04 October 2008

Upper Rancho Oso

Los Padres National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

Going down Paradise road to Red Rock, there is a fork in the road at lower Rancho Oso where the left side goes up to Upper Rancho Oso. Mom and I took a small hike up this trail to see what was on it. Turns out, there's a lot of people with dirt bikes on it since they are allowed on the fire road that makes up the first part of the trail. However, within the first mile of the road, there's a trail going off to the left. This one does not allow any vehicles, off road or otherwise, and the sounds of bikes vanished as we proceeded down it.

The trail was quite delightful. There was a spot along it where the cliff had eroded into a big bowl and the sounds of the creek were amplified so that as you approached it, you weren't sure if there wasn't more water coming down off the side until you could see. As we approached, some hikers were standing in it talking and their rumbling amplified voices were carried quite far. Perhaps this is the place for someone to do Shakespeare in the Back Woods.

We weren't looking for a long hike since we were starting very late, so the two miles or so up to something called Nineteen Oaks Camp seemed like a good destination. As we followed the trail, we soon came to a sign pointing the way right up the hill for the last bit up to the camp.

The beat up sign.
A split sign points the way to the campground. Actually, it points back the way we came implying we've missed it, but there's something that looks more like a usage trail taking an initially steep trek up the hill. Suspiciously, the usage trail appears to have improvements suggesting it isn't a usage trail after all.

The trail to the campground climbed right out of the small canyon the trail was following and right into fantastic view.

Back the way we came.
Looking north(ish), back the way we came up from the stream, this is the view.

The campground was also quite delightful. As most of the area is set up for use with horses, there were hitching posts here. The site looks like it is meant for big groups and was spacious enough to still allow small groups to find a nice place when a large group is using it. It would make a wonderful destination if the point of the trip is just to get away from electricity.

On down the valley.
Looking back down the valley, the way we've come from mostly, this is the view.

©2008,2009 Valerie Norton
Posted 26 May 2009

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