dogs on leash
They locked the gate to the parking lot the day after significant rain. I asked one of the volunteers at the information booth, manned on weekends, why the gate was locked Jan 2 (after another rain). He said it was due to parking lot condition. Cars get stuck in the lot when it's muddy, Have an alternate plan if you're headed this way and there's been recent rains. I went over to the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon trail and had a great hike. The trail was muddy but I saw dozens of mountain lion prints.
This is one of the greener canyons in western LA/eastern Ventura counties. I don't know why but the old growth in some of the canyons is more dense. The dense old growth adds a grey tint to the green, It's almost like the grass in this canyon was cut and removed like it was hay. In any case this is one of the more beautiful and tranquil canyons. The oak stands are also nice and serene. Not too many people although bikers do tend to travel rather fast. Fortunately there aren't a lot of blind curves.
It's green in Cheeseboro Canyon and throughout the area. The significant rains have made the hills green about a month earlier than last year. The ground is saturated so you're going to have to deal with mud for at least a couple days after a rain. The trails were passable but I didn't cross the road to the section on the other side of Chesebro Rd. Get out and hike...it's worth dealing with a little mud.
The canyon is green! The rain has made the hills green but many trails are muddy. This one through the canyon is passable. A couple spots where you couldn't completely avoid the mud but it wasn't deep. FYI, they will lock the gate to the parking area if it's too muddy. They did it January 2. You may want to have a backup location in mind if hiking shortly after a rain.
This hike was long but more easy with moderate sections rather than a hard hike. I went on 11/13/16 and everything was very dry. It may be a much nicer hike in the spring. There are a couple of gorgeous valley views otherwise not a ton to look at. There's not a lot of shade, bring water. There are many other trail options to take too. I did like that the trail was well maintained, good signage, and easy to follow. It may be a good night hike! There weren't too many people other than a handful of mountain bikers so that was nice too.
I was hiking the loop today and somewhere around 10:15 AM on the stretch after the shady section that closely parallels the creek bed, three deer crossed about 25 yards in front of me. Deer are relatively common but having them cross your path isn't a frequent occurrence. Really improved my mood on a day when I needed it.