Howard Creek Trail
Back hiking after recovering from the flu. The trailhead is on Rose Valley Road above Ojai, less than a half mile from CA-33 and just a few minutes away from Rose Valley Falls and the Piedra Blanca rock formation. I needed a short hike. Howard Creek Trail is 5.8 miles round trip with an easy climb and very little navigating to worry about. The trail is well marked. This would be a perfect hike for beginners or those want to introduce themselves to hiking in the Ojai area, especially with stops at the falls and white rocks afterwards.
I turned right off of CA-33 on to Rose Valley Road. I traveled less than half a mile and looked right to find this dirt road running south. I parked by the side of the road. I walked up the road a short ways to the signed trail that runs to the left. The trail and gently winds its way up the side of the mountain.
A pond down below. This property is marked as “Rancho Grande” on my map.
Although the trail is called Howard Creek Trail, it’s not creekside hiking. There are a few spots where it looks like water crosses over the trail on wet days. It was all dry on this day. Photo 3 – Looking down at Rancho Grande again, now another pond is visible.
Looking north at the massive Pine Mountain. There are a couple of spots along the ridgeline dotted with clusters of trees. They must mark something.
Near the top the trail gets a little narrow in places. Eventually I reached a high point and a flat area. The trail breaks both left and right. I’m not sure where the trail to the left goes. I went to the right and descended down to Nordhoff Ridge Road. Photo 3 – Looking back at the trailhead to Howard Creek Trail from Nordhoff Ridge Road.
I could faintly make out more islands to the right of Nordhoff Peak. I think the one on the left is the tip of Santa Rosa Island and the the one on the right is San Miguel. Photo 2 is the same picture of Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands, clearer here because I played around with the exposure.
A few miles away is Nordhoff Peak and its lookout tower perched on top.
Headed back now, looking at another section of Pine Mountain.