Sespe River Trail

I want to take advantage of the seasonally cool weather and hike in places like Ojai, Santa Ynez, Simi Valley, etc. I think of these as “hot” places, too hot to hike comfortable for most of the year.  This week I was 14 miles north of Ojai in Rose Valley. I got lucky as rain, in various degrees of intensity, was forecast.  It got no worse than an intermittent drizzle. This is a really easy route, both to hike and navigate – great for unwinding.
Distance: About 9 miles

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Mulholland Trail – Etz Meloy Motorway

Finally back to hiking after the longest break I’ve taken in five years. It was certainly good to be back on the trail. I’ve hiked just about everywhere in the Santa Monica Mountains but not this short stretch. A closed, one mile section along Etz Meloy Motorway was the last piece needed to complete the grand 67-mile long Backbone Trail, and it can now be legally hiked in it’s entirety. You can read more here: Link
Even though I’ve hiked in the vicinity, I always find it fascinating (and sometimes a bit confusing) to get a slightly different visual perspective on things.
Distance: Approximately 8.5 miles

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Runkle Canyon

A last minute decision to hike in Simi Valley paid off nicely. The fire roads I hiked have very little shade but a cool wind kept things comfortable all day. The views just keep getting bigger as I went.  I hiked around 8 or 9 miles and felt strong.

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Canyonback Trail

A ten mile out and back in Brentwood. This trail parallels all the other north-south fire roads in Topanga State Park and I had wondered about it for some time. It’s not listed in any guidebook as far as I know, and is located just beyond the border of my Tom Harrison map. I could see this fire road from Westridge Fire Road and even passed the upper trailhead while hiking on Dirt Mulholland. Recently I stumbled upon an online review and figured it was referring to my mystery trail. If you’ve hiked the other fire roads in the area then you’ll find it’s very similar only less crowded, both good things.

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Mount Baden-Powell

A long overdue trek to Mount Baden-Powell. When viewed from Angeles Crest Highway, this mountain can be intimidating because it’s just so darn big and tall and the highway it looks nearly straight up and down. The trail to the top with it’s many switchbacks, however, is moderate in incline and quite safe. The elevation did get to me today and I felt tired and dizzy at times. I’m not sure why, as I had no problems when I hiked right across the way to Throop Peak, Mount Hawkins and Mount Islip. The views, especially of Mount Baldy, cannot be beat.

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