Happy Camp Canyon Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Moorpark, CA that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The route shown in this app does not seem to be a good one. (Note that none of the reviewers below posted a map with a similar route as the official one posted here.) Nonetheless, I tried to navigate Happy Camp by following the map given by the app - I parked at the golf course and started at the end point (bottom right on the photo of the map) of the route, which meant I had to cross private property to get there (!). This seemed odd, but I was feeling adventurous so I proceeded anyway. The "jeep road" that should have led me vertically up the map didn't seem to exist (it didn't help that my GPS was not behaving accurately). I met goats, horses, and chickens...and ran through lemon, orange, and avocado groves trying to find the route. I met a nice horse trainer that couldn't help me find the jeep road either (and my GPS said I was close to it). Listen, I enjoyed myself! But the route shown in this app doesn't seem to be a good one and I suggest using the route of one of the many users of this app instead.
As others have said, this trail isn't anything special. There are some nice views from the top of mountain, but most of the area is flat and sandy, not to mention the "hike" parallel to the golf course for the first mile takes away from the experience. I don't recommend entering from the golf course parking lot.
Happy Camp is neither happy, nor a true camp... It's a rural, arid grassland in the rolling hills north of Moorpark, along a restricted dirt fire road where you may not camp overnight and where motor vehicles are not permitted. The hike during 3 seasons out of the year is usually warm to hot, unexciting and features your basic Southern California endemic shrubs, grasses and some invasive weeds. There are a few trees here and there, but most are stunted and scrubby due to lack of water. Also note that you may not take your dog hiking with you into the Happy Camp area but horses are allowed?
If you do choose to hike or mountain bike in Happy Camp, bring plenty of water, snacks and proper clothing. Numerous rattlesnakes, coyotes, bobcat, deer and the occasional mountain lion can be found here, so enjoy and of course - be careful. There are also lots of ticks, so be prepared. When I've hiked into Happy Camp, I've had decent cell coverage with Verizon, but I've heard from friends of mine that their reception was poor. Firearms and bows are not permitted, however for self-defense you can bring pepper spray and I advise doing so.
Happy Camp would do far better if it were converted back into a real camp with an improved road for vehicles, a 24-hour camp host to monitor the site and a small fee to pay for routine maintenance. This way more people, including elderly and handicapped individuals can enjoy this place...
I was only going to do 4 miles in but did the 5 to the power lines. glad to be off my feet started getting a hot spot at about 6 miles back.
Not much to look at on this trail. Was lucky enough to see several deer but that was because we branched out off trail. Pretty flat trails.
Loved how open this was but also a bit disappointed that there was a section where dogs were not allowed! Easy walk though, would do it again.
Very pleasant. Starts out passing the golf course and stays flat until you're past the fairways. Then you have a choice of directions and some small hills for a nice hike. I brought two dogs and they did well. Bring water for dogs if it's hot or dry. Also, you could run into horses, so hopefully your dogs can handle it.