Ojai front country
After just over five miles of hiking, I was not quite ready to say I was done. It is only 2PM. Anyway, I had a plan for finishing early: check out trails on the western side of the main trail.
|Back so soon? Heading out along Horn Canyon again.|
Quickly, there is an unmarked trail to the left that shows quite a lot of use. This crosses the creek and wiggles up first unused, then used road. I was not looking for a road, so when L. Moore promises to parallel the lower trail up the canyon, I go for it. From it, there is a trail marked Twin Peaks. I am not really looking for something all the way up to the local peaks, so keep on going. L. Moore tops out at a spot marked "Parkers Corner" then clearly heads back down into the canyon. Well, there was a sign for it down there, so that makes sense. This is not what I want either, so back to the last trail and start climbing.
|If you want a trail, here is a trail.|
|Getting climbing past a tiny meadow.|
The climb is not bad. It comes to another junction, surrounded by high growth, where only the A.S. Thacher sign remains. By now, I am determined to see out this "Twin Peaks" thing and this does not look like it. The trail to the left goes down, so I go right. There are no hoof prints on this one and only one set of boot prints. Around the corner, there is a small circle of peaks and a stretch of trail can be seen toward the right of them. It is easy to pick out the likely destination, one with a thick crest of rock that can be seen in the first picture of the day behind the observatory. It is not so far away. A whole lot of up, but not far away.
|Picking out the likely destination ahead.|
|The switchbacks headed up to The Pines across the canyon.|
|To the south, the high point of the earlier loop can be seen cresting the hills below.|
The trail gets quite steep as it climbs. The body protests at first, asking for food, as I take on the slopes. Once given some food, it is quite willing. The next mile passes quickly as I keep comparing my height to The Pines across the way. For a while, they seem above, but there is one last particularly steep push to the top and looking down on them. Finally taking in a little more of my surroundings, I look for Chief Peak. It sits where I expect, connected to this peak by a high ridge line.
|There is not all that much room at the top.|
|The tuft of pine trees that is The Pines now sits below and Topatopa Bluff peeks out.|
|Chief Peak is further up this same ridge line.|
Turning away from the rest of the mountains, there is a spectacular view over the Ojai Valley. Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Catalina Islands are all on show today. I am feeling pretty good as I stand at the top.
|Senior Canyon Reservoir, Lake Casitas, and the Pacific Ocean all glisten in the afternoon sun.|
|Just high enough to see more peaks to the backside. Nordhoff Peak is on the far left.|
I take some time at the peak before turning back down the steep trail. At the junction, the temptation to find another way back to the car is too much and I take the other trail. It drops and climbs through a couple little valleys and I can see it ahead continuing more upward than downward. As I get ever closer to Senior Canyon rather than the school below, I decide to turn back and take the trail I know. It is a little late for exploring another canyon.
|Back to the same little meadow for the flare of sunset colors.|
©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 28 Jan 2016