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.

1     2     3   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.

4   I always notice the rock and plant formation on the side of that mountain that looks like a bird.  I drove past it right before I turned off on Rose Valley Road.

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A pond down below.  This property is marked as “Rancho Grande” on my map.

6     7     8   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.

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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.

11     12     13   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.

15   Nice views of the Channel Islands – Anacapa on the left and Santa Cruz on the right.

16     16B   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.

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A few miles away is Nordhoff Peak and its lookout tower perched on top.

17   Looking down the coast, over Sulphur Mountain and toward Point Mugu.

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Headed back now, looking at another section of Pine Mountain.

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