Palo Comado Canyon

I don’t hike in Agoura Hills too often because it’s always so hot.  This day was nice and cool and a little rainy.  There’s a lot of hiking to be done in this area and I look forward to getting back here more often.

1

Sky On Fire
This was about as clear as the sky got on this day.  Soon after it turned to gray.

2     3   I parked right off of Cheeseboro Road in the lower parking lot just like I did on the day of my Cheeseboro Canyon Trail hike.  From the upper lot I picked up Modello Trail for 1.1 miles.  Modello Trail lifted me to the ridgeline for nice views of the rolling hills for which this area is known.

4               5

6               7

Photo 1 – In the distance is Saddle Peak.  Photo 2 – Also in view are Castro Peak and Ladyface Mountain.  Photo 3 – Ladyface Mountain on zoom  Photo 4 – Northward view of Modello Trail

8       9      10       11

Soon I came to a junction for Palo Comado Connector Trail, shown running to the left in photo 1.  The return route comes up out of Cheeseboro Canyon from the right.  Palo Comado Connector Trail curves around and goes up and down in a westerly direction.  There were a lot of tumbleweeds on the trail.

12       13      14       15

Photo 2 – I saw a lot of birds of prey flying around.  One came out of this tree.  That must be her big nest.  Palo Comado Connector Trail took me down to Palo Comado Trail, on this day a muddy mess.  Photo 4 – Raccoon or opossum track, not sure which.

16     17   After a long and uneventful stretch through Palo Comado Canyon, the trail gains elevation.  I came to the unmarked turn-off for Dead Cow Trail.  You can stick to the fire road if you want as the two trails meet (sort of) less than a mile away, but Dead Cow Trail is much more interesting.  In fact, this is when the whole hike started to get interesting.

18               19

20   Dead Cow Trail runs parallel but above Palo Comado Trail.  Sheep Corral Trail is the next trail I wanted to take.  It runs east and connects off of Dead Cow Trail, not Palo Comado Trail.  There is basically a three way junction to look for.  Dead Cow Trail, Sheep Corral Trail and a very short trail that heads up from Palo Comado Trail to the junction, shown on the right in photo 3.  When I was just about to the end of Dead Cow Trail I took the unmarked trail that heads sharply to the right (east).  Don’t continue straight as you’ll wind up back down on Palo Comado Trail.

21

Rocky Terrain on Sheep Corral Trail

22               23

24               25

Photo 3 – This burned out pen must be the sheep corral that gave the trail its name.

26

I stopped to eat lunch at Shepard’s Flat, a grassy area that sits below this rocky hill.  Shepard’s Flat is also right across from the junction to my next trail, Cheeseboro Canyon Trail.

27     28     29   I took off down Cheeseboro Canyon Trail.  Photo 2 – Looking back at Shepard’s Flat.  Just seconds after I left a helicopter touched down right near where I was sitting.

30               31

These caution signs are more for mountain bikers that hikers.

32     34     35   In some places the trail was flooded but it was easy enough to get around.

36

This is the Baleen Wall.  It’s marked on my map but I wasn’t sure what to look for the last time I hiked through this canyon.  Today I recognized it.

37     38     39   I passed the dry and not at all smelly Sulphur Springs.  Here the vegetation around the trail becomes thicker and taller.  While I was right beneath the Baleen Wall now, I couldn’t get a clear shot through the trees.

40   I wanted to finish on the trail I started on, Modello Trail.  I turned right off of Cheeseboro Canyon Trail on to Palo Comado Trail.  In 0.2 miles I was back up at the junction for Modello Trail where I turned left earlier in the day.

41               42

Back on Modello Trail heading for my car.

43

One more shot of Ladyface Mountain before I called it quits for the day.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *