around now. Watch the trails for rattlesnakes.

Here is one angle of the view from the top of Boney Mountain:

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Re: *911* Need Southern California Hiking Info for June 3rd!

by phydeux » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:25 am

Sandstone Peak in the Santa Monica Mtns. Highest point in the SMM, short hike (about 1 1/2 miles on good trail), and great views from the top when the weather's clear. Only problem might be the weekend crowds. Good description of the route on the 'Mountains & Rocks' section of SP. Just head east on Hwy 101, off at Westlake Village Road not far after the big hill rising out of the Oxnard farm fields.

Hike into Malibu Creek State Park for a few miles. The hiking trail follows the creek, which should be flowing OK even though not a lot of rainfall this past winter. Not really a mountain hike, but still interesting with lots of trees/brush small animals, ans should be lots of flowers blooming in the small meadows. It was the sight of many movie shoots, some 'stuff' is still back there.

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Re: *911* Need Southern California Hiking Info for June 3rd!

by MCGusto » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:34 am

Welcome to the Southland, Bubba, and congrats on the new little one on the way! Good suggestions already, by the way... Hmm.....

If you're going to be in Camarillo, the first place that comes to mind would be the Channel Islands. I think Fletch already mentioned it, and I would have to agree, especially given that your wife is 5.5 mos. pregnant. Why not enjoy a boat ride over to Anacapa or something, hike around a bit, then take the boat home? Ferries leave from Ventura Harbor, just to the north of Camarillo on 101, then you could spend the night in downtown Ventura, which has a host of eateries. Their "main street" starts around the Ventura mission and stretches for some blocks. Great place to relax, get some food, and chill out after a day of hiking.
http://www.summitpost.org/channel-islan ... ark/614674


The next logical place to the south would be the Santa Monica's. I personally haven't done Sandstone Peak, but it's known as the "peakbagger's" summit of the range, and it's supposed to have some of the best views stretching out towards the ocean.

Probably a little over an hour south (you never know with traffic) and you will find yourself in the San Gabriels. Lots of areas still closed from the Station Fire. See the map here:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 370005.pdf

Hwy 2 leaving from La Canada will lead you up into the backcountry towards Mt. Wilson with lots of trailheads to explore. While the San Gabriels are a relatively "small" range, they are steep and rugged, which could pose a problem for wifey. Yes, there are things like Eaton Canyon here in Pasadena, which are relatively flat and cool on a summer day, but I wouldn't drive an hour south from Camarillo for that. Old Town Pasadena on Colorado Blvd. does have a myriad of places to eat, though. One "easy" peak would be San Gabriel Peak. I think it's the second tallest peak, next to Strawberry Peak (which is closed, by the way). You park just short of Mt. Wilson, walk along a fireroad (relatively flat), then hang a right and contour up to the top.
You'd have to get an adventure pass for most places in the San Gabriels to put on your car, and you could get that at the Sport Chalet right when you get off the freeway on Hwy 2 (just turn AWAY from the mountain and you'll see it on your left). $5 for a day, the last time I checked. Expect about an hour to La Canada from Camarillo, then another 20-30 minutes of windy roads up to the trailhead near Mt. Wilson.

Of course, the other option (SO MANY OPTIONS!) would be to head north out of Camarillo either to Ojai or up towards Santa Barbara. Lots of short hikes in Ojai with, once again, a cute downtown with lots of places to eat.

Santa Barbara, too, has lots of little hikes to waterfalls and such, and then there's always State Street with tons of places to eat.

Personally, out of total convenience and "uniqueness," I would say a daytrip to Anacapa, if available, would take the cake. Of course, something to think about would be if you are on Anacapa.....well, you are ON there, and God forbid, you're wife has some type of emergency, that could pose a problem... but that's probably a stretch, but something to consider.

Hope that helps.


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Bubba Suess

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Re: *911* Need Southern California Hiking Info for June 3rd!

by Bubba Suess » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:08 pm

Thanks all for the great input. As of now Channel Islands are off limits since we are coming back down in the fall to hit them with the couple currently getting married (I am at the reception now as I write this). Is anyone familiar with the Pine Mountain Trail in the sespe wilderness? I think it goes toward haddock peak. That seemed doable. Are the Santa Monica's pretty hot right now or is the temperature reasonable? Is there still much, if any, snow in the San Gabriel's? Thanks again for all the input!

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