3.5 miles, 600′ gain, Easy Intermediate.
A fit beginner can handle this. Because there are a couple extended inclines, I’ve rated this at the easy end of the intermediate spectrum. That’s OK, because this is a social hike, not a conditioning hike. We’ll stop at various points to let people catch up.
We’ll start by entering the Los Padres trail, through a spooky oak covered section, then move through until we come to a dead end. We’ll turn right, and continue climbing up. We’ll come to another junction, where we’ll turn right onto the Los Robles trail.
After 500 feet, we’ll come to a split off to the right. We’ll take this split and continue along the Vista Loop until we come to a bench. Then we’ll start heading down, and when we come to the “Giants Picnic Table”, which I call that because its parts are super thick.
We’ll stop for a social event and share snacks and drinks (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772) for 30-60 minutes, before continuing down and around for our return.
If you don’t wish to stay for the entire social event, please study the map posted as a photo with this description so you are able to navigate the remainder of this trail without the host
Hike Distance: 3.5 miles
Distribution: Most of the incline well distributed in the first half.
Difficulty (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781): Easy Intermediate.
Pace: approx. 2.0 mph.
Trail Type: Fire Road, Single-Track, and Double-Track.
Several extended inclines of 1000 steps.
Several steep sections of 300 steps, but no hands required.
Duration: 3.0 hours
Drinking Fountains: No.
Parking: Free along street.
What to bring: 1 liter of water for every 3 miles.
Flashlight or headlamp.
Sunscreen and/or hat as needed.
Snacks and/or beverages to share (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772).
Route: The host knows the route. A pic of the route has been posted as part of this description.
Navigation: Host memory, enhanced by GPS navigation as needed
Hike type: Social.
We won’t be hiking at a fast pace because this is a social hike, not a conditioning hike. There is nothing wrong with stopping, even if it means every 50 steps. See “How hard is this hike” in the discussion section (LINK (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781)).
The host may designate stopping points to let others catch up. This hike will include an extended stop for a snack and beverage (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772) share at the half way point. We will stop at junctions to make sure everybody makes any turns or chooses the correct direction at splits, else something will be used to mark the direction, usually a large arrow made of baking soda. There may not always be a sweeper designated to be the last hiker.
Each hiker is responsible for knowing their capability, only attending events where they are able to sustain the described pace, for keeping up with the group sufficiently enough to make the turns and not get left behind, and for making sure the host is notified if they are going to split from the group.
Group separation: Sometimes hikers wish to move significantly ahead and not wait at designated stopping points. Please let the host know. They are on their own regarding route and navigation.
These are a couple plants you are likely to see on this hike:
White flowers on stalk. Stalk is often missing, leaving only the spires from which it grows. Stalks are very strong and light, so they make good walking sticks. Needles on end of spires. Chopped up root can be uses as shampoo or soap. Roasted root can be eaten like a potato. Illegal to remove live stick in CA.
Pronounced with short u. Dried leaves make good tinder. To eat root, remove skin and core, boil 15 minutes. Then fry or bake. Flowers are mildly sweet. Adam says they taste like radishes. The fruit is also edible, but bitter if not ripe. To access fibers: Soak for a month in water, or, lightly pound leaves with rock or club, or, scrape off skin. Roll between hands, then pull and separate fibers. Weave into cordage.
Toxic. Boil fruit in water to make spikes easy to remove. Inside is a natural luffa. Tubars (thickened part of a stem, usually underground, like the potato) can be crushed and thrown into water to immobilize fish.
Almost the entire plant is poisonous. Although wild cucumbers are related to the familiar, domestic vegetable, the prickly “cucumbers” consist not of fleshy fruit, but of two seed chambers containing lacy netting.
Los Padres Trailhead
15 Los Padres Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA, 91361
West of CA-23, I-101, exit S. Moorpark Rd.
South on Moorpark Rd. north for 1000 ft.
Left on Los Padres Dr.
After 200 ft, trailhead on the right.
Park on the street.
Release of Liability: https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/pages/29622459/Is_Hiking_Dangerous/