Westlake Vista Trail / Pentachaeta Trail

Kind of a strange hike.  On my map Pentachaeta Trail is a two mile out and back.  Westlake Vista Trail isn’t on my map and I only discovered it existed when I was scouting trailhead locations.  When I did a search for Westlake Vista Trail I found a route that someone had “recorded” on their GPS.  The route connected the two trails and made a large loop.  That sounded perfect.  When I tried to hike this route I found out why it isn’t on the map.

1     3   First I went right on Westlake Vista Trail.  These trails are close to houses and a trailer park so it was kind of crowded at the start.  Photo 2 shows something, I’m guessing, that acts like a sundial.

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A short hike took me to Las Virgenes Reservoir.  As I gained in elevation I realized that it’s pretty big.  I stuck my camera over the chain link fence to get these shots.

6     7   I continued to gain elevation.  I believe that’s Westlake Village below.  That body of water is not the reservoir I had just passed.

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I followed the narrow trail along the side of the mountain.  It’s barely a trail.  I plowed my way through thick brush or crawled on my hands and knees to get past branches that had grown across the trail.  I would suggest a long sleeved shirt, pants and maybe even eye protection.

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The trail is narrow and the ground is soft and loose.  On this day the slick grass was also an issue.  I came to a point which seemed impassable.  I could climb down these rocks but I knew there would be no climbing back up, and I had no idea if there was a trail down there or not.  I circled back and found a trail that went up a bit higher, over these rocks, but it was right along the edge and then almost straight up the slippery grass.  If you slip here you will fall off the side and down to the rocks below, meaning you are either seriously injured or dead.  I turned back here.

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Plants along the trail.  Photo 1 looks to be a dandelion.  I liked the heart shape inside the leaf.  The second plant is a Fuscia-flower Gooseberry – from a few feet away this plant looks like it has little red peppers hanging from its branches.  Photo 3 – Sage.  Photo 4 – I’m not sure what the white flowered plant is but it really had a strong odor.  As I walked along the trail I kept smelling a perfume-like scent, like someone just ahead of me had put on far too much deodorant.  I soon realized it was this flower.  To me it smells just like the Sure deodorant spray I used to use when I was a teenager.

11     12   I stopped for lunch.  On the way back the reservoir was speckled with white birds.

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Parts of this hike possessed a kind of desolate beauty.

14     15  Old rusted wreck by the side of the trail

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Looking back up at where I just hiked.  Photo 2 – The grassy patch on the left was my turn around point.

19     20   Now on Pentachaeta Trail, its just too close to civilization for my taste.  The trail is right above some homes.  I could hear a woodchipper running.

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The official end of Pentachaeta Trail, but the hike continues down this shady lane. To complete the loop, this trail takes you back up and around the mountains and then eventually to the area where I turned around on Westlake Vista Trail.  Maybe, someday I will give it another shot.  Today, I turned back here.

 

 

 

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