13 April 2017

Channel Islands University Park

Link to map.

This area was formerly Camarillo Regional Park, but was transferred from the county to the state with the provision that the state would take on all the use requirements for the area. One of these requirements is that a publicly accessible park be maintained. Apparently this does not preclude a parking fee because the general $6 per day fee for the university applies here too. Areas outside the gate would allow a bit of free parking, but has been marked "no parking". There is some free parking on Lewis Road, nearly a half mile away. Being with my mother, she chose to pay the fee rather than walk the extra mile. There is no toilet, the only amenity gained for the fee is a dirt parking lot.

grassy bits heading up to low, rocky peaks
But it is a pretty spot.


We park as far in as possible next to the model airplane airfield, then follow the gravel road further in toward the hills. Past the park is Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area land and past that is Point Mugu State Park. Connecting to trails within the state park has been a goal for a while, but I do not think it has been done yet. Today, we keep to the flatter ground in the bottom of the valley.

gravel road turning to dirt
Following the gravel road as it turns to dirt and joins a few trails.

As we take our turns through the park, we come to some dilapidated buildings. These were a dairy that was part of food production and patient therapy for Camarillo State Hospital. They are a mass of graffiti now and have been slated for removal for a while.

dilapidated dairy buildings fenced off
The old dairy buildings are fenced off.

barn skeleton
The skeleton of an old barn.

We find a second route back toward the parking lot for a big circle through the valley.

grassy hills with rocky tops
Another look at the rocky peaks and buildings below. There are trails high up there and travel through the tall grasses without trails may be possible.

Some information about the park can be found here.




©2017 Valerie Norton
Posted 24 April 2017


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