Hillcrest Open Space Preserve

Back in Thousand Oaks this week at the Hillcrest Open Space Preserve which has just a couple of trails that form a loop.  This park is right next to a bunch of houses and I was sure the trails would be crowded but only saw one person all day.  I will remember these trails mostly for their sometimes comically steep hills.

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There are no trail signs.  Hillcrest Ridge Trail runs to the right up this steep hill and White Sage Trail to the left.  I started on Hillcrest and finished on White Sage.  Mustard and foxtails crowded the trail.

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IMG_3695     IMG_3698     IMG_3692     The morning was overcast with the occasional cold gust of wind.  Photo 3 – The Sun breaks through the clouds like a train’s headlight cutting through a thick fog.

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That’s the tallest peak in the immediate area, straight ahead.

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There are no switchbacks on this trail, just straight up and down along the ridge.

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Photo 1 – From the peak, my path was visible, looking a bit like the Yellow Brick Road.  Photo 2 – Looking back at the peak.

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There are three short trails that cut across and connect the two main trails. Photo 2 – The second connector trail.  There wasn’t much to see during the last quarter of the trail.  It took me right past a few houses and under many power lines.

IMG_3866     IMG_3877     IMG_3895   Photo 2 – You can see that White Sage Trail runs along the bottom of these hills, parallel to the less defined Hillcrest Ridge Trail up top.  Photo 3 – The white sage for which the trail is named.

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Beautiful rattlesnake bathing in the Sun.

IMG_3958     IMG_3963   Looks like someone backed their car over the side many years ago.

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I thought White Sage Trail was going to take me to the top again gently and gradually.  But just as the end seemed near I was dropped back to the bottom again.

IMG_3994     IMG_4020     IMG_4029   Now mid-afternoon, the clouds have cleared giving a clearer view of the mountains beyond.

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Grateful for a nice day of hiking.

 

 

 

 

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