Woodridge Loop / Sunset Hills Trail

Back in Thousand Oaks to complete the trails I started a few weeks ago.  I again got lost and had to backtrack, but not as bad as first time.  The trails had some decent sandstone formations and a nice view of Bard Reservoir.

1     2   I began my hike from the same parking lot as my Long Canyon hike, but this time I headed west along a wide connector trail below the lot.

3     4   The trail climbs a bit and runs by several houses and a few sandstone formations.

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I catch a glimpse of the eastern part of Bard Reservoir below.

7     8   After a mile or so I came to a spot overlooking Winncastle Street.  This is where Woodridge Loop Begins.  I wanted to go to the left first so instead of going down to Winncastle I kept on the trail which heads up to the end of the street.  I reached the crest and headed down into the area where the Sunrise and Autumn Ridge trails connect.

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I turned west at the bottom of the hill, away from the junction I had taken a few weeks earlier.

11     12   The dirt trail came to an end.  I had two options.  First, take the single lane paved road that broke sharply to the right, or cross over this concrete culvert (is that what it’s called?) and pick up the trail on the other side.  I chose to cross over the culvert.  Unfortunately the trail beyond the culvert dead ends at a house.  I backtracked, thoroughly confused.

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I’m not sure why I didn’t take the paved road but it just didn’t make sense to me at the time.  I thought if I made my way over to the Sunrise – Autumn Ridge junction I would be able to make better sense my situation.  But to no avail.  I decided to hoof it back up the hill to Winncastle and start over, taking the other half of the loop first and hoping the half I just blundered would all make sense later in the day.

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On Winncastle, look for this little “bridge” that marks the beginning of the loop.  As photo 4 shows, Woodridge Loop basically encircles a large housing community.

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Just as the trail heads downhill to the parking area on Sunset Hills Blvd., there is a trail that breaks to the right.  This is Sunset Hills Trail which takes you above Bard Reservoir in a sort of north/west direction.  The reservoir is fenced in, all the way around.

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There are nice panoramic views of the Santa Monica Mountains.

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Conejo Mountain and Tarantula Hill are also in view.

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There are some steep hills along this trail, this one in particular.  Photo 2 – Looking back up the super steep hill on Sunset Hills Trail.

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Finally the fence dropped below my line of sight and I was treated to grand views of the reservoir.

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At the end of Sunset Hills Trail there is a short loop.  I went to the right first and passed the bench shown in photo 1.

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After completing the loop I backtracked along the fence and up the steep hill.

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I picked up the first half of Woodridge Loop again and headed down to the street.  The trail spit me out just before the entrance to the gated community.  I crossed the street, walked down to the parking lot and began the second half of Woodridge Loop.  Photo 4 – Roadrunner on the trail.

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I climbed for a short while and new views opened up.

39     40     41   I hiked until the dirt road I was traveling on ended at a street.  I crossed over and picked up a single lane paved road.  The paved road ended at another dirt road, right across from the culvert I passed earlier in the day.  So that’s where I went wrong, I should have taken the single lave paved road.  Damn!  I completed Woodridge Loop, the first leg of which can be seen in this photo, and reconnected with the connector trail I began the day on.

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As I returned I was able to better appreciate the sandstone formations along the trail.

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