dogs on leash
off road driving
A road with nice views of the Morros. Moderate mtn bike traffic, watch out for them as they seldom use bells or the "on your right!" warning. Only one had a bell out of 8. Not a proble, but just to let you know. We have traveled this road in the evening for a nice sunset during summer when the temps are high and the glow worms are out. This makes a great night hike and an awesome sunset. Aroundd December, the temps were right around 40 with a wind chill for kicks. A good base layer and a light jacket kept us comfortable. We went on through to Sulphur pots from the East Cuesta portal via Mt Lowe rd. Pretty windy all day in the expected areas. Easy work out to the top with a great view along the way.
Started this hike at Mt Lowe trailhead. The hike to the East Cuesta portal was pretty windy with the usual mtn bike traffic up to that point. Descending the trail was slightly steep with a lot of storm damage I.E. several trees blocking the trail and some over growth. Very little poison oak currently. There was a bear in the area. Apparently this trail isn't traveled much, at least this time of the year. We observed no trash nor human tracks the entire way. Lots of deep leaves coverage on the trail. Watch your step! The creek is running at an easy rate. As we got to the valley floor we were treated to lots of mushrooms and some flowers. Crossing the creek was easy. Here there is little poison oak, but use caution as there is a wee bit. We backtracked out of this beautiful valley to the trail portal with moderate wind in the expected places. Parts of the trail are narrow with steep drop offs, so use extra caution. The Mt Lowe rd was super windy and chilly. A good base layer makes for a comfortable trek in and out this time of the year. I do recommend taking gloves and a medium jacket or light coat that might pack easily in your rig. The short days make for a quick drop in temperature in that valley. The morning temp was 42 at the top with an added wind chill. Overall an awesome day. There was zero traffic on the trail the entire day.
Having been on a monthlong hiatus from hiking (predominately due to my father leaving for Nepal), I was incredibly eager to head down to Ventura and hike in the mountains surrounding Ojai.
We begun the hike minutes before sunrise on the morning of Thanksgiving. The weather was seasonably cool, dipping into the low 40s as we set out on the beginning stretch of the trail.
The first mile of the Gridley Trail passes through patches of avocado trees. The trail is roughly the width of a fire road, albeit it's littered with protruding rocks. It eventually narrows into a singletrack as the trail traverses over various ridges.
The majority of the Gridley Trail is following streams that have carved through the mountains. Therefore, there's always a steep drop off or incline to either side of you; additionally, loose rocks and sandy gravel makes you pay attention to your footing.
There are also various creek crossings throughout the length of the trail. I hiked the Gridley Trail after an unseasonably dry November, so all creeks contained no running water. Make sure to bring enough water!
Due to time constraints, we were unable to make it to the summit of Nordhoff Peak. While the firetower atop the peak supposedly offers unrivaled scenery, the views at the junction of the Gridley/Gamino Cielo Trail were astonishing. To the West, the farms of Ojai were visible through an opening between the creek-carved mountains. To the South, Hines Peak peeked (pun definitely intended) over the skyline.
I would certainly recommend this trail after a considerable rainfall. Additionally, I'd guess that it is more than worth it to traverse over to Nordhoff Peak, granted that you have the time. Have fun hiking!
There is someone in the reviews saying that this is not a difficult trail, which is a lie if you are not an avid hiker. 3-4 hours, don't bring your dog, bring 2+ liters of water and a protein bar, a hat and sunscreen are highly recommended.
All that being said, this is one of the most satisfying hikes in Santa Barbara. The view is unparalleled, the rock hoping is very fun, and the climb is exhilarating.
Great hike very scenic, for the first 1 mile the trail very mellow, the ascent to the top is challenging. During this mid November hike we encountered 3 mini snow storms. Views from the tower are spectatcular we could see the beach at Oxnard and the Channel Islands.
I only hiked to Chief Peak (approximately 9 miles roundtrip), but the views made the trek worthwhile. I watched the sunset while hiking the Nordhoff Ridge with views of the Ojai Valley, ocean, and Channel Islands. Almost the entirety of the trail was on a fire road, and most of the elevation gain occurred in the first 2 miles. The final portion to the summit of Chief Peak is unmaintained but wasn't terribly difficult to follow. Be sure to stop by Rose Valley Falls before doing this hike -- it's a nice warmup before the climb.