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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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