Wildwood Park

As part of my new routine, one week in the Santa Monica Mountains and one week elsewhere, I found my way to Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks.  Rain was forecast but never materialized.  Foot traffic was heavier than what I am used to and prefer.  I did speak to a few friendly and helpful people, however.  Hiking here is different than in the Santa Monica Mountains, although geographically speaking it’s very close, but that was the point.  Enjoyable day.

1     2     3   I started off on Indian Creek Trail.  I love hiking next to a running stream.  Soon I began to rise from the bottom of the canyon, the creek still below and next to the trail.

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This park has a kind of urban feel to it, kind of over-processed, if you will.  Stairs have been built to help hikers up and down and flat, man-made rocks bridge the stream.

8   Just beyond Indian Creek Trail is a short trail that leads to a little walk-thru cave called Indian Cave.

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Photo 1I climbed up to the top and entered from there.  I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to squeeze through the opening with all my gear on, but I made it.  Photo 2 – Inside the cave.

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Looking out the mouth of the Indian Cave.

12     14     13   Although these trails are quite well-marked, I never saw a sign for “Little Falls”.  Could this be it in photo 3?

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Nearing Paradise Falls.  A hiker drowned here a couple of years ago.  With the fence I kind of felt like I was in line for the Matterhorn.

17   Watch out for some of the most healthy looking poison oak I’ve seen, right in this immediate area.

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Photo 1 – The top of Paradise Falls, one of the park’s big attractions.  A trail leads down to the base.

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23     24   After the falls I hiked back up and out of the bottom of the canyon again.

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The hike up took me to this “teepee” structure, made of wood.  Concrete seating has been built in around the edges.

29     27   Photo 2The next trail, Stagecoach Bluff Trail, would take me over the top of the rocks.

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Now on Stagecoach Bluff, a look at the mountains across the meadow.

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The same mountain, on zoom.

30     31     32   Here I am on top of the bluff shown a few pictures before and the scary drop off the side.

33     34     38   Photo 1 – Red, green and blue cactus  Photo 2 – Cactus flower  Photo 3 – Nice bug

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Stagecoach Bluff Trail leads up to Lizard Rock, which is right in the middle of photo 1I read that they used to film westerns like Gunsmoke in this park, and would have stagecoach chases along this now fenced-in road.

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Photo 1 – I approach Lizard Rock.  Photo 2There is a very short trail (about 20 feet) of loose dirt that leads up under the rock, beneath the Lizard’s throat.

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The trail circles around the hill and took me to the top of the rock as well.

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I could now see what’s on the other side of the mountain.  This is the turn-off of the unmaintained portion Lizard Rock Trail, which took me down to Box Canyon.  There is a wooden post but no sign.

47     47a     48   I saw a mountain biker come off of this trail that had been carved into the side of the mountain.  Instead of taking the trail I had planned, which went straight and then looped back to my final trail, I took this one.  There is lots of loose dirt and it’s a bit dangerous, but I kind of enjoyed the natural feel to it.

49     50     51   Across Box Canyon

52   Now on the last trail, Mesa Trail, and heading for my car.

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The Endless Skyway

 

 

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