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Happy Camp – Suitable for beginners

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Happy Camp – Suitable for beginners

Beginner, 5 miles, 500′ gain. Bug spray recommended.
This hike is entirely fire-road and is almost completely flat. Some of this trail is sandy, so walking it at times can be more difficult. There are a lot of different interesting plants on this hike.

From the trail head, we walk along the fire road next to the golf course for 1.3 miles until making a left at a junction.

Please be advised that from that point on, there is a no dogs allowed sign. At some point as we continue, the ground will become very sandy.

The landscape will change from dry to green, eventually coming to a spot where sometimes you can hear the water running along the left down in a canyon. We’ll stop there to share some [snacks, beverages]( and Beverage Share.pdf?dl=0), and have a social event for 30-60 minutes, before turning around to head back the way we came. Please bring snacks and/or beverages to share.

Interesting Notes:
You will see several plants of note, and if you are interested, you can look them up before the hike. I’ll mention several, and then fully describe a couple more:

Russian Thistle, Black Walnut, Caterpillar Phacelia, White Sage, Yucca, Bladder Pod.

Jimson Weed
The plant got its name from Jamestown, because in 1676, Jamestown, VA soldiers ate this plant in their salad and became psychotic for 11 days.

The leaves and seeds are used to make medicine. Despite serious safety concerns, jimson weed is used to treat asthma, cough, flu (influenza), swine flu, and nerve diseases. Some people use it as a recreational drug to cause hallucinations and a heightened sense of well-being (euphoria). All parts of Datura plants contain dangerous levels of the tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, which are classified as deliriants, or anticholinergics.

The risk of fatal overdose is high among uninformed users, and many hospitalizations occur amongst recreational users who ingest the plant for its psychoactive effects. As much as a 5:1 variation can be found between plants. It contains chemicals such as atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine.

Ingesting only a few small seeds can result in serious poisoning and may be life-threatening. Ingesting even small amounts of the plant or seeds can result in confusion, frightening hallucinations, the inability to urinate or sweat, overheating, and a rapid heart rate.

Depending on the amount ingested, these troubling symptoms can last hours to many days, and in some cases can lead to death. Touching he plant can cause dermatitis.

Castor Bean
One of the most poisonous plants in the world.

The seeds contain ricin, one of the most poisonous naturally occurring substances known. Perhaps just one milligram of ricin can kill an adult. Walter White made a poison cigarette by putting in ricin, in the series Breaking Bad.

The symptoms of human poisoning begin within a few hours of ingestion. If death has not occurred in 3-5 days, the victim usually recovers. The seed causes skin irritation at the contact point. It is said that just one seed can kill a child.

In 1978, ricin was used to assassinate Georgi Markov in 1978, a Bulgarian journalist who spoke out against the Bulgarian government. He was stabbed with the point of an umbrella while waiting at a bus stop near Waterloo Station in London. They found a perforated metallic pellet embedded in his leg that had presumably contained the ricin toxin.

Castor beans are pressed to extract castor oil which is used for medicinal purposes. Ricin does not partition into the oil because it is water-soluble, therefore, castor oil does not contain ricin, provided that no cross-contamination occurred during its production.

Used in bone marrow transplants, cancer therapies, AIDS treatment, and can selectively destroy neurons by injecting ricin into nerves.

Happy Camp
15100 Happy Camp Canyon Rd.
Moorpark, CA 93021

From the 118 and from the 101:
Head to towards the intersection of I-118 and CA-23.
Exit 19A Princeton Ave., turn right (north) if coming from the east, left coming from CA-23.
Princeton Ave. north for 0.2 miles.
Left on Campus Park Dr. for 0.4 miles and continue on Happy Camp Canyon Rd. for 0.7 miles.
Follow signs to Rustic Canyon golf course.
Park on the right in gravel lot, just before golf course paved lot. Do not park in the paved golf course lot, it has a gate that closes at sunset.

The Hike
Distance: 5 miles, 3 1/2 hours
Elevation Gain: 500′
Difficulty: Fit Beginner
Pace: 2.0 mph
Dogs: No. A sign half-way says no dogs. I’m not the dog enforcer, so bring a dog at your own risk.
Restrooms/Drinking Fountains: Yes, inside the golf course clubhouse at the start, but likely closed after dark.
Parking: Free in the gravel lot next to the paved golf course lot.
Trail: Fire Road and some with powdered sand.

What to Bring:
1-2 liters of water.
Snacks and/or beverages to share
Hiking shoes preferred, but athletic shoes will be OK. They will get very dusty on this trail.
Flashlight or headlamp.

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Disclaimer / Release of Liability

April 11 2024


Date: April 11
Time: 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Hiking Group:
RSVP: Visit Meetup Website


Happy Camp

15100 Happy Camp Canyon Road

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Hiking Plus
Website: Visit Organizer Website


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Trail statistics are approximate. For safety purposes always assume they are underestimated. But don’t be disappointed if they are overestimated. Bring more water and snacks than you think you’ll need.

Trail descriptions are based on previous hikes. Current conditions are unknown until arrival. Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly.

The Organizers and members of Hiking With Dean are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Hiking With Dean Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities per our ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER and Section 6.2 of the Terms of Service.